Dr. Dave Miller, R. Ph., Ph. D., FIACP, FACA - July 1, 2022

Those of you that know me, know that I hate when people suffer. Suffering comes in many forms:physical, emotional, spiritual and even financial. I want to try to alleviate suffering and am always looking for new and innovative ways to help people in need.

Recently, depression has become close to me again in the form of a friend who has suffered from depression for years. I was reminded of this fact when I saw him last and observed how flat his mood was, how dull his eyes were and how hopeless he seemed. He has been on typical treatments for years; drugs like Prozac, Wellbutrin and Effexor have provided no relief. Indeed, according to the National Institutes of Health, these drugs typically have a response rate of only 20 percent[1].

In the past, I have written about a novel, but old, drug called ketamine that is useful in treating treatment-resistant depression. A 2014 analysis published in the Journal of Current Pharmacology[2] examined 25 publications documenting the treatment of 416 patients. According to these articles, most patients demonstrated either significant improvement in treatment resistant depression patients or complete remission with very few side effects. If you suffer from treatment-resistant depression and are not being well managed, it may be worth talking with your doctor about all the treatment options available.

In addition to depression, another epidemic is hitting the news - you hear "opioid epidemic" now almost every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 91 Americans die of an opioid overdose every day[3]. Government agencies and insurance companies are attempting to fight the epidemic, but their approach may leave patients in pain. Severe restrictions in dosages and days allowed for therapy can leave patients with unnecessary pain because they are being denied therapies upon which they have come to rely.

If you find yourself a victim of the war on the opioid epidemic, please give us a call. We may have alternative therapies that will help relieve your pain that either don't involve opioid therapy or work in concert with the opioids to decrease the dose necessary to obtain relief.

Call Keystone Pharmacy; we may be able to help.

[2] Curr Neuropharmacol. 2014 Sep; 12(5): 444-461