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J Clin Psychiatry. 2010 Dec;71(12):1605-11. doi: 10.4088/JCP.09m05327blu. Epub 2010 Jul 13.

Rapid resolution of suicidal ideation after a single infusion of an N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist in patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder.

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  • 1National Institute of Mental Health, and Department of Human Health Services, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Suicidal ideation is a medical emergency, especially when severe. Little research has been done on pharmacologic interventions that could address this problem. Ketamine, an N-methyl-D-asparate antagonist, has been reported to have antidepressant effects within hours. We examined the effects of a single dose of ketamine on suicidal ideation in subjects with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD).

METHOD:

Thirty-three subjects with DSM-IV-diagnosed MDD received a single open-label infusion of ketamine (0.5 mg/kg) and were rated at baseline and at 40, 80, 120, and 230 minutes postinfusion with the Scale for Suicide Ideation (SSI), the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and the Beck Depression Inventory. The study was conducted between October 2006 and January 2009.

RESULTS:

Suicidal ideation scores decreased significantly on the SSI as well as on the suicide subscales of other rating instruments within 40 minutes; these decreases remained significant through the first 4 hours postinfusion (P < .001). Ten subjects (30%) had an SSI score ≥ 4 at baseline; all these scores dropped below 4 (9 dropped by 40 minutes and 1 by 80 minutes). For those patients with a starting score below 4 on the SSI, only 1 reached a score of 4. Depression, anxiety, and hopelessness were significantly improved at all time points (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Suicidal ideation in the context of MDD improved within 40 minutes of a ketamine infusion and remained improved for up to 4 hours postinfusion. Future studies with ketamine in suicidal ideation are warranted due to the potential impact on public health.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00088699.

© Copyright 2010 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

PMID:
20673547
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3012738
Free PMC Article
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