December 21, 2018 – Ketamine and Depression


Anchor lead: What is ketamine’s role in treating depression? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Ketamine is in the news lately, with physicians opening clinics nationally to administer the drug to treat depression. Irving Reti, a depression expert at Johns Hopkins, says that right now, such use is so-called ‘off label,’ meaning the FDA has not yet approved it for this purpose.

Reti: The data is pretty good that some patients are going to benefit from ketamine. There’s an intranasal form of ketamine. Clinics typically offer intravenous ketamine rather than an intranasal formulation. How this will come out with the FDA is not yet known but it is certainly possible that in the next year or so there will be an approval by the FDA of ketamine in some form for the treatment of depression. :31

Reti says that clinics are using the IV form of the medication and patients must pay out of pocket for treatment. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.