The drug ketamine has demonstrated the ability to alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression in patients within as little as a day following injection, according to the central finding of a new meta-analysis conducted by my research team, recently published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.
Ketamine, originally an anesthetic and occasionally misused recreationally, is increasingly being explored as a treatment option for various mental health conditions. Our analysis involved six randomized controlled trials with 259 patients experiencing moderate to severe PTSD. In these trials, approximately half of the participants were administered ketamine, while the remainder received either saline solution or midazolam, a benzodiazepine similar to Xanax and used as an anesthetic.
Patients who received ketamine exhibited a 25% reduction in PTSD symptoms, both at one day and one week post-therapy. However, when patients underwent repeated injections over four weeks, the decline in PTSD symptoms was a more modest 12%. The reduction in depression symptoms was also notable, albeit more moderate.