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Sarah Brand

Sarah Brand

Low-dose ketamine infusion in treatment-resistant double depression: Revisiting the adjunctive ketamine study of Taiwanese patients with treatment-resistant depression.

Chen, M. H., Wu, H. J., Li, C. T., Lin, W. C., Tsai, S. J., Hong, C. J., Tu, P. C., Bai, Y. M., Mao, W. C., & Su, T. P. (2021). Low-dose ketamine infusion in treatment-resistant double depression: Revisiting the adjunctive ketamine study of Taiwanese patients with treatment-resistant depression. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, e2820.

 

Highlights:

  • This study enrolled 35 patients with treatment-resistant double depression, 12 of whom received 0.5 mg/kg ketamine, 11 received 0.2 mg/kg ketamine, and 12 received normal saline as a placebo.
  • The patients were assessed using the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HDRS) prior to the initiation of infusions, at 40 and 240 min post-infusion, and sequentially on Days 2-7 and on Day 14 after ketamine or placebo infusions.

 

Results:

A single 0.5 mg/kg ketamine infusion had rapid antidepressant (p = 0.031, measured by the HDRS) and antisuicidal (p = 0.033, measured by the HDRS item 3 scores) effects in patients with treatment-resistant double depression. However, 0.2 mg/kg ketamine was insufficient to exert rapid antidepressant and antisuicidal effects in this patient population with severe and chronic illness.

Discussion:

In this patient population, the commonly used dose of 0.5 mg/kg was sufficient. Additional studies are required to investigate whether repeated infusions of low-dose ketamine may also maintain antidepressant and antisuicidal effects in patients with treatment-resistant double depression.

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