Ketamine has gained attention in recent years as a potential treatment for depression and anxiety. There have been several studies and reviews published on the topic. Here is a brief summary of the current literature on ketamine for depression and anxiety:
A 2018 meta-analysis of 28 studies found that ketamine showed a rapid and significant antidepressant effect in treatment-resistant depression, with effects lasting up to two weeks. However, the studies varied in their methodology and there was a risk of bias.
A 2020 review article concluded that ketamine is a promising option for treatment-resistant depression, but further research is needed to determine the optimal dosing, route of administration, and long-term safety.
A 2021 randomized controlled trial found that a single dose of ketamine significantly reduced depression symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder compared to placebo, with effects lasting up to four weeks.
A 2017 randomized controlled trial found that ketamine showed a rapid and significant reduction in symptoms of anxiety in patients with generalized anxiety disorder, with effects lasting up to one week.
A 2019 review article concluded that ketamine may be effective for several types of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but more research is needed.
A 2021 randomized controlled trial found that a single dose of ketamine significantly reduced symptoms of social anxiety disorder compared to placebo, with effects lasting up to two weeks.
It should be noted that ketamine is not yet FDA-approved for the treatment of depression or anxiety, and its use for these conditions is considered off-label. Additionally, there are potential side effects and risks associated with ketamine use, such as dissociation, hallucinations, and addiction. As with any medical treatment, it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with a healthcare provider.
B.R. Khoury, DO
Chief Medical Officer Board Certified Physician
Professor of Medicine, Valparaiso University