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Mental Disorders

Ketamine Beneficial for Certain Patients With Mood Disorders

HealthDay News

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WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Use of ketamine for treatment of mood disorders should include appropriate patient selection and consideration of potential risks of treatment, according to a consensus statement published online March 1 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Gerard Sanacora, M.D., Ph.D., from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues examined data on the use of ketamine for mood disorder treatment.

The researchers note that ketamine may be helpful for some patients with mood disorders. Appropriate patient section should include diagnostic considerations, with the strongest evidence supporting ketamine's benefit in treatment of major depressive disorder without psychotic features, as well as assessment of other medical, psychological, and social factors. Most studies supporting ketamine's benefit assessed efficacy during the first week following a single infusion; emerging studies indicate that repeated dosing may extend the efficacy for at least several weeks. However, the available data are limited and potential risks associated with ketamine should be considered before its use.

"The suggestions provided are intended to facilitate clinical decision making and encourage an evidence-based approach to using ketamine in the treatment of psychiatric disorders considering the limited information that is currently available," the authors write. "This article provides information on potentially important issues related to the off-label treatment approach that should be considered to help ensure patient safety."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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