A phase 3 clinical trial found esketamine nasal spray safe and effective in the treatment of severe depression.
Esketamine is a form of ketamine, which doctors typically use as an anesthetic. Recent research has accumulated evidence that this substance can also quickly reduce the symptoms of severe depression, such as suicidal ideation.
These were the findings of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study from 2018, which suggested that an esketamine nasal spray could produce quick and positive short-term effects for individuals at risk of depression for whom traditional antidepressants had failed.
However, the authors of that study also expressed a worry that without proper risk assessment, using esketamine for depression could lead to unwanted side effects, such as psychosis and depersonalization.…