Feder A, Parides M, Murrough JW, et al.Efficacy of intravenous ketamine for treatment of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(6):681-688.

2 Suicidal Ideation

Murrough JW, Soleimani L, DeWilde KE, et al.Ketamine for rapid reduction of suicidal ideation: a randomized controlled trial. Psychol Med. 2015;45(16):3571-3580.

Psychedelics not linked to mental health problems or suicidal behavior: a population study. J Psychopharmacology 2015 Mar;29(3):270-9. doi: 10.1177/0269881114568039. Epub 2015 Mar 5

3 Mood Disorders

Sanacora G, Frye MA, McDonald W, et al.A consensus statement on the use of ketamine in the treatment of mood disorders. JAMA Psychiatry. 2017;74(4):399-405.

Ionescu DF, Luckenbaugh DA, Niciu MJ, Richards EM, Zarate CA. A single infusion of ketamine improves depression scores in patients with anxious bipolar depression. Bipolar Disord. 2014;17(4):438-443.

4 Anxiety

Shadli SM, Kawe T, Martin D, McNaughton N, Neehoff S, Glue P.Ketamine effects on EEG during therapy of treatment-resistant generalized anxiety and social anxiety [published online April 24,2018]. Int J Neuropsychopharmacology. doi:10.1093/ijnp/pyy032

Glue P, Medlicott NJ, Harland S, et al. Ketamine’s dose-related effects on anxiety symptoms in patients with treatment refractory anxiety disorders. J Psychopharmacol. 2017;31(10):1302-1305.


Because ketamine exerts an antidepressant effect through a new mechanism, it may be able to help people successfully manage depression when other treatments have not worked.

One likely target for ketamine is NMDA receptors in the brain. By binding to these receptors, ketamine appears to increase the amount of a neurotransmitter called glutamate in the spaces between neurons. Glutamate then activates connections in another receptor, called the AMPA receptor. Together, the initial blockade of NMDA receptors and activation of AMPA receptors lead to the release of other molecules that help neurons communicate with each other along new pathways. Known as synaptogenesis, this process likely affects mood, thought patterns, and cognition.