We examined the preliminary feasibility, tolerability and efficacy of single-dose, intravenous (i.v.) ketamine in depressed emergency department (ED) patients with suicide ideation (SI). Fourteen depressed ED patients with SI received a single i.v. bolus of ketamine (0.2 mg/kg) over 1–2 min. Patients were monitored for 4 h, then re-contacted daily for 10 d. Treatment response and time to remission were evaluated using the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and Kaplan–Meier survival analysis, respectively. Mean MADRS scores fell significantly from 40.4 (S.E.M.=1.8) at baseline to 11.5 (S.E.M.=2.2) at 240 min. Median time to MADRS score f10 was 80 min (interquartile range 0.67–24 h). SI scores (MADRS item 10) decreased significantly from 3.9 (S.E.M.=0.4) at baseline to 0.6 (S.E.M.=0.2) after 40 min post-administration ; SI improvements were sustained over 10 d. These data provide preliminary, open-label support for the feasibility and efficacy of ketamine as a rapid-onset antidepressant in the ED.
Larkin, G. L., & Beautrais, A. L. (2011). A preliminary naturalistic study of low-dose ketamine for depression and suicide ideation in the emergency department. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 1127-1131. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1461145711000629