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Review

Ketamine as a Novel Psychopharmacotherapy for Eating Disorders: Evidence and Future Directions

1
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
2
Integrated Research Literacy Group, Draper, UT 84020, USA
3
Novamind, Draper, UT 84020, USA
4
Department of Pharmacotherapy, University of Utah College of Pharmacy, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
5
Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marcin Siwek
Brain Sci. 2022, 12(3), 382; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030382
Received: 5 February 2022 / Revised: 2 March 2022 / Accepted: 9 March 2022 / Published: 12 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Psychiatric Disorder Psychopharmacology)
Eating disorders (EDs) are serious, life-threatening psychiatric conditions associated with physical and psychosocial impairment, as well as high morbidity and mortality. Given the chronic refractory nature of EDs and the paucity of evidence-based treatments, there is a pressing need to identify novel approaches for this population. The noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) antagonist, ketamine, has recently been approved for treatment-resistant depression, exerting rapid and robust antidepressant effects. It is now being investigated for several new indications, including obsessive–compulsive, post-traumatic, and substance use disorder, and shows transdiagnostic potential for EDs, particularly among clinical nonresponders. Hence, the aim of this review is to examine contemporary findings on the treatment of EDs with ketamine, whether used as a primary, adjunctive, or combination psychopharmacotherapy. Avenues for future research are also discussed. Overall, results are encouraging and point to therapeutic value; however, are limited to case series and reports on anorexia nervosa. Further empirical research is thus needed to explore ketamine efficacy across ED subgroups, establish safety profiles and optimize dosing, and develop theory-driven, targeted treatment strategies at the individual patient level. View Full-Text
Keywords: esketamine; ketamine; ketamine-assisted psychotherapy; eating disorder; anorexia nervosa; bulimia nervosa; binge eating disorder; pharmacology; psychedelics; treatment esketamine; ketamine; ketamine-assisted psychotherapy; eating disorder; anorexia nervosa; bulimia nervosa; binge eating disorder; pharmacology; psychedelics; treatment
MDPI and ACS Style

Ragnhildstveit, A.; Slayton, M.; Jackson, L.K.; Brendle, M.; Ahuja, S.; Holle, W.; Moore, C.; Sollars, K.; Seli, P.; Robison, R. Ketamine as a Novel Psychopharmacotherapy for Eating Disorders: Evidence and Future Directions. Brain Sci. 2022, 12, 382. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030382

AMA Style

Ragnhildstveit A, Slayton M, Jackson LK, Brendle M, Ahuja S, Holle W, Moore C, Sollars K, Seli P, Robison R. Ketamine as a Novel Psychopharmacotherapy for Eating Disorders: Evidence and Future Directions. Brain Sciences. 2022; 12(3):382. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030382

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ragnhildstveit, Anya, Matthew Slayton, Laura Kate Jackson, Madeline Brendle, Sachin Ahuja, Willis Holle, Claire Moore, Kellie Sollars, Paul Seli, and Reid Robison. 2022. "Ketamine as a Novel Psychopharmacotherapy for Eating Disorders: Evidence and Future Directions" Brain Sciences 12, no. 3: 382. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12030382

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