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Esco Pharma News

News Ketamine: The Solution To Stopping Suicide?

Ketamine: The Solution To Stopping Suicide?


Ketamine: The Solution To Stopping Suicide?

Ketamine, a N-methyl-d-aspartate antagonist, is a legal prescription medication indicated as a painkiller, sedative, anesthetic, and anti-depressant. Ketamine’s use as an antidepressant and a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment is gaining more attention, and so further investigational researches are being conducted.

What’s New?

A research published by the American Journal of Psychiatry has recently found out that ketamine may lessen the tendencies of depressed people with suicidal thoughts. The effects appear to be much faster than any medication existing within the course of treatment.

A study from Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute identified that ketamine produced mood improvements upon testing to a certain group of depressed patients. A low-dose ketamine was compared against midazolam, a sedative, to 80 patients who were actively considering suicide. After 24 hours, ketamine was found to be significantly more effective at controlling imminent thoughts for about one-third of the patients.

According to Dr. Michael Grunebaum, “Additional research to evaluate ketamine's antidepressant and anti-suicidal effects may pave the way for the development of new antidepressant medications that are faster-acting and have the potential to help individuals who do not respond to currently available treatments.” This just says that the possibilities for ketamine are endless, and the need for it to be manufactured into a larger scale for the usage of patients is pivotal for the advancement of not just healthcare, but of society.

How Is It Compounded?


Ketamine, a non-hazardous sterile drug, is compounded in a strict enclosed environment devoid of any harmful microbes that could contaminate the drug. According to USP 797, compounding facilities should be physically designed and environmentally controlled to minimize airborne contamination from contacting critical sites.

The facilities should also provide a comfortable and well-lighted working environment. The Primary Engineering Controls (PEC) should maintain an ISO Class 5, or even better conditions for 0.5-µm particles while compounding CSPs. The airflow inside the PEC should have a unidirectional laminar flow, also requiring for the “first air” at the face of the filter to be free from airborne contamination.

For large scale manufacturing, ketamine can be prepared by using sampling isolators which provide a high level of operator protection against hazardous and sensitizing materials during product sampling process. They are ideally situated in warehouses and production areas for processes such as raw material and active pharmaceutical ingredient sampling, which in this case is ketamine.

In lieu with this, Esco Pharma provides equipment which fit the needs for compounding and handling sterile preparations, such as ketamine.

The General Processing Platform Isolator (GPPI) is used as a barrier to provide biologically free environment for aseptic and potent formulation and other related processes requiring sterile environment and containment solutions. For a fully contained environment during active product handling, containment solution that provides uncompromised total barrier isolation is in need. Containment Barrier Isolator (CBI) facilitates the isolation of a product or process while providing the required conditions for a sterile/aseptic formulation.

One of the main goals of Esco Pharma to aid in producing notable pharmaceuticals and giving the best personnel and product protection. The public can be assured that with continuous innovation, from discovery to delivery of drugs, quality is built into the products with the use of Esco Pharma’s equipment.



  1. Nield, D. (2017) Ketamine Can Ease Suicidal Thoughts Within Hours, Study Shows. Retrieved on 21 Dec 2017 from
  2. 2016 U.S. Pharmacopoeia-National Formulary [USP 39 NF 34]. Volume 1. Rockville, Md: United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc; 2015. <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding – Sterile Preparations.
  3. Vande Voort, J., et. al. (2017) Antisuicidal Response Following Ketamine Infusion Is Associated With Decreased Nighttime Wakefulness in Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. The Journal Of Clinical Psychiatry, 78(8), 1068-1074.