Researchers from UNSW and Black Dog Institute say major gaps in the literature must be addressed before ketamine is widely adopted as a clinical treatment for depression.
UNSW researchers at Black Dog Institute have preliminary evidence that suggests ketamine is effective as an antidepressant when delivered to elderly patients in repeated intravenous doses.
The largest randomised control trial to evaluate the effectiveness of ketamine as a new treatment for major depression has begun across Australia and New Zealand.
We should resist pressure to prescribe ketamine to treat depression until clinical trials on the drug's long-term safety and effectiveness are completed, a leading UNSW mental health expert says.
A $2.1 million grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council announced today will see UNSW Professor Colleen Loo lead Australia’s largest clinical trial of ketamine as a new treatment for major depression.
A drug traditionally used as an anaesthetic and sometimes used recreationally could be effective in preventing suicide in severely depressed patients, says a UNSW academic who has trialled the drug.
Ketamine may be useful as an antidepressant in urgent situations – where the patient is seriously depressed and acutely suicidal – and where other treatments have failed, writes Colleen Loo.
Ketamine is being trialled in people with severe depression and is providing almost instant relief from symptoms, offering fresh hope of a quick new way to manage the illness at its worst.