Friday, November 9, 2012

Ketamine Shows Increasing Promise in Treatment-Resistant Depression

An injection of the drug ketamine can produce a rapid antidepressant effect in subjects with treatment-resistant depression, Dennis Charney, M.D., dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, reported at a recent symposium of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation in New York City. If he and his colleagues can determine the optimal dose of ketamine to use in patients with treatment-resistant depression, and how often and how long to administer it to them, then it may become available for treating this condition, Charney predicted. Ketamine is already available clinically to induce and maintain general anesthesia, usually in combination with a sedative, and as an analgesic and is generally well-tolerated.

The researchers are also studying intranasally delivered ketamine and considering delivering it by patch, Charney said.

More information about ketamine's impact on treatment-resistant depression can be found in Psychiatric News here and here. Also see a study on this topic in this month's American Journal of Psychiatry.

(Image: Beneda Miroslav/


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