There has been a major breakthrough for depression sufferers with the Food and Drug Administration in the states overwhelmingly approving a ketamine-based nasal spray – the first treatment in a decade that has shown promising results in how it works with the brain but no you can’t go to the pharmacy and grab yourself some on a Friday night!
The nasal spray has been dubbed esketamine and offers ‘a powerful new tool to fight intractable depression’ according to Science Alert and isn’t actually a far cry from the recreational uses of the drug throughout the last few decades by party goers who used it for euphoric relief and to stomach tech-house.
The reason for the excitement is the much shorter time frame for affects to take place when compared to traditional options. Typical anti depressants can take anywhere from weeks to months to have any noticeable affects, while the spray can act within hours and could represent progress for some 5 million people suffering from depression in the United States.
This is pretty serious business and while offering light for sufferers will come with a black box warning that cautions users on side effects including sedation, attention issues, judgement and impaired thinking as well as potential for abuse and suicidal thoughts – wowsers.
The spray will be administered by a physician and watched for two hours so don’t expect to take this one home and sharing a couple zoots with the lads.
A patient of early trials talks of the feeling when using the treatment “was like a goddamn miracle, like someone just turned the light switch on,” adding “It was like the weight in my head, the cloud that was there for decades, just disappeared. It changed the entire course of my life.”, something a random you met in the bathrooms would likely also tell you.
While there are no plans for the drug to make it to Australia, we have been known to adopt particular medications that have shown positive results for sufferers so there is hope yet!