A fast-acting antidepressant derived from the party drug ketamine could soon be available across the pond, a report said.
Esketamine — one of the two molecules that comprise ketamine — is already available by prescription in the US in both IV form and as a nasal spray. The Food and Drug Administration approved it in March.
European and UK health regulators will consider the drug in the fall, and by next March, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is expected to announce its decision, Yahoo News UK reported.
Some research has shown that Esketamine can improve patients’ conditions significantly — and swiftly —some, within just days or even hours. Traditional antidepressants can take weeks before patients experience any improvement.
“What’s new about this is that it’s got a different pharmacology, so it’s not the same old steam engine, it seems to work in a different way and also it seems to work more quickly,” said Professor Allan Young, at the Science Media Center, Yahoo News UK reported.
“We know that classic antidepressants, and actually other treatments, take a fairly prolonged period of time to work, if you can actually get things better much more quickly that’s a good thing.”