A ketamine-derived nasal spray has been approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use by those who currently and chronically suffer from depression. Also notably is that it is meant for adults who have tried other antidepressant medicines but have not benefited from them. Spravato is the ketamine nasal spray that just might be the answer.
However, eager ravers should pump the brakes. While this may seem like a saving moment for the 30-40 percent of depression cases who have not responded to formal treatment, the FDA warns that the spray will be under heavy regulation. Director of the Division of Psychiatry Products Tiffany Farchione had this to say:
“THERE HAS BEEN A LONG-STANDING NEED FOR ADDITIONAL EFFECTIVE TREATMENTS FOR TREATMENT-RESISTANT DEPRESSION, A SERIOUS AND LIFE-THREATENING CONDITION. CONTROLLED CLINICAL TRIALS THAT STUDIED THE SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF THIS DRUG, ALONG WITH CAREFUL REVIEW THROUGH THE FDA’S DRUG APPROVAL PROCESS…WERE IMPORTANT TO OUR DECISION TO APPROVE THIS TREATMENT. BECAUSE OF SAFETY CONCERNS, THE DRUG WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE THROUGH A RESTRICTED DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM AND IT MUST BE ADMINISTERED IN A CERTIFIED MEDICAL OFFICE WHERE THE HEALTH CARE PROVIDER CAN MONITOR THE PATIENT.”
While there are lots of health benefits when used properly, that’s rarely the case in our “excess-culture” mentality. Within the dance music community, ketamine has come on strong as a “rave drug” due to its potent effects. It is a sister drug of PCP (phencyclidine) and possesses high disossciative effects. However, since it is far more powerful than speed or cocaine, it is easy to overdose. When on ketamine, the abrupt high hits users within minutes.
From there, the effects range from hallucinations to feeling like you are floating. More milder side effects include “dizziness, nausea, vertigo, anxiety, lethargy, increased blood pressure, vomiting, feeling drunk, decreased sensitivity, sedation.” When used in excess, the effects are similar to those described by people who have had near-death experiences, and it’s described as being in the “K-hole”.
More details will arise in the coming days, but this definitely seems like progress and hope for those suffering from clinical depression.
You can view the official FDA press announcement right here.