Awarded “breakthrough” status by the FDA back in 2016, clinical trials continue to show promise for Johnson & Johnson’s esketamine—an isomer of ketamine that is administered intranasally. Just this week, the American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP) published the positive results of another esketamine study, with the results proving, yet again, that esketamine results in the fast-acting alleviation of severe, treatment-resistant and suicidal depression.

However, ketamine’s history of abuse as a party or club drug is concerning, not only to the board of the AJP, but also to many patients. There are a lot of misconceptions about ketamine, which is unfortunate—it works miracles, enabling those suffering from depression to recover and live rich, fulfilling lives. But the AJP fears that, with an intranasal delivery system, the potential for abuse is high, and ketamine could end up going the path of opiates.

At Ascend Ketamine, we still believe that IV ketamine is the “gold standard” as far as ketamine for depression goes. Beyond the fact that 100% of the drug reaches the bloodstream through a slow, meticulously-controlled infusion, we especially appreciate the minimal risk of abuse. IV ketamine infusions are administered at a ketamine clinic, and patients are very rarely sent home with an oral or sublingual prescription. By keeping ketamine in the hands of highly training clinicians, the risk of abuse is almost entirely eliminated.

Intranasal ketamine, while proven to be fast-acting and highly effective for those with severe or suicidal depression, also has its downfalls. Because only a small and varying portion of the medication will reach a patient’s bloodstream, it’s almost impossible to predict the side effects. Differences in mucous levels, as well as at the biological level, make each patient unique in his or her reception to intranasal esketamine. With IV ketamine infusions, we simply don’t see this unpredictability and variability.

Only time will tell how Phase III of esketamine’s clinical trials go, and how Big Pharma responds to the AJP’s concerns of abuse. For now, ketamine infusions are the safer option for those suffering from depression, and are effective in up to 70% of patients.

Contact Ascend Ketamine

Our Houston area ketamine clinic treats patients suffering from severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar disorder, as well as from chronic pain conditions such as CRPS, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, and Lyme disease. If you have tried everything and have not found an effective treatment for your depression or pain, please consider ketamine infusions as an option. Take advantage of our offer for a free consultation and take the chance to speak with a member of our clinical team about your questions and concerns. Whatever treatment options are right for you, we’ll help point you in the direction of health and happiness.