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Esketamine touted as ‘game changer’ for depression—but who gets to use it?

| | March 8, 2019

[Recently,] the Food and Drug Administration approved Johnson & Johnson’s Spravato, the nasal spray version of a ketamine-like sedative, for certain cases of depression. And the drug is already being heralded as a “game-changer” for depression and suicide treatment. But chief among the major questions the average person might have about the new drug is: Who exactly will it be for?

[N]ot everyone with depression responds to [traditional] drugs or other treatments … . As a result, a third or more of patients with depression are considered treatment-resistant. That’s where ketamine, or in this case, esketamine, comes in.

Per the FDA, the drug will be only available to take at clinics or medical offices certified to distribute it … . In addition, patients and doctors will have to sign a form acknowledging the risks of the drug, which include disorientation, high blood pressure, and an out-of-body feeling we call dissociation. While patients will self-administer the nasal spray, they’ll be monitored for at least two hours before being allowed to leave, and they’ll be asked to not drive or operate heavy machinery for at least a day.

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Read full, original post: Ketamine Is Now an FDA-Approved Depression Treatment, but Who Will Be Able to Get It?

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