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Ketamine and depression

Severe depression is the number one psychological disorder in the UK and yet 30% of patients do not respond to any existing treatments. Small, preliminary studies have shown ketamine can work for many of these people, but there are still many questions about its potential harms and efficacy. However, a number of leading researchers have reviewed the evidence and feel there is a strong enough case for specialist NHS clinics to develop the use of ketamine.

The use of ketamine is controversial and the evidence base is still small but, writing in a Personal View in The Lancet Psychiatry, researchers are calling for a change in attitude and regulation so that this drug can be used as safely as possible in the meantime as the evidence continues to grow.

Roundup comments accompanied this briefing.



Prof. Ilina Singh, Professor of Neuroscience & Society, Department of Psychiatry and Oxford Uehiro Centre, University of Oxford

Dr Rupert McShane, Consultant Psychiatrist and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and University of Oxford

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