Mark J. Niciu , MD, PhD; , David A. Luckenbaugh , MA; , Dawn F. Ionescu , MD; , Erica M. Richards , MD, PhD; , Jennifer L. Vande Voort , MD; , Elizabeth D. Ballard , PhD; , Nancy E. Brutsche , MSN; , Maura L. Furey , PhD; , Carlos A. Zarate Jr , , MD
19 December 2014
A single subanesthetic infusion of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist ketamine has rapid and potent antidepressant properties in treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (TRD). As a family history of an alcohol use disorder is a positive predictor of ketamine’s antidepressant response and the strength of the association increases over time, we hypothesized that depressed subjects with a family history of an alcohol use disorder would have greater antidepressant durability and that riluzole would augment and/or extend ketamine’s antidepressant efficacy.
Fifty-two TRD subjects received an open-label infusion of ketamine (0.5mg/kg over 40 minutes), and, four to six hours post-infusion, were randomized to either flexible-dose (100–200mg/day) riluzole or placebo in the following proportions: Family History Positive (FHP) riluzole (n = 10), FHP placebo (n = 9), Family History Negative (FHN) riluzole (n = 16), and FHN placebo (n = 17).
FHP subjects randomized to placebo had a greater antidepressant response than FHN subjects; however, contrary to our initial hypothesis, there was no significant difference in antidepressant efficacy with riluzole. Although potentially underpowered, there was no difference in overall time-to-relapse based on randomization status (riluzole responders: n = 15, placebo responders: n = 17). Yet, time-to-relapse was longer in FHP placebo responders (n = 8) compared to FHN placebo responders (n = 9) with, again, no significant difference in time-to-relapse in FHP riluzole responders (n = 6) compared to FHN riluzole responders (n = 9).