Analysis of FAERS data finds less comorbid depression among pain patients on ketamine
An analysis of data from the FDA Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS) supported previous findings that ketamine could be an effective treatment for depression, researchers found.
Given financial and ethical obstacles to a large randomized controlled trial of ketamine for depressive disorders, Ruben Abagyan, PhD, of the University of California San Diego, and colleagues decided to turn to AERS data on patients taking ketamine for pain, an FDA-approved use.
They found that patients who took ketamine had significantly lower frequency of reports of depression than those taking any other drugs for pain, according to findings published in Scientific Reports.
“This reduction in depression is specific to ketamine and is known to be much more rapid than current antidepressants, making this observed effect very promising for treatment of patients with acute depressive or suicidal episodes,” Abagyan and colleagues wrote.
Abagyan told MedPage Today in an email that the exact mechanism by which ketamine could diminish depression isn’t known, but the drug “certainly has a diverse set of activities: antagonists of glutamate NMDA receptor, weak agonist of mu and kappa opioid receptors, D2 receptors, antagonism or reuptake of several neurotransmitters, blocker of calcium and sodium channels, etc.”