Tharcila Chaves

tharcila.chaves-150 is a pharmacist with a master degree in medicine and sociology of drug abuse. In her master’s study, she made a qualitative research about cravings in crack cocaine users in the city of Sao Paulo. Also, she worked as a teacher in the Amazon rainforest, teaching in graduation courses of pharmacy, medicine and nursery. Currently, she lives in Groningen, Netherlands, where she is doing her PhD research about the use of ketamine for treating depression, and she is planning a clinical trial with severely depressed patients. She is Editor at OPEN Foundation.


Depression is a highly prevalent mental disorder and the leading cause of disability and economic burden worldwide. Depression may become a serious health condition, especially when long-lasting and severe, because failure to achieve remission of symptoms has the potential to adversely affect physical health and longevity.
With current treatments, over 30% of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) do not achieve remission. Recent studies using different routes of administration of ketamine show remarkable, but short-term success in patients with MDD.
Studies in patients with chronic pain have used different ketamine applications for longer time periods with few side effects.
The mechanisms by which tissue injuries produce a state of pain represent one of the most intensely investigated areas in the biomedical sciences over several years
Ketamine is a well-known human anaesthetic, with analgesic effects that may be used to treat pain in a range of disorders. In the field of pain management, there is ample experience with oral as well as intravenous applications of ketamine. Indications for ketamine include neuropathic pain of various origins, complex regional pain syndrome, cancer pain, orofacial pain and phantom limb pain.
This lecture aims (1) to explore the pharmacology of the analgesic and antidepressant effects of ketamine, (2) to explain how pain and depression are highly prevalent in the world today, (3) to present some scientific studies about ketamine use for pain and depression treatments and (4) to discuss the side effects and the abuse potential of ketamine.



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