Fast Five Quiz: Ketamine

Mary L Windle, PharmD


May 23, 2019

According to a consensus statement on the use of ketamine in the treatment of mood disorders, the strongest data supporting ketamine's clinical benefit in psychiatric disorders are in the treatment of major depressive episodes without psychotic features. These data are limited by the fact that most studies have evaluated efficacy only during the first week following a single IV infusion of ketamine.

According to the consensus statement, most reports in the literature have used a ketamine hydrochloride dose of 0.5 mg/kg IV infused over 40 minutes. This appears to be more effective than very low doses in reducing the severity of depression. Further studies are needed. Although data suggesting when treatment with ketamine is futile for patients with mood disorders are limited, few reports suggest a response after more than three infusions if none has occurred prior.

The consensus statement strongly discourages the use of at-home self-administration of ketamine. Until more information is available, the authors recommend that all doses be administered with medical supervision.

Read more about the treatment of depression.


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