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A US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel green lighted a nasal spray that derived from ketamine - a sometimes-party drug - as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression on Tuesday.
Johnson & Johnson's controversial experimental medication, esketamine, is not identical to the party drug, but has met some resistance due to concerns over its abuse.
Years - Studies - Ketamine - Form - Depression
Yet, in recent years, studies have increasingly shown that ketamine - in its unadulterated form, which is used as a sedative - has promise in treating depression in patients for whom other drugs failed.
Getting the go-ahead from the panel marks a major step toward an approved ketamine therapy for depression, a source of hope for some patients and their doctors and concern for other clinicians.
Panel - Favor - Drug - Esketamine - Depression
The panel voted 14-2 in favor of the drug esketamine, developed to treat major depression in patients who have not benefited from at least two different therapies, saying its benefits outweighed the risks.
One panel member abstained from voting.
Esketamine - Chemical - Mirror - Image - Ketamine
Esketamine is a chemical mirror image of anesthetic ketamine, which is also abused as a recreational party drug and goes by the street nickname 'Special K'.
'I think esketamine has the potential to be a game-changer in the treatment of depression ... I use the term potential because the issues of cost and patient accessibility need to be addressed,' said Walter Dunn, who voted in favor of approval.
Panel - Members - Concerns
However, the panel members echoed concerns raised...
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