There are about 41,000 suicides reported each year in the US—many of which are the result of poorly treated or treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Esketamine, an isomer of ketamine which is being researched and developed by Jannsen Pharmaceuticals, would become one of the first new antidepressant medications available to patients in 50 years and could potentially be a gamechanger in the lives of struggling individuals. Esketamine was awarded Breakthrough Therapy Designation twice by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA): once in 2013 and again in August 2016. The drug was “fast-tracked” by the FDA for expedited development due to encouraging conclusions. Since then it has succeeded in Phase I & II of clinical trials.
Now, esketamine is one step closer to acquiring FDA approval, based on promising results from Phase III clinical trials. The trial suggests that receiving intranasal esketamine along with an antidepressant is highly effective and well-tolerated in adult patients. According to the article by Deborah Brauser, patients with TRD showed a response rate of 70%, and a 53% remission rate. Read more about the study and see how this convenient delivery method not only rapidly reduces symptoms, but how the success persisted—the real victory.
Imagine a dramatic reduction in the number of depression related suicides each year in the US alone; it would be nothing short of a miracle. Investigators said that this study suggests a positive risk-benefit profile providing more evidence to the FDA for much-needed approval. This approval is extremely important regarding patient cost for treatment; wherein insurance will begin to cover the cost, at least partially, giving millions more people access to this potentially life-saving drug.
In the meantime, ketamine infusions are still the “gold standard” for ketamine administration for the rapid relief of TRD, and will continue to help thousands of people struggling with clinical depression, anxiety, PTSD and other hard-to-treat psychiatric disorders. 100% of the ketamine received during an infusion reaches the patient’s brain—a much smaller percentage of esketamine administered intranasally becomes usable by the brain.
Contact Ascend Ketamine
If you or a loved one is struggling with depression or any other debilitating psychiatric disorder, contact us today for a free consultation. Ketamine infusions are effective in up to 70% of patients—could you be a success story?