There are several proposal treatments for the novel Coronavirus, many of which are shrouded in controversy.

This pandemic has been politicized in such a way that the ability to evaluate information has become a challenge, to say the least. Certain drugs that may or may not combat the symptoms of COVID-19 have been sensationalized by the media, while other promising treatment options have flown under the radar. Ketamine and naltrexone are two examples of this.

Both ketamine and naltrexone were developed in the 1960s: ketamine was developed as a dissociative anesthetic while naltrexone was designed to block opioid receptors to reverse a narcotic overdose. Now, together, these two drugs just may work to interrupt the inflammation associated with COVID-19 and alleviate respiratory symptoms.

SINK COVID-19

Studies conducted by Beaumont Health and approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), SINK COVID-19 is an anagram for “Study of Immunomodulation using Naltrexone and Ketamine for COVID-19.” This is a randomized study for adult patients that aims to discover whether these two accessible and affordable drugs might be a viable intervention for those diagnosed with Coronavirus.

Dr. Matthew Sims, the director of Infectious Disease Research at Beaumont Health believes that ketamine and naltrexone, together, could prevent the symptoms of COVID-19 from advancing to the point where ICU care is necessary. The drugs would serve as compliments to existing treatment programs.

Ongoing Research 

While the initial research is promising, neither ketamine nor naltrexone is currently available to treat patients with Coronavirus. There are significant hurdles on the path to FDA approval, but research is moving steadily forward.

Ketamine: A Wonder Drug?

This isn’t the first time that ketamine has been identified as a potential treatment for a life-threatening disorder. Suicide—or, rather, intentional self-harm—is #10 on the list of leading causes of death in America. It is indisputable that those who struggle with treatment-resistant mental health conditions are at greater risk for taking their own lives. However, since the late 1990s, ketamine has proven a highly effective and rapid acting treatment for severe cases of depression, especially where suicidality is present.

Our clinic has performed thousands of ketamine infusions—the impact these treatments can have on a person struggling with depression, anxiety, or PTSD is amazing. And while we are very far away from being able to claim that ketamine is effective for treating the symptoms of COVID-19, the initial results of the study are promising and exciting to watch.

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