In August 2016, Janssen Research & Development—a Janssen Pharmaceutical Company of Johnson & Johnson—announced that an isomer of ketamine, called esketamine, had received Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Similarly to ketamine, esketamine has shown huge promise as a depression treatment, especially for those experiencing suicidal ideation, or who have resisted other treatment methodologies.
On the fast track for approval for about 18-months now, esketamine has advanced into the third phase of clinical trials.
Unlike the ketamine we administer intravenously in our Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins area ketamine clinics, esketamine is administered intranasally. Both drugs generate positive results for a majority of patients, reducing depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts in up to 70% of patients, oftentimes within mere hours of receiving treatment.
Currently, ketamine is FDA approved as an anesthetic and emergency room pain reliever. Because it is not FDA approved for the treatment of depression and other mood disorders, infusions are not covered by most health insurance policies (though some of the more progressive insurance providers are beginning to make exceptions). If esketamine does receive FDA approval for the treatment of depression, it would become accessible to far more people.
The third phase of clinical trials will explore esketamine’s impact on those with treatment-resistant depression, as well as in patients who are at risk of suicide. Future studies will also evaluate the risk of addiction associated with esketamine use. Ketamine is not a physically addictive substance, though this fact is often misunderstood by those who are familiar with ketamine’s use as a “club drug.”
We’re excited at the prospect of a widely-available and highly-effective depression treatment. Our ketamine clinic has performed thousands of infusions, and we’ve seen first-hand the life changing impact these treatments can have on those suffering from debilitating mood and chronic pain disorders. If more people had access to ketamine treatments, it could make a big difference in suicide rates and mental healthcare, in general.
At Vitalitas, we use ketamine infusions to treat a multitude of psychiatric and pain disorders, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, CRPS, migraine headaches, and more. Our ketamine clinics are conveniently located in the greater Denver area, as well as in close proximity to Boulder and Fort Collins. We offer the lowest priced ketamine infusions in the country, striving to make these treatments accessible to as many people as possible.
If you or a loved one are struggling with depression or chronic pain, ketamine infusions may provide solution. Request a free consultation, and a member of our clinical team will contact you to learn more about your situation, answer questions, and point you in the direction of health and happiness.