Esketamine is a prescription nasal spray for use in conjunction with an oral antidepressant in adults with depression who have not responded adequately to antidepressants.
Esketamine is used on people with Major Depressive Disorder, MDD, and that have tried medications without success.
Esketamine is an office-based, outpatient procedure. A patient will self-administer the nasal spray under supervision of a healthcare provider and in a comfortable, safe setting. The patient will be monitored during and after the treatment for two hours.
Esketamine has been shown in large trials to be relatively safe.Esketamine can only be administered in a certified treatment clinic that has medical staff trained to prescribe and dispense esketamine and is Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) certified.
Common side effects may include sleepiness, nausea, increased blood pressure, bad taste in the mouth, and dissociation.These side effects usually occur only within one to two hours after drug administration.
A typical course of treatment consists of twelve sessions over two months, plus maintenance treatments to be determined by your physician.
Try and take our “Do I have depression?” quiz on our website. And talk to your doctor.
The FDA just approved esketamine for the indication of suicidality this month. Ketamine, which is similar to esketamine, has been used off-label for anxiety, OCD, substance use disorders, pain, PTSD, among others. However the data has not been strong enough to receive FDA approval for these other indications.
Esketamine is the first treatment for depression to work through the glutamate system. Unlike most antidepressants which take weeks to work, it can work as quickly as within the first few hours or days after starting treatment. Most side effects, if they occur, resolve by the end of the two hour monitoring period in the clinic.
Any side effects tend to occur only within the 1 to 2 hours after the drug is administered. Some side effects decrease with repeated treatments. Patients need to arrange for post-treatment transportation home.
We’ll work directly with your insurance provider on your behalf to help you get covered as insurance acceptance for esketamine is growing. We also offer several out-of-pocket packages for esketamine.
Based on the pivotal trial for treatment of depression in the clinical setting, which used esketamine with an antidepressant, about 70% of patients have at least a 50% reduction in symptoms and about 50% of patients have complete remission of symptoms.