The Pacific Ketamine Institute is now offering esketamine nasal spray (Spravato, Johnson & Johnson) for the treatment of patients who don't respond well to traditional oral antidepressants. It is a prescription medication to be used alongside an oral antidepressant.1

In the United States alone, 16 million people suffer from major depressive disorders each year, and around 30% of those gain little or no relief even after multiple courses of conventional medication.2 The possibilities for ketamine-derived medications could affect many conditions, including depression, anxiety, bipolar mood disorder, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder.2

The N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist was approved by the FDA in March 2019. It contains a key ketamine derivative that provides rapid relief for patients suffering from severe depression.2 According to the Pacific Ketamine Institute, patients' moods improved by 2-4 points on their 10-point mood monitor scale after only 1 dose.1

A clinical study found that 456 severely depressed and suicidal patients saw a significant and lasting reduction in symptoms within 24 hours of their first dose. This affect could be especially important to the treatment of depression, considering that most conventional antidepressants take 4-6 weeks to begin working.2

Treatment plans for esketamine begin twice weekly at 56 or 84 mg, then move to once weekly or every 2 weeks for maintenance. It is self-administered under the supervision of a health care professional.1

"Depression is a common and potentially debilitating illness that can have profound emotional, function and economic impact on both those who suffer and their loved ones," said Michael E. Thase, MD, a site principal investigator for the clinical trials, in a statement. "The impact of depression is greatest for those who do not benefit from standard treatments."3

  1. Pacific Ketamine Institute Los Angeles. Esketamine Los Angeles - SPRAVATO FDA Approved Treatment. Pacific Ketamine website. Accessed 9 Oct. 2019.
  2. Pacific Ketamine Institute Introduces SPRAVATO™ Treatment for Depression and Mental Disorders [news release]. Beverly Hills, CA; October 3, 2019: Pacific Ketamine. Accessed 9 Oct. 2019.
  3. Janssen Announces US FDA Approval of SPRAVATO (esketamine) CIII Nasal Spray for Adults with Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD) Who Have Cycled Through Multiple Treatments Without Relief [news release]. Titusville, NJ; March 5, 2019: Janssen website. Accessed October 10, 2019.