Ketamine as Add-On Treatment in Psychotic Treatment-Resistant Depression

This case series (n=4) reflects on the use of ketamine (35mg/70kg, up to 8x) as an adjunct treatment for psychotic treatment-resistant depression (TRD). It finds that all participants were in remission after treatment and that suicidal ideation went down.


Psychotic treatment-resistant depression is a complex and challenging manifestation of mood disorders in the clinical setting. Psychotic depression is a subtype of major depressive disorder characterized by mood-consistent hallucinations and/or delusions. Psychotic depression is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Ketamine appears to have rapid and potent antidepressant effects in clinical studies, and the Federal Drug Agency approved the use of ketamine enantiomer esketamine-nasal spray for treatment-resistant depression pharmacotherapy in 2019. This study aimed to assess the usage of ketamine for major depressive disorder with psychotic features as an add-on treatment to the standard of care. Here we present four inpatients suffering from treatment-resistant depression with psychotic features, including one with severe suicidal crisis, all treated with 0.5 mg/kg intravenous infusion of ketamine. Subsequent monitoring revealed no exacerbation of psychotic symptoms in short and long-term observation, while stable remission was observed in all cases with imminent antisuicidal effect. Results suggest ketamine may benefit individuals with treatment-resistant depression with psychotic features.

Authors: Maria Gałuszko-Węgielnik, Zuzanna Chmielewska, Katarzyna Jakuszkowiak-Wojten, Mariusz S. Wiglusz & Wiesław J. Cubała

Study details

Compounds studied

Topics studied
Depression Treatment-Resistant Depression

Study characteristics

4 Humans

Compound Details

The psychedelics given at which dose and how many times

Ketamine 35 mg | 8x

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