Ketamine as an anesthetic, analgesic and antidepressant
background Treatment-resistance occurs in about 30% of patients with depression. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify new treatment strategies. Ketamine, originally developed as an anesthetic, is studied and applied as treatment for patients with treatment-resistant depression.
aim A critical review of the current use of ketamine as an antidepressant.
method Literature study.
results Ketamine is a proven effective acute antidepressant. However, limited information is available about maintenance of effect of ketamine, potential risks of repeated administration, and different routes of administration and treatment schedules.
conclusion Additional research on ketamine as an antidepressant is needed. Meanwhile, (off-label) treatment should only be applied after careful patient selection and under close monitoring.