Ketamine: Safe and Effective Treatment for Severe Depression

J Am Psychiatr Nurses Assoc. 2021 Nov-Dec;27(6):502-506. doi: 10.1177/10783903211033023. Epub 2021 Jul 20.


Objective: Depression resistant to standard treatment is devastating to an individual's quality of life. Ketamine offers a safe and effective alternative to standard depression treatment, but many patients and providers are often unaware of this option. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the American Psychiatric Nurses Association partnered in developing a collaborative approach to providing ketamine infusion therapy for psychiatric disorders. The purpose of this project was to disseminate information through an educational video about the safety and efficacy of outpatient low-dose ketamine infusions as an alternative therapy for treatment-resistant depression.

Methods: A thorough literature review was conducted in PubMed, PsychINFO, CINAHL, and Google Scholar for articles describing the safety and efficacy of ketamine use in treatment-resistant depression. Based on the current research, an educational video reporting the benefits and safety of ketamine was developed and launched on two social media platforms-YouTube and Facebook-for individuals to view. The effectiveness of the video was evaluated through the number of views, likes, shares, and comments recorded.

Results: At 9 months, 156 views, 60 likes, 8 shares, and 4 comments were recorded in both platforms. Comments indicated that viewers found the video informative and encouraging.

Conclusions: A short evidence-based educational video provides individuals with information regarding the safety and efficacy of low-dose ketamine infusions as an option for depression treatment. Ketamine outpatient clinics support and treat depressed patients who do not benefit from conventional pharmacologic medications.

Keywords: health communication; ketamine; social media; treatment-resistant depression.

MeSH terms

  • Depression
  • Depressive Disorder, Major*
  • Depressive Disorder, Treatment-Resistant* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Ketamine* / adverse effects
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Ketamine