Medicine

Ketamine-Like Nasal Spray Approved For Depression Treatment In The US

Ketamine-Like Nasal Spray Approved For Depression Treatment In The US

If the drug doesn't work, physicians can quickly switch to other options, he noted.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new anti-depressant with a chemical similar to ketamine. Up to 7.4 million American adults suffer from so-called treatment-resistant depression, which heightens the risk of suicide, hospitalization and other serious harm, according to the FDA.

A variant of the party drug Ketamine has been licensed in the United States for treatment-resistant depression.

FDA approves Johnson & Johnson's Fast-Acting Depression drug for quick relief from mental depression is undoubtedly a great success for the acute patients.

Esketamine seems to help alleviate depression by acting on the NMDA/glutamate receptor, which is different from more recently popular antidepressants.

The drug comes in the form of esketamine, a mirror image of the ketamine molecule, which is far more potent.

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"This saved my life", Snow said. But he cautioned there is still much that isn't known about the drug, particularly regarding its long-term use.

The approval of Spravato could potentially open the door for other types of antidepressant approvals in 2019, particularly in postpartum depression.

Since enrolling in a Spravato trial two years ago, Prothro says her depression has lifted and she's returned to hobbies she abandoned years ago, like gardening.

Now available anti-depressants such as Eli Lilly and Co's Prozac work on neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine, but most drugs take at least four weeks to show effect and fail to produce an adequate response in about 30 percent to 40 percent of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).

During clinical trials, Spravato was found to relieve depression symptoms within 24 hours in some patients, said Janssen spokesman Greg Panico. In some patients, this improvement was observed within a few days. "People are saying this is a game changer because it seems like it works well for refractory depression, meaning people who have failed to respond to conventional antidepressant medications and behavioral treatments", Soonjo Hwang, MD, a psychiatrist with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, tells Health. At least 150 clinics around the US provide treatment with various forms of the drug, which is available as a low-priced generic. Such therapies are generally not covered by insurance because they haven't been approved as safe and effective by FDA regulators.

Although it was approved, the new medication has many risks and is therefore required to be used only under the direct supervision of a physician.

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