The use of ketamine in the treatment of adolescent depression has been shown to have a rapid antidepressant effect which is particularly important when dealing with imminent suicidal risk. This is not only true in adults but also in adolescents as well.
In a study published back in 2021 by Dwyer et al, they conducted a study using controlled trials that demonstrated that ketamine is a feasible option for this group.
The study managed to recruit participants from a low-prevalence population. The results did not identify any high-frequency or concerning adverse events and showed that ketamine was well tolerated by the adolescent patients.
While there were limitations of the study that must be considered, the results were promising. The sample size was small and patients could not be blinded to its mood-altering effects.
The study used traditional measures of depression for each participant, but it is unclear whether the change in the rating scale is a true change in depression symptoms or if the positive short-term benefit is merely a mood-altering experience.
Nevertheless, the results of the study could change how adolescents with depression are treated. However, more studies are needed to support the clinically meaningful efficacy of ketamine in adolescent depression.
Read the published study at https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.21020172