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Mini Review Open Access
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. According to research in 2016, the suicide rate has increased substantially both in the United States and worldwide. Most people who commit suicide are found to suffer from psychiatric illnesses like depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the past several studies are conducted to examine which drugs decrease suicidal ideation in mentally ill patients. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac (fluoxetine) are believed to decrease suicidal intentions in patients with depressive disorders. Similarly, lithium and clozapine are effective in reducing suicidality in patients with bipolar depression and schizophrenia, respectively. Although these drugs have a demonstrated efficacy to reduce suicidality long-term, there is limited evidence that these drugs have the same effect during the acute phase of illness. Most psychotropic medications take a few weeks to work; unfortunately, some patients require sufficiently more time to stabilize their symptoms. Because time is a crucial factor when dealing with suicidal patients, we express our viewpoint regarding the use of ketamine, which may, within hours or days help patients with suicidal ideation.