Ketamine is known as a dangerous party drug, widely used under the name of Special K. Now, the US authorities have approved a nasal spray with a close relative of the substance, the patient is said to help with difficult-to-treat depression. The drug can cause after taking, among other things, hallucinations.
Ketamine is the first innovative means to fight depression for 30 years, which comes on the market. At the time, Prozac and related antidepressants had been approved. The Problem: The effect of established funds is based on the Serotonin balance in the brain. You failed there so far, apart from electric shock therapies and few Alternatives.
Ketamine and the now approved a nasal spray version to use a different mechanism of action. They inhibit the docking site for the neurotransmitter glutamate in the brain. Also, you have the advantage that the effect of strikes if the resources in a patient – immediately. In the case of the conventional antidepressants, it can take weeks to months before a noticeable effect.
Also in Europe, the ketamine could come in nose spray, soon on the market. Pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has applied for in October, of the authorisation to the competent authority, the EMA,.
The Tried And Trusted Anaesthetic
Ketamine is for medical not a new drug, the active ingredient has been used for decades as an anesthetic. Also in Germany are approved for this purpose various preparations, which must, however, be all administered intravenously. Some time ago, Doctors had begun, the agent, on its own responsibility even in people with depression when other therapies had failed.
On this Basis, Johnson & began; Johnson, to make the fabric as a nasal spray to use, better metering and easier to apply. Subsequently, the pharmaceutical company launched trials in which patients with depression were given either the ketamine nasal spray or a Placebo nasal spray. The ketamine seemed to be, the results of these studies were used now as a basis for admission.
One of the patients in the study, the 60-year-old Robin Protho was. Within 20 years the woman tried five different antidepressants, none helped her. Only after it was recorded two years ago in the nasal spray study, felt an effect. Her depressed mood had lifted, she had also taken up old Hobbies, such as gardening, tells Protho.
“You can feel it getting the better of you”
The 60-Year-old takes the drug every two weeks under the supervision of your doctor. “You can feel it overcome you, it is a strong drug,” she says, and tells of colors and shapes that float in front of your eyes. “I’ll let the drug work, close my eyes and feel how it soothes my mind. it’s incredible.”
The ketamine-like agent is the first of several psychoactive substances, which pass through in the USA the approval process. Doctors are currently working with two other agents of advanced study: Psilocybin, the active ingredient of Magic Mushrooms, and MDMA, a euphoric party drug. Both are regarded as potential therapies for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Pharma companies or other laboratories created only very rarely in new funds, which differ significantly from the existing,” says Paul summer degree, a psychiatrist at the Tufts University. “This drives people to other substances out.” In contrast to ketamine no legal medical use exists in the case of Psilocybin and MDMA to date. The ketamine-authorisation could simplify this process, experts hope.
Due to the high risk for abuse and side effects, however, is linked to the application of the nasal spray with strict conditions. The drug should only be used by accredited specialists administered, the need to monitor their patients after a minimum of two hours. This is explained by the intoxicating effect, which can also lead to disorientation.
In addition, all patients are recorded in a Register, in order to explore the long-term safety and effectiveness of the Agent. While it is known that the effect of the nasal spray lasts about seven days. Still, however, does not say whether the therapy over the years, eventually lose their effect.