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Ketamine Nasal Spray approved by FDA

Ketamine Nasal Spray Approved by FDA to Treat Depression

On Wednesday the food and Drug Administration in their ultimate wisdom approved a new treatment for depression based on the highly dangerous drug Ketamine.

Esketamine is to be prescribed for those suffering with severe depression, particularly those with suicidal tendencies. However from what we can see the trials have been very limited and the placebo group in some cases showed little difference in response to the drug.

Only forty-nine patients took part in the latest phase 2 trial, which lasted for a mere four weeks. Depressive thoughts were diminished considerably for the first three days in those taking the new drug.

‘Forty-nine patients completed the four-week trial. Doses were administered twice weekly, and the esketamine quickly showed an effect. Just four hours after the initial dose, people receiving the drug experienced a significant reduction in depressive symptoms’ [source]

But by the end of the four weeks, there was no difference between the test group and the placebo group.

‘In the new trial, the rapid diminishment of symptoms lasted only a short while; at the three-day mark, the initial dramatic improvement had flattened out compared with patients given a placebo spray. And by the end of the trial, at four weeks, there was no difference between the esketamine group and the control group.'[source]

Ketamine is a commonly used recreational drug, its very popular in the club seen and has many potentially dangerous side effects, including [source]:

  • Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
  • Extreme Nausea
  • Short term memory loss
  • Muscle Paralysis
  • Can Severely Damage Bladder
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Abdominal Pains
  • Flashbacks
  • Loss of Concentration
  • Addictive
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Worsen existing mental health issues

Now, experts we may not be, but this really doesn’t seem like a drug you want someone with mental health issues taking. Have we not learnt the lesson with the current Opioids epidemic in the US?

With no long term trials and only evidence that this has benefits for the first 72 hours at best, it seems irresponsible for the FDA to approve this new drug at this stage.

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