Ketamine as a Novel Psychopharmacotherapy for Eating Disorders: Evidence and Future Directions

This preprint review (2022) explores the current evidence and future directions for the use of ketamine to treat eating disorders (EDs). Potential mechanisms of action, the role of psychotherapy and limitations are discussed.


“Eating disorders (EDs) are serious, life-threatening psychiatric conditions associated with physical and psychosocial impairments, as well as high morbidity and mortality. Given the chronic refractory nature of EDs and the paucity of evidence-based treatments, there is a pressing need to identify novel approaches for this population. The non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) antagonist, ketamine, has recently been approved for treatment-resistant depression, which exhibits rapid and robust antidepressant effects, particularly among clinical non-responders. It is now being investigated for several new indications, including obsessive-compulsive, post-traumatic, and substance use disorder; and shows transdiagnostic potential for EDs. As such, the aim of this review is to examine contemporary findings on the treatment of EDs with ketamine, whether used as a primary, adjunctive, or combination pharmacotherapy. Avenues for future research are also discussed. Overall, results are encouraging and point to therapeutic value, yet are limited to case series and reports principally on anorexia nervosa. Further empirical work is thus needed to explore and establish ketamine efficacy for EDs, and to inform targeted treatment strategies.”

Authors: Anya Ragnhildstveit, Matthew Slayton, Laura Jackson, Madeline Brendle, Sachin Ahuja, Willis Holle, Claire Moore, Kellie Sollars, Paul Seli & Reid Robison

Study details

Compounds studied

Topics studied
Eating Disorders

Study characteristics
Literature Review

0 Humans


Authors associated with this publication with profiles on Blossom

Reid Robison
Reid Robison is CMO at Novamind.