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Ketamine Infusion for Social Anxiety Disorder

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02083926
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 11, 2014
Results First Posted : March 18, 2021
Last Update Posted : March 18, 2021
Patterson Trust Awards Program in Clinical Research
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Yale University

Brief Summary:
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is common and causes significant impairment.
  • First-line treatments for Social Anxiety Disorder are only partially effective. Many SAD patients experience little or inadequate symptom relief with available treatments.
  • Ketamine is a potent NMDA receptor antagonist. Ketamine represents an agent with a potentially novel mechanism of action for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
  • Ketamine has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of psychiatric disorders closely related to Social Anxiety Disorder including Major Depression, Bipolar Depression and possibly Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Ketamine represents the possibility to provide rapid symptom relief to patients with SAD and may provide the mechanism for future drug development to treat SAD more rapidly and effectively.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Social Anxiety Disorder Drug: Ketamine Other: Saline Early Phase 1

Detailed Description:

Roughly one-third to one-half of patients with generalized SAD do not experience significant clinical benefit from current evidence-based treatment for SAD such as pharmacotherapy with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) or venlafaxine and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Failure of anxiety relief in patients with SAD is a source of substantial morbidity, distress, and decreases in quality of life. Novel pharmacological treatments are needed to improve patient outcomes with SAD.

Converging lines of evidence from neuroimaging and pharmacological studies support the importance of glutamate abnormalities in the pathogenesis of SAD. In a Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) study, an elevated glutamate to creatinine ratio was found in the anterior cingulate cortex of SAD patients when compared to healthy controls. Elevated thalamic glutamine levels have been demonstrated in patients with SAD. Pre-clinical rodent studies have also established a strong link between glutamate regulation and anxiety.

Ketamine is a potent antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, a major type of glutamate receptor in the brain. Ketamine is routinely used for anesthetic induction because of its dissociative properties. However in research studies, ketamine is effective treatment in reducing symptoms in depressive and possibly anxiety disorders. In multiple controlled clinical studies, ketamine has produced a rapid antidepressant effect in unipolar and bipolar depression. Ketamine's anti-depressant effects peak 1-3 days following infusion. Ketamine's antidepressant effect is observed long after ketamine has been metabolized and excreted by the body and after ketamine's sedative and dissociative effects have dissipated.

The results of several clinical studies suggest that ketamine may also have significant anxiolytic effects. Patients with major depressive disorder given a single ketamine infusion have shown strong and significant reductions in comorbid anxiety symptoms. A trial including 11 depressed patients demonstrated a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms (Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A)) following ketamine infusion. This improvement is supported by one of the earlier placebo-controlled trials of ketamine which demonstrated that the psychic anxiety item was one of 4 (out of 21) items on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) demonstrating significant improvement after ketamine infusion.

The investigators goal is to conduct a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study to explore the efficacy and time course of action of intravenous ketamine in the treatment of SAD.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 18 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Ketamine Infusion for Social Anxiety Disorder
Actual Study Start Date : January 2, 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : September 27, 2016
Actual Study Completion Date : September 27, 2016

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Anxiety
Drug Information available for: Ketamine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Ketamine infusion
A ketamine infusion was given on day 0 (28) at a dose of 0.5mg/kg over 40 minutes. Assessments were conducted pre-infusion, 3-h post-infusion, and days 1 (1+28), 2 (2+28), 3 (3+28), 5 (5+28), 7 (7+28), 10 (10+28) and 14 (14+28) post-infusion.
Drug: Ketamine
Ketamine (a single 0.5mg/kg intravenously over 40 minutes).
Other Name: Ketalar

Experimental: Saline infusion
A saline infusion was given on day 0 (28) at a dose of 0.5mg/kg over 40 minutes. Assessments were conducted pre-infusion, 3-h post-infusion, and days 1 (1+28), 2 (2+28), 3 (3+28), 5 (5+28), 7 (7+28), 10 (10+28) and 14 (14+28) post-infusion.
Other: Saline
Saline (a single 0.5mg/kg intravenously over 40 minutes).
Other Name: Placebo

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Visual Analogue Scale for Anxiety Symptoms (VAS-anxiety) [ Time Frame: Day 1 (1+28) ]

    Instrument that tries to measure anxiety, that is believed to range across a continuum of values and cannot easily be directly measured.We used a straight horizontal line of 100 mm in length. The ends were defined as the extreme limits of the parameter to be measured (anxiety); oriented from the left (no anxiety) to the right (worst anxiety ever felt). The patient marks on the line the point that they feel represents their perception of their current state.The VAS score is determined by measuring in millimeters from the left hand end of the line to the point that the patient marks.

    We examined Visual Analog Scale (VAS) for anxiety symptoms at screening, 1 hour prior to infusion, 1, 2 and 3 hours after infusion, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, and 14 days following a single ketamine/saline infusion.

  2. Liebowitz Social Anxiety Score (LSAS) [ Time Frame: Day 1 (1+28) ]
    Clinician-administered scale for the assessment of fear and avoidance found in social phobia (SAD); it has 24 items divided into 2 subscales, 13 for performance anxiety, and 11 for social situations each rated from 0 to 3 (0=none,1=mild,2=moderate,3=definite). The sum scores for Fear and Avoidance results in an overall score (max 144 points). There are 4 clinician subscales: fear of social interaction, fear of performance, avoidance of social interaction and avoidance of performance 0 to 30= SAD is unlikely 30 to 60=SAD is probable 60 to 90=SADis very probable >90= SAD highly probable

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Adult between the ages of 18 and 65 years
  2. Meet DSM IV criteria for Social Anxiety Disorder by structured clinical interview (SCID) and have a LSAS >60 with or without co-morbid MDD

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Positive pregnancy test
  2. History of substance abuse disorder within the last 6 months or positive urine toxicology on screening (within the previous 6 months).
  3. History of pervasive developmental disorder or psychotic disorder by DSM-IV-TR criteria
  4. Medical comorbidity that significantly increases the risks associated with ketamine infusion (e.g. untreated hypertension, significant cardiovascular disease)

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02083926

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United States, Connecticut
Connecticut Mental Health Center
New Haven, Connecticut, United States, 06519
Sponsors and Collaborators
Yale University
Patterson Trust Awards Program in Clinical Research
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Principal Investigator: Michael H. Bloch, MD, MS Yale University
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by Yale University:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Yale University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02083926    
Other Study ID Numbers: 1310012947
First Posted: March 11, 2014    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: March 18, 2021
Last Update Posted: March 18, 2021
Last Verified: February 2021
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Keywords provided by Yale University:
Social Anxiety Disorder
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Anxiety Disorders
Phobia, Social
Pathologic Processes
Mental Disorders
Phobic Disorders
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