Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Wednesday March 06 2019, @11:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the depression-sucks dept.

Fast-Acting Depression Drug, Newly Approved, Could Help Millions

Of the 16 million American adults who live with depression, as many as one-quarter gain little or no benefit from available treatments, whether drugs or talk therapy. They represent perhaps the greatest unmet need in psychiatry. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved a prescription treatment intended to help them, a fast-acting drug derived from an old and widely used anesthetic, ketamine.

The move heralds a shift from the Prozac era of antidepressant drugs. The newly approved treatment, called esketamine, is a nasal spray developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a branch of Johnson & Johnson, that will be marketed under the name Spravato. It contains an active portion of the ketamine molecule, whose antidepressant properties are not well understood yet. "Thank goodness we now have something with a different mechanism of action than previous antidepressants," said Dr. Erick Turner, a former F.D.A. reviewer and an associate professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University. "But I'm skeptical of the hype, because in this world it's like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown: Each time we get our hopes up, the football gets pulled away."

[...] Esketamine, like ketamine, has the potential for abuse, and both drugs can induce psychotic episodes in people who are at high risk for them. The safety monitoring will require doctors to find space for treated patients, which could present a logistical challenge, some psychiatrists said.

The wholesale cost for a course of treatment will be between $2,360 and $3,540, said Janssen, and experts said it will give the company a foothold in the $12 billion global antidepressant market, where most drugs now are generic.

[...] One question that will need to be answered is how well esketamine performs in comparison to intravenous ketamine.

Also at STAT News, Reuters, and NPR.

Previously: Ketamine Reduces Suicidal Thoughts in Depressed Patients
Studies Identify How Ketamine Can Reverse Symptoms of Depression
Ketamine Shows Promise as a Fast-Acting Treatment for Depression


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 07 2019, @12:24AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 07 2019, @12:24AM (#810937)

    Because US reality is depressing.

    Starting Score:    0  points
    Moderation   +1  
       Informative=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Informative' Modifier   0  

    Total Score:   1  
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 07 2019, @12:27AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 07 2019, @12:27AM (#810939)

    Even if you're rich! You end up with the nagging feeling that you're ripping people off somehow and a genuine fear of razors b/c they look like small guillotines.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday March 07 2019, @01:27AM

      by c0lo (156) on Thursday March 07 2019, @01:27AM (#810960) Journal

      Even if you're rich! ... and a genuine fear of razors b/c they look like small guillotines.

      And if you're not rich, it's depressing when you realize the razors aren't guillotines?

      So that, nation-wide, it boils down to: "Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades" => "5 times as depressing", eh?