Clinical Trials Indicate Efficacy of Generic Ketamine for Severe Depression

by Klaus Müller
7 comments
fokus keyword: generic ketamine

Clinical Trials Indicate Efficacy of Generic Ketamine for Severe Depression

A recent double-blind trial highlighted the potential of a cost-efficient version of ketamine in addressing severe depression. Over one-fifth of participants reported complete symptom relief following bi-weekly injections for a month.

The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, was a collaboration led by the University of New South Wales and the affiliated Black Dog Institute. It involved six academic clinical mood disorder units in Australia and one in New Zealand. Financial backing for the research was provided by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Notably, the results were significant, especially for those with treatment-resistant depression, which refers to individuals who have not responded favorably to standard therapeutic approaches, including talk therapy, conventional antidepressants, or electroconvulsive therapy. Lead researcher Professor Colleen Loo remarked, “In this study, 20 percent of participants who were administered ketamine reported no longer experiencing clinical depression, in contrast to a mere 2 percent from the placebo group.”

Trial Methodology

For this study, 179 individuals diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression were enrolled. Participants were either given a generic version of ketamine, commonly used for anesthesia and sedation, or a placebo. They underwent two injections a week at a clinic and were observed for about two hours post-injection, primarily to let acute dissociative and sedative effects dissipate.

The trial was structured such that neither the participants nor the research team knew who received the actual drug or the placebo, eliminating potential psychological biases. It’s worth noting that the chosen placebo, midazolam, induces sedation, making it more challenging for participants to discern which treatment they received.

Distinctive features of this trial included the inclusion of participants who had previously undergone electroconvulsive therapy and the administration of the drug subcutaneously rather than intravenously. This research is the largest of its kind to compare generic ketamine with a placebo for the treatment of severe depression.

Economic Advantages of Generic Ketamine

The economic appeal of using generic ketamine is evident when comparing it to the patented S-ketamine nasal spray available in Australia. While S-ketamine is priced around $800 per dose, generic ketamine can cost as little as $5, contingent upon the supplier and purchase quantities. However, patients also incur charges for medical oversight to ensure safety during administration. At Black Dog Institute clinics, this sums up to $350 per session.

Loo stated that while the benefits of both S-ketamine and generic ketamine treatments can diminish over a few days to weeks, the latter proves to be more cost-effective. The hope is to garner support from Medicare for this treatment, given its potential to swiftly and powerfully address severe depression.

Future research endeavors will delve deeper into extended trials of generic ketamine and fine-tune safety protocols.

Reference: “Efficacy and safety of a 4-week course of repeated subcutaneous ketamine injections for treatment-resistant depression (KADS study): randomised double-blind active-controlled trial” by Colleen Loo et al., 14 July 2023, The British Journal of Psychiatry.

Funding: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: generic ketamine

What was the primary objective of the recent clinical trial published in the British Journal of Psychiatry?

The primary objective was to investigate the efficacy of a cost-efficient version of ketamine in treating severe depression.

Who led the research study and where was it conducted?

The study was led by the University of New South Wales in collaboration with the Black Dog Institute and involved six academic clinical mood disorder units in Australia and one in New Zealand.

How were the results of the trial significant for those with treatment-resistant depression?

For individuals with treatment-resistant depression, 20 percent reported complete relief from depression symptoms after being treated with ketamine, compared to only 2 percent in the placebo group.

What was unique about the methodology of this trial?

The trial used a double-blind structure where neither participants nor researchers knew who received the actual drug or placebo. Additionally, the trial included participants who had previously undergone electroconvulsive therapy and administered the drug subcutaneously.

How does the cost of generic ketamine compare to the patented S-ketamine nasal spray in Australia?

While the patented S-ketamine costs around $800 per dose, the generic ketamine can be as low as $5, depending on the supplier and purchase quantities.

What are the future research plans regarding generic ketamine?

Future research will focus on extended trials of generic ketamine and further refining the safety monitoring protocols during treatment.

More about fokus keyword: generic ketamine

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7 comments

Sophie G. October 12, 2023 - 6:10 am

its great and all, but what about long term effects?

Reply
James T. October 12, 2023 - 7:03 am

woah, didn’t know generic ketamine had such potential for depression. Wonder if it’ll be accessible here soon.

Reply
Ben H. October 12, 2023 - 11:48 am

so the cost difference between generic and the patented one is huge! why didn’t we get this sooner

Reply
Alex D. October 12, 2023 - 12:31 pm

thats promising. my friend has been struggling, will share this with her. hope its available soon.

Reply
Maria L. October 12, 2023 - 1:20 pm

kinda skeptical about these results. All drugs have side effects, right?

Reply
Katie M. October 12, 2023 - 10:27 pm

can’t belive the price difference. Makes you think about the pharma industry…

Reply
Leo R. October 13, 2023 - 2:43 am

read a similar article about this last month. seems like a breakthrough in depression treatment.

Reply

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