Ketamine for adult depression
To determine if a 4-week course of ketamine administered subcutaneously is an efficacious therapy for treatment-resistant depression. To determine if repeated ketamine doses are safe, tolerable and feasible in outpatient settings.
Whilst ketamine is approved for use in anaesthesia, it has not received approval for use in depression. This is because there are still significant gaps in our knowledge about dosage levels, treatment protocols and the effectiveness and safety of long-term use. More recently, some studies have shown it may also have substantial antidepressant effects on its own. Indeed, these studies suggest that low doses of ketamine (at lower doses than used in anaesthesia) may have a similar level of effectiveness to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
This study is being conducted in Australia and New Zealand. For more information, or to be screened for our study at one of these locations, please email your name, phone number and address to your preferred trial site below.
- Royal Prince Alfred Hospital/USyd, Sydney (NSW): firstname.lastname@example.org [phone: (02) 9515 1439]
- South Eastern Private Hospital, Noble Park (VIC): Ket.Study@healthecare.com.au
- Gold Coast University Hospital, Gold Coast, (QLD): KADSTrialGoldCoast@health.qld.gov.au
- Dunedin (NZ): Shona Neehoff–email@example.com
Not currently recruiting:
Please note, you will most likely receive a faster reply emailing rather than calling on the phone.
History of the project
The evidence supporting the benefits of ketamine for depression is encouraging, but previous trials have typically administered a single dose of ketamine and found short-lived improvements. There is therefore a critical scientific need to move beyond proof-of-concept trials, and in particular use more rigorous, placebo-controlled trial designs.
A key clinical issue is whether benefits are larger and/or longer-lasting if repeated doses of ketamine are given. In addition, there is a need to test methods of delivery better suited to typical clinical settings. This multicentre study will advance current knowledge by trialling repeated doses of ketamine via injection in one of the largest clinical trial samples to date.
This is a randomised, controlled trial in which participants will be allocated to a ketamine or placebo group in the first 4 weeks of the trial. After a follow-up assessment 1 month later, participants may have the opportunity to receive an additional 4 weeks of guaranteed ketamine treatment.
Participants are required to attend the Black Dog Institute or another trial site twice a week during the first 4 weeks usually for 2 hours although on a few occasions, there is a mood assessment and some cognitive testing, which will take around an extra hour.
National Health and Medical Research Council