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Efficacy of ketamine in the rapid treatment of major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies

Authors Han Y, Chen J, Zou D, Zheng P, Li Q, Wang H, Li P, Zhou X, Zhang Y, Liu Y, Xie P

Received 13 July 2016

Accepted for publication 8 September 2016

Published 3 November 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 2859—2867

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S117146

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Yu Han,1–3 Jianjun Chen,2–4 Dezhi Zou,1–3 Peng Zheng,1–3 Qi Li,1–3 Haiyang Wang,1–3 Pengfei Li,1–3 Xinyu Zhou,1–3 Yuqing Zhang,1–3 Yiyun Liu,1–3 Peng Xie1–3

1Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, 2Institute of Neuroscience and the Collaborative Innovation Center for Brain Science, 3Chongqing Key Laboratory of Neurobiology, 4Institute of Life Sciences, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China

Background: An increasing number of studies are reporting that ketamine could be treated as a novel antidepressant for major depressive disorder (MDD). Therefore, we performed this meta-analysis to comprehensively and systematically assess the efficacy of ketamine for treating patients with MDD.
Method: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on ketamine versus placebo for treating MDD were searched up to April 2016 in medical databases (PubMed, CCTR, Web of Science, Embase, CBM-disc, and CNKI). Three treatment time points (24 and 72 h, and day 7) were chosen. Response and remission rates were the main outcomes. The random effects model was used. An intention-to-treat analysis was conducted.
Results: Nine high-quality studies that included 368 patients were selected to compare the efficacy of ketamine to placebo. The therapeutic effects of ketamine at 24 and 72 h, and day 7 were found to be significantly better than placebo. Response and remission rates in the ketamine group at 24 and 72 h, and day 7 were 52.2% and 20.6%; 47.9% and 23.8%; and 39.8% and 26.2%, respectively. No significant heterogeneity existed, and the Egger’s test showed no publication bias.
Conclusion: These results indicated that ketamine could yield a good efficacy in the rapid treatment of MDD. Future large-scale clinical studies are needed to confirm our results and investigate the mid- and long-term efficacy of ketamine in treating MDD.

Keywords: major depressive disorder, MDD, ketamine, meta-analysis

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