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Can we confidently use ketamine as a clinical treatment for depression?

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Abstract

Findings from several proof-of-concept, double-blinded, placebo-controlled studies have shown rapid and large antidepressant effects in patients with major depression after a single dose of ketamine.1 These data are remarkable in the rapidity of therapeutic effects, with remission within 24 h (though relapse often occurs within days), the high degree of antidepressant potency in cohorts with moderate-to-high treatment resistance, and the consistency of findings between studies. Given that ketamine is readily available in many countries as an approved anaesthetic drug, it is not surprising that there has been enthusiasm for the use of ketamine to treat depression.
Loo, C. (2018). Can we confidently use ketamine as a clinical treatment for depression?. The Lancet Psychiatry5(1), 11-12. 10.1016/S2215-0366(17)30480-7
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