Podcast 584:  Ketamine for Depression and Suicidality  - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 584:  Ketamine for Depression and Suicidality 

Contributor: Jared Scott, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Suicide is currently the 10th leading cause of death in the US 
  • Low quality studies have reported ketamine as a potential promising agent in treating depression and preventing suicidal ideations or thoughts
  • Randomized study was performed looking at giving ketamine to depressed patients in the ED to see if they could establish a proof of concept, meaning: would looking at ketamine for treatment of acute depression or suicidality be viable?
  • 18 suicidal patients who required hospitalization for their depression and suicidality were entered in the study. 88% of the group treated with ketamine felt like their symptoms improved for up to 3 days, while only 33% of the placebo group reported an improvement


Domany Y, Shelton RC, McCullumsmith CB. Ketamine for acute suicidal ideation. An emergency department intervention: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept trial. Depression & Anxiety (1091-4269). 2020;37(3):224-233. doi:10.1002/da.22975.


Summarized by Jackson Roos, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

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