Breaking news: the FDA has approved the use of Esketamine—a low-dose nasal ketamine spray—for the treatment of depression, PTSD, and other mood disorders!
FDA approval for Esketamine came less than one month after an FDA expert panel composed of psychiatrists and consumer representatives recommended (with nearly unanimous agreement) approval of the ketamine-based nasal spray, noting that its benefits significantly outweighed any potential risks. While low-dose ketamine treatments have been gaining recognition among physicians and psychiatrists over the past several decades, thus far the use of ketamine for depression and other mood disorders has been “off-label”. FDA approval of Esketamine offers a tremendous leap forward in the process of ensuring that this ground-breaking treatment is available to those who may benefit from it.
Esketamine is a low-dose ketamine-based nasal spray developed by Janssen Neuroscience, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. With the recent FDA approval, it will now be sold under the brand name Spravato. According to official statements by Johnson & Johnson, Spravato is designed for patients who have tried at least two other forms of anti-depressants without success. The treatments will be administered only by qualified physicians or psychiatrists once or twice a week as needed to reduce depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. Experts hope that with FDA approval, insurance companies will begin to cover Esketamine treatments, making them significantly more affordable and accessible.
FDA Approval Demonstrates that the Benefits of Ketamine Outweigh the Risks
FDA approval of Esketamine makes “official” what many experts in the field have long recognized: that low-dose ketamine treatments can deliver powerful and rapid relief from depressive symptoms and—most critically—suicidal thoughts. Physicians who have utilized low-dose ketamine treatments note that it can effectively reduce suicidal thinking sometimes in as little as 40 minutes. More “traditional” anti-depression treatments such as SSRIs can take up to six or eight weeks to “kick in” at full strength, creating an extremely long time period during which some patients may be at high risk of suicide. Low dose ketamine treatments offer a vital bridging tool during this high-risk period, when many patients simply don’t have time to wait for the anti-depressants to “kick in”.
In addition, ketamine has proven highly effective for some patients whose depressive symptoms have proven resistant to SSRIs and other “traditional” treatments. In fact, at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, Dr. Steven L. Mandel has found that ketamine treatments offer relief from depressive symptoms 83% of the time, and are even more effective in stopping suicidal ideation, with successful treatments more than 90% of the time! These percentages, however, are for IV infusions. Although, Esketamine is a step in the right direction, IV infusions have still been proven to be more effective than nasal spray.
Moreover, low-dose ketamine treatments such as Esketamine appear to deliver powerful and effective results safely! When administered by qualified and experienced medical professionals in a safe and appropriate setting, ketamine treatments have very few negative side effects. In the longer term, low-dose ketamine treatments seem to carry very little risk of addiction or dependency. Therefore, for many patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, or other mood disorders, the benefit-risk analysis is definitely in favor of ketamine as a potential treatment option.
FDA approval of Esketamine is an important first step in recognizing what many patients and physicians already know: that low-dose ketamine offers a powerful tool in the fight against suicide, depression, PTSD, and mood disorders. We hope that as this vital tool becomes more widely available and outdated prejudices are overcome, that we will continue to see additional FDA approvals and more widespread use of this important treatment option.
Contact Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles
If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, PTSD, or another mood disorder and you believe Ketamine Infusion Therapy might offer a solution, we encourage you to contact Dr. Steven L. Mandel at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles immediately to discuss this potential treatment option. Ketamine Infusion Therapy could be the solution you are searching for!
For more information about Ketamine Infusion Therapy treatments for depression, bipolar, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), fibromyalgia, pain syndromes and other conditions contact us at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles in Southern California (Orange County) by clicking here or calling 310-270-0625.