The FDA approved a drug Monday to treat adults experiencing suicidal thoughts: esketamine, a more potent version of ketamine.
Esketamine, manufactured as Spravato CII by Johnson & Johnson, is a fast-acting cousin of ketamine that is administered as a nasal spray, according to Business Insider Australia. Due to the potential for abuse and possible negative side effects, the drug will only be allowed in clinical settings, according to the FDA. (RELATED: Trump Signs 4 Executive Orders To Cut Cost Of Drug Prices In US)
Many psychiatrists agree that healthcare providers need quicker-acting antidepressants that work for more people, Johns Hopkins Medicine reported.
The drug is not without its downsides however, with side effects such as producing out of body experiences. Also worthy of note is that the drug was not found to significantly decrease risk of suicide as compared to a placebo, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Despite this, it was still approved by the FDA to expand clinicians’ options in urgent situations, saying the benefits are greater than the risks, according to Business Insider Australia.
Psychiatric Times notes that regular cognitive function usually returns 60 to 90 minutes after administration of the drug.
According to the FDA, esketamine will be used alongside an oral antidepressant.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story used a comparison to another drug that may have given a false impression of how Spravato works. That comparison has been removed.
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