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Use of Ketamine in Clinical PracticeA Time for Optimism and Caution

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Increasing evidence, primarily from small studies, supports the idea that the dissociative anesthetic ketamine has rapid antidepressant effects in patients with treatment-refractory major depression.1 The beneficial effects of ketamine are observed within hours of administration and can last approximately 1 week. Given that up to one-third of patients with major depression fail current treatments,2 there is a clear need for novel and more effective treatments. Results to date have led to increasing off-label use of ketamine in clinical practices, with little guidance about clinical administration. In this issue of the JAMA Psychiatry, Sanacora and colleagues3 provide a much-needed consensus statement to help guide clinical use of ketamine.
Zorumski, C. F., & Conway, C. R. (2017). Use of ketamine in clinical practice: a time for optimism and caution. Jama psychiatry74(4), 405-406. 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.0078
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