New hope for severely depressed people? Spravato promises new opportunities

New hope for severely depressed people? Spravato promises new opportunities

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In the United States, a new anti-depression drug was approved for the first time in 30 years, a nasal spray for seriously ill people who no longer use other drugs.

Spravato - the new ketamine

The pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson will launch the new agent under the name Spravato as a nasal spray.

Strict medical control

Spravato will not be freely available, but should only be taken under strict medical supervision, as it can cause serious side effects.

Related to party drug

The main active ingredient in Spravato is esketamine, which is chemically similar to ketamine. The narcotic ketamine creates hallucinations and has therefore spread as a party drug known as “Special K”.

Avoid abuse

In order to avoid such abuse, those affected may only take the medication in a medical practice or medical institution. You can't keep it at home.

Billions in sales?

Pharmaceutical experts expect the drug to generate billions in sales.

Why is the market so big?

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are affected by clinical depression. In western countries such as the USA and Germany, severe depression is one of the most widespread mental disorders - number 1 in the USA, number 6 in Germany, but with different criteria.

Antidepressants have no effect on many sufferers

The common antidepressants like Prozac take a few weeks to work, and up to 40 percent of those affected by severe depression do not notice any effect. This is almost unbearable for people in an acute depressive phase.

Quick help

Spravato could help, because it should work very quickly. As a spray, it gets into the bloodstream via the nasal mucosa and, in trials beforehand, relieved the symptoms in some people over the course of a day.

Opportunity for people with severe depression

If the drug does what the studies promise, there is a chance for the approximately 30 percent of patients for whom the existing pharmaceuticals do not work. In the United States alone, at least 3 million people suffer from severe depression. In Germany, one in three sufferers does not respond to current therapies.

Severe depression

If you suffer from severe depression, your everyday life is massively restricted. Appetite and sleep rhythm do not work, those affected do not enjoy life. These mental disorders massively affect the social and emotional behavior patterns of those affected.

High risks

Spravato gets the highest warning for prescription drugs in the United States. Side effects include disturbed attention and suicidality. Increased blood pressure, drowsiness and psychotic phases are possible.

Different effects than with common means

Spravato not only works faster, but also differently than conventional antidepressants. The available means are said to raise the level of the "happiness hormone" serotonin. Esketamine, on the other hand, blocks glutamate receptors.

Therapy in combination with other means

The therapy involves taking spravato twice a week, initially with a conventional remedy.

An expensive treatment

Such a therapy is not cheap. Spravato treatment can cost up to 6,785 a month. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

Video: Ketamine nasal spray could help drug-resistant depression (August 2022).