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Efficacy of ketamine in the rapid treatment of major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies

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Abstract

Background: An increasing number of studies are reporting that ketamine could be treated as a novel antidepressant for major depressive disorder (MDD). Therefore, we performed this meta-analysis to comprehensively and systematically assess the efficacy of ketamine for treating patients with MDD.

Method: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on ketamine versus placebo for treating MDD were searched up to April 2016 in medical databases (PubMed, CCTR, Web of Science, Embase, CBM-disc, and CNKI). Three treatment time points (24 and 72 h, and day 7) were chosen. Response and remission rates were the main outcomes. The random effects model was used. An intention-to-treat analysis was conducted.

Results: Nine high-quality studies that included 368 patients were selected to compare the efficacy of ketamine to placebo. The therapeutic effects of ketamine at 24 and 72 h, and day 7 were found to be significantly better than placebo. Response and remission rates in the ketamine group at 24 and 72 h, and day 7 were 52.2% and 20.6%; 47.9% and 23.8%; and 39.8% and 26.2%, respectively. No significant heterogeneity existed, and the Egger’s test showed no publication bias.

Conclusion: These results indicated that ketamine could yield a good efficacy in the rapid treatment of MDD. Future large-scale clinical studies are needed to confirm our results and investigate the mid- and long-term efficacy of ketamine in treating MDD.

Han, Y., Chen, J., Zou, D., Zheng, P., Li, Q., Wang, H., … & Xie, P. (2016). Efficacy of ketamine in the rapid treatment of major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 12, 2859. 10.2147%2FNDT.S117146

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