Nitrous Oxide as Treatment for Major Depression – a Pilot Study

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a global medical problem with significant shortcomings in current therapy. Chief among these is the delay between initiation of pharmacologic therapy and clinical improvement in symptoms. Recently ketamine, an NDMA-receptor antagonist has been shown to rapidly and effectively reverse the symptoms of MDD.

Nitrous oxide, another NMDA-receptor antagonist, may produce the same effect with a cleaner side-effect profile and perhaps without the need for intravenous access and anesthesia personnel.

Therefore, we propose conducting a pilot randomized placebo controlled double-blind crossover study in which patients will receive up to 50% nitrous oxide in oxygen or up to 50% oxygen in air for a period of one hour in addition to standard medical therapy. Depression severity will be assessed by a blinded observer pre-treatment, 30 minutes and 2 hours post treatment using the Hamilton depression rating scale.

Status Completed
Results Published
Start date 11 January 2012
End date 04 January 2015
Chance of happening 100%
Phase Phase II
Design Blinded
Type Interventional
Generation First
Participants 21
Sex All
Age 18- 65
Therapy No

Trial Details

We will study 20 patients with non-treatment resistant major depression and 20 patients with treatment-resistant major depression, defined as failure of at least 2 antidepressants in the current depressive episode and 3 lifetime medication failures.

NCT Number NCT02139540

Sponsors & Collaborators

Washington University School of Medicine
Located in St. Louis Missouri, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine have conducted a number of studies with psychedelics inlcuding ketamine, psilocybin and nitrous oxide.

James S McDonnell Foundation
This company doesn't have a full profile yet, it is linked to a clinical trial.

Measures Used

Hamilton Depression Rating Scale
The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) is a multiple item questionnaire used to provide an indication of depression, and as a guide to evaluating recovery. The scale consists of 17 items which each item being scoring on a 3 or 5 point scale. The higher the score, the more likely a person is depressed.

Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology
The Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (Self-Report) (QIDS-SR16) is a self-report tool designed to screen for depression and measure changes in the severity of symptoms.

Data attribution

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