Medical Breakthrough: Low Dose N2O Treatment for Major Depression!

Science is quite near and dear to our hearts here at World Wide Gas. We’re constantly studying breakthroughs in our industry, tracking what is happening in N2O studies around the world. Although we deal primarily with domestic and particularly culinary use of Nitrous Oxide, whenever we see a particularly exciting piece of medical news involving N2O, we pay attention.

A recent Phase 2 Trial caught our attention, and we were impressed with the early results. Mental health is important to us, to our colleagues, and to our families. So when the product that we work with day in and day out becomes the focus of such positive news in the pharmaceutical industry, we just had to share the news.

A Brief History of Medical N2O Treatments for Depression

In a series of smaller clinical trials over the past ten years, Nitrous Oxide has been successfully used as an antidepressant that works even in cases of treatment-resistant-depression. The first study in 2014 consisted of 20 patients and included a placebo control group. Upon seeing rapid short term improvements, they presented their findings and suggested a wider study.

Over the years, several small studies led to similar conclusions in both adults and adolescents. But the generally accepted protocol required a 50% Nitrous Oxide / air blend. But those receiving the treatment often had unfortunate side effects related to large doses of N2O: Nausea and paradoxical anxiety. It was a small price to pay for positive results, but sometimes left patients with a negative attitude towards the treatment itself.

This left doctors wondering if there were better methods of administration, or better concentrations of N2O that they should be attempting. It would take seven years of smaller studies before those questions were answered definitively.

New Details on Breakthrough Phase 2 Trials

Then a brand new trial breathed new life into the study. A recent Phase 2 medical trial was undertaken, this time with three groups: Control, 50% N2O, and 25% N2O. All of the patients had treatment-resistant major depression.

As it turned out, the group receiving the 25% Nitrous Oxide blend reported the same benefits as the 50% concentration group, with next to none of the side effects! It was the result that everyone had hoped for. It was published in the journals and on the government sites that helped regulate the study. Soon, major publications like Forbes picked up the story, and it became international news.

Dr. Charles Conway explained the importance of using N2O instead of the drug traditionally used in highly resistant depression, ketamine:

One potential advantage to Nitrous Oxide, compared with ketamine, is that because it’s a volatile gas, its anesthetic effects subside very quickly. It’s similar to what happens in a dentist’s office when people drive themselves home after getting a tooth pulled. After treatment with ketamine, patients need to be observed for two hours following treatment to make sure they are okay, and then they have to get someone else to drive them.

It was shown that Nitrous Oxide improved the condition of participants within 2 hours of administration, and had lasting positive effects on their outlook and general mental health for up to 24 hours. The patients in this study had failed an average of 4.5 antidepressant trials, and for many of them this study was a source of much needed relief. Most participants in the 25% and 50% groups reported that lingering positive effects lasted up to 2 weeks after the treatment, and in rare cases up to 4 weeks.

In the end, 85% of the study participants experienced a large improvement in their symptoms, and they were able to be reclassified from having ‘severe’ depression to having ‘moderate’ depression.

Dr. Scott Krakower had quite a positive outlook on the 25% Nitrous Oxide treatment:

If data continues to show improvement with this compound, it may present as an efficient and widely available viable agent which practitioners could access and use.

In Conclusion

World Wide Gas would like to extend a message of enthusiastic support to the dedicated scientists who helped come up with this breakthrough. Administering N2O in order to bring a measure of hope and relief to patients in need is extremely noble. We hope that they continue to refine their studies as they move into final large scale clinical trials.

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