Ketamine as beneficial as ECT for severe depression in head-to-head trial

Both treatments improved symptoms and quality of life after the initial treatment phase, say researchers.

Ketamine is as effective as electroconvulsive therapy for non-psychotic patients with treatment-resistant major depression, results from a head-to-head trial show.

US psychiatrists say 55% of participants given IV ketamine had self-reported improvements in depressive symptoms compared to 41% of those assigned to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), showing the anaesthetic was non-inferior.