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Ketamine Infusion for Treatment-resistant Major Depressive Disorder

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Cristina Cusin, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier:
First received: April 17, 2012
Last updated: April 6, 2015
Last verified: April 2015

Ketamine infusion has been shown to have rapid antidepressant properties, however the possible use of ketamine in treatment-resistant depression as augmentation has not been investigated. The overall aim of this study is to assess the feasibility, safety and tolerability, efficacy and duration of the effect of intravenous N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist ketamine as augmentation of antidepressants for chronic suicidal ideation in subjects with severe treatment-resistant depression (TRD).

This is an open-label study (pilot).

Condition Intervention
Major Depressive Disorder
Drug: Ketamine

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: N-methyl-D-aspartate Antagonist (Ketamine) Infusion for Treatment-resistant Major Depressive Disorder With Suicidal Ideation

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Massachusetts General Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Hamilton Depression Rating Scale -28 items [ Time Frame: Weekly for total duration of 4 months ]
    Patients will be assessed with HAMD-28 weekly for the first 8 weeks, then every two weeks for another 8 weeks

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Systematic Assessment for Treatment Emergent Events (SAFTEE) [ Time Frame: Weekly for total duration of 4 months ]
    Patients will be monitored for emergence of side effects weekly for the first 8 weeks, then every two weeks for 8 weeks

Enrollment: 17
Study Start Date: April 2012
Study Completion Date: December 2014
Primary Completion Date: September 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Ketamine IV
Patients will receive open label augmentation with IV Ketamine at 0.5mg/kg, twice a week for 3 weeks
Drug: Ketamine
Ketamine IV 0.5mg/kg infusion twice a week for 3 weeks as augmentation of ongoing antidepressant regimen

Detailed Description:

Patients will undergo two weeks of prospective observation, they will then receive ketamine IV 0.5mg/kg over 45 minutes as augmentation of their ongoing antidepressant regimen; after three infusions this dose will be increased increase to 0.75 mg/kg in non-responders. The schedule of administration will be twice a week for 3 weeks. After this phase, the patient will be followed with assessments every two weeks for three months.

Total duration of the study is 5 months.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Outpatients with severe treatment-resistant MDD
  • Currently depressed
  • Currently under regular psychiatric care
  • On an aggressive antidepressant regimen, stable for 4 weeks

Exclusion Criteria:

  • No history of other major psychiatric illnesses, including bipolar disorder
  • No history of psychosis
  • No history of drug abuse
  • No major medical illness or unstable medical conditions
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01582945

United States, Massachusetts
Depression Clinical and Research Program - MGH
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02114
Sponsors and Collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital
Principal Investigator: Cristina Cusin, MD MGH Department of Psychiatry
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Cristina Cusin, MD, Instructor HMS, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier: NCT01582945     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2010-P-002800 
Study First Received: April 17, 2012
Last Updated: April 6, 2015

Keywords provided by Massachusetts General Hospital:
Treatment resistant
suicidal ideation
major depressive disorder

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depressive Disorder
Depressive Disorder, Major
Suicidal Ideation
Pathologic Processes
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders
Behavioral Symptoms
Self-Injurious Behavior
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Anesthetics, Dissociative
Anesthetics, Intravenous
Anesthetics, General
Central Nervous System Depressants
Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
Excitatory Amino Acid Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action processed this record on February 20, 2017