Depression is a common psychiatric disorder affecting more than 300 million people worldwide. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), the diagnosis of depression requires at least two weeks of either low mood or anhedonia as well as four or more other symptoms such as appetite or weight changes, insomnia or hypersomnia, psychomotor agitation or retardation, loss of energy, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, and suicidality.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) target the monoaminergic system and are the commonest drugs used for treating depression, but have certain limitations, such as their delayed onset of action. Ketamine, a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist, has shown in several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) promising results with rapid antidepressant effects, especially in patients with severe treatment-resistant depression (TRD), which is depression that has not responded to more than two antidepressants. In this review, the clinical efficacy of ketamine in TRD has been discussed, with emphasis placed on the evidence from RCTs.
Copyright © 2019, Bratsos et al.