Our Take: Another tool for fighting depression
In the News: (CNN) The US Food and Drug Administration approved Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s esketamine on Tuesday for treatment-resistant depression. It will be sold as Spravato, a nasal spray that can be administered by an approved health care provider in a doctor’s office or a medical clinic. Esketimine, which is the chemical cousin of ketamine, is for patients who have tried at least two other medications without success.
Our Take: Dr. Suhayl Nasr, medical director at Beacon Medical Group Behavioral Health, offers his perspective on the national story and the new offering that will be coming to Beacon to help treat depression.
“This is another tool in our toolbox for treating depression when people do not respond well after trying other medications. Many of our patients are treatment resistant, which means they tried two medications and are still reporting depression.
“Ketamine is something we’ve been prescribing for some time at Beacon. We’ve been ahead of the curve. Ketamine has been a lifesaver for some patients. But it has only been available intravenously. Now that it will be available as a spray, it will be much more convenient. At least initially, it will be limited to psychiatrists who are certified to prescribe it.
“Anyone who is feeling depressed should talk to their family physician for their first and second line of antidepressants, or come to our ER to be assessed if you’re feeling suicidal. Counseling is an additional tool people should not overlook, and they should consider the impact their spiritual life, diet, physical exercise and sleep have on mental health.”