In a new study, researchers found that ketamine failed to beat placebo for PTSD. In their analysis of six existing trials of ketamine, they found that both the drug and the placebo group improved rapidly. At one and two weeks post-infusion, the drug failed to beat placebo. At 24 hours, ketamine just barely beat a saline solution—but failed to beat an active placebo that mimicked ketamine’s side effects.
“While ketamine was associated with a reduction in symptoms, the effect was generally not stronger than control conditions,” the researchers write. They add, “Placebo is the likely mechanism behind reported therapeutic effects.”
The study was led by Nicholas C. Borgogna at Texas Tech University and published in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology.