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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 210  

Ketamine for fast alleviation of acute depression


Department of Pharmacology, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Kadhirkamam, Puducherry, India

Date of Web Publication2-May-2012

Correspondence Address:
G Sivagnanam
Sivagnanam G, Department of Pharmacology, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Kadhirkamam, Puducherry
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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How to cite this article:
Sivagnanam G. Ketamine for fast alleviation of acute depression. J Pharmacol Pharmacother 2012;3:210

How to cite this URL:
Sivagnanam G. Ketamine for fast alleviation of acute depression. J Pharmacol Pharmacother [serial online] 2012 [cited 2019 Jun 18];3:210. Available from: http://www.jpharmacol.com/text.asp?2012/3/2/210/95546


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Bolus dose of ketamine offers fast-acting alleviation of acute depression in emergency department (ED) setting. [1]


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Medications (along with ECT, when specifically indicated) are the mainstays of treatment for severe major depressive disorder. It is a well-established fact that current medication treatments for depressive disorders require weeks of therapy for a significant clinical response. [2] Further, although the efficacy of antidepressants in acute bipolar depression is undisputed, there are major concerns about the risk of switch to mania. [3]

Therefore what to do to for patients presenting with acute depression with suicidal ideation, to rapidly alleviate depression and suicidal thoughts, in the background of nonavailability of good pharmacotherapy?

A single subanesthetic dose of intravenous ketamine (0.20 mg kg over 1-2 min) administered to acutely depressed and suicidal patients presenting to the ED has been shown to rapidly alleviate depression and suicidal thoughts for up to 10 days. This study was presented at the American College of Emergency Physicians 2010 Scientific Assembly. Suicidal ideation was completely resolved in 14 of the 15 subjects within 40 min, and was sustained at a 10-day follow-up in 13 of the 14 patients. [4]

Ketamine seems to be one more addition to the armamentarium of antipsychotics/antidepressants, which can possibly painlessly bring the potential suiciders away from the jaws of death.

 
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1.Melville NA. Bolus Dose of Ketamine Offers Fast-Acting Alleviation of Acute Depression in ED Setting. Available from: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/729622 [Last accessed on 2011 Oct 27].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Management of Major Depressive Disorder: Federal Bureau of Prisons Clinical Practice Guidelines. August 2009. Available from: http://www.bop.gov/news/PDFs/depression.pdf [Last accessed on 2011 Oct 27].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Joffe RT, MacQueen GM, Young LT. What is the best approach to management of acute depression in bipolar disorder? Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1408014/pdf/jpn00088-0102.pdf [Last accessed on 2011 Oct 27].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) 2010 Scientific Assembly: Abstract 157. Presented September 28, 2010.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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