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Health Agencies Update
September 27, 2006

Ketamine for Depression

JAMA. 2006;296(12):1458. doi:10.1001/jama.296.12.1458-a

A preliminary study by researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health has found that a single intravenous dose of ketamine can provide symptom relief for some individuals with treatment-resistant depression (Zarate ZA et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006;63:856-864).

In the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover study, 18 treatment-resistant depressed patients were assigned to receive either a single intravenous dose of ketamine or placebo. Ketamine improved depression symptoms within 1 day in 71% of patients receiving the drug, and 29% of these were nearly symptom-free.