Ketamine for Bipolar Depression

Steven Dubovsky, MD

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Comment

As in unipolar depression, ketamine in severe bipolar depression can have rapid antidepressant and antisuicidal ideation effects. However, this short-term study could not address the risk for induction of mania and cycling, and ongoing treatment with ketamine may not be practical. The drug may prove useful acutely in severely depressed patients who need an immediate response until other treatments start to work. Other modulators of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor may prove easier to use long-term in unipolar and, possibly, bipolar depression.

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