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Ketamine Reduces Suicidality In Depressed Patients, Study Suggests

Date:
September 13, 2009
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Drug treatment options for depression can take weeks for the beneficial effects to emerge, which is clearly inadequate for those at immediate risk of suicide. However, intravenous (IV) ketamine, a drug previously used as an anesthetic, has shown rapid antidepressant effects in early trials.

Drug treatment options for depression can take weeks for the beneficial effects to emerge, which is clearly inadequate for those at immediate risk of suicide. However, intravenous (IV) ketamine, a drug previously used as an anesthetic, has shown rapid antidepressant effects in early trials.

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Researchers have now explored ketamine’s effects on suicidality in patients with treatment-resistant depression, and are publishing their results in the Sept. 1 issue of Biological Psychiatry. Ketamine acutely reduced suicidal thoughts when patients were assessed 24 hours after a single infusion. This reduction in suicidality was maintained when patients received repeated doses over the next two weeks.

Corresponding author Rebecca Price commented on these encouraging findings: “If these findings hold up in larger samples of high-risk suicidal patients, IV ketamine could prove an attractive treatment option in situations where waiting for a conventional antidepressant treatment to take effect might endanger the patient's life.”

Since this was a preliminary study in a small group of depressed patients, further research is needed to replicate these results. However, the findings are promising and could result in improved treatment for suicidal patients in the future.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rebecca B. Price, Matthew K. Nock, Dennis S. Charney, and Sanjay J. Mathew. Effects of Intravenous Ketamine on Explicit and Implicit Measures of Suicidality in Treatment-Resistant Depression. Biological Psychiatry, 2009; 66 (5): 522 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.04.029

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Ketamine Reduces Suicidality In Depressed Patients, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910084151.htm>.
Elsevier. (2009, September 13). Ketamine Reduces Suicidality In Depressed Patients, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910084151.htm
Elsevier. "Ketamine Reduces Suicidality In Depressed Patients, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910084151.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

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