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Type: Journal article
Title: Ketamine as a new treatment for depression: a review of its efficacy and adverse effects
Author: Katalinic, K.
Lai, R.
Somogyi, A.
Mitchell, P.
Glue, P.
Loo, C.
Citation: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 2013; 47(8):710-727
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Asia
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 0004-8674
Statement of
Natalie Katalinic, Rosalyn Lai, Andrew Somogyi, Philip B Mitchell, Paul Glue and Colleen K Loo
Abstract: <h4>Objective</h4>Narrative review of the literature on the efficacy and safety of subanaesthetic doses of ketamine for the treatment of depression.<h4>Method</h4>Medline and PubMed databases were searched up to October 2012 using appropriate keywords.<h4>Results</h4>The studies consistently report substantial efficacy with high response and remission rates from 4 to 72 hours (averages 77% and 43%, respectively) from single doses, though not all patients respond to ketamine. Early relapse is common. While the usual procedure involves the administration of intravenous ketamine at a dose of 0.5 mg/kg over 40 minutes, some preliminary evidence suggests other dosing regimens and routes of administration may be useful or even better. Repeated doses and maintenance pharmacological treatments have been investigated in order to prolong the antidepressant effects, with only modest success.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Current research on the antidepressant effects of ketamine has consistently shown rapid and substantial improvement in mood in the majority of patients. However, these effects have often been found to be short-lived. Future research should focus on identifying predictors of response (e.g. clinical, genetic, pharmacokinetic, environmental), examining different dosing regimens and routes of administration, and strategies to maintain the antidepressant response.
Keywords: Adverse effects
antidepressive agents
depressive disorder
treatment outcome
Rights: © The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2013
DOI: 10.1177/0004867413486842
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Pharmacology publications

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