CNS Drugs. 2022 Feb 14:1-13. doi: 10.1007/s40263-022-00897-2. Online ahead of print.
Intravenous (IV) ketamine is increasingly used off-label at subanesthetic doses for its rapid antidepressant effect, and intranasal (IN) esketamine has been recently approved in several countries for treating depression. The clinical utility of these treatments is limited by a paucity of publicly funded IV ketamine and IN esketamine programs and cost barriers to private treatment programs, as well as the drug cost for IN esketamine itself, which makes generic ketamine alternatives an attractive option. Though evidence is limited, use of non-parenteral racemic ketamine formulations (oral, sublingual, and IN) may offer more realistic access in less rigidly supervised settings, both for acute and maintenance treatment in select cases. However, the psychiatric literature has repeatedly cautioned on the addictive potential of ketamine and raised caution for both less supervised and longer-term use of ketamine. To date, these concerns have not been discussed in view of available evidence, nor have they been discussed within a broader clinical context. This paper examines the available relevant literature and suggests that ketamine misuse risks appear not dissimilar to those of other well-established and commonly prescribed agents with abuse potential, such as stimulants or benzodiazepines. As such, ketamine prescribing should be considered in a similar risk/benefit context to balance patient access and need for treatment with concern for potential substance misuse. Our consortium of mood disorder specialists with significant ketamine prescribing experience considers prescribing of non-parenteral ketamine a reasonable clinical treatment option in select cases of treatment-resistant depression. This paper outlines where this may be appropriate and makes practical recommendations for clinicians in judicious prescribing of non-parenteral ketamine.
Source: ncbi 2