The National Institute of Mental Health discusses the development and approval of ketamine and its derivative esketamine as a treatment for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The article highlights the efforts of researchers, including Dr. Carlos Zarate, who conducted NIMH-supported research to explore ketamine’s potential as an antidepressant.
Ketamine was initially created as an anesthetic in 1962, and has since had quite a journey towards becoming a breakthrough treatment for treatment-resistant depression. While monoaminergic antidepressants were the standard treatment for depression in the 1970s, they didn’t work for everyone, leading researchers to seek new solutions. The turning point came in the 2000s when a study at Yale University found that intravenous ketamine provided rapid relief for depression, unlike traditional antidepressants that could take weeks to work. This discovery marked a paradigm shift in depression treatment.
To address challenges that have arised with IV ketamine, researchers developed esketamine, which was approved by the FDA in 2019 for TRD. Esketamine can be delivered through the nose as a spray, making it more accessible and convenient for patients. At Hopemark Health, we use SPRAVATO.
| Describing the profound impact of esketamine approval for individuals with treatment-resistant depression.|
NIMH highlights the journey from ketamine’s creation as an anesthetic to its transformation into an effective treatment for treatment-resistant depression, offering hope to those who had previously exhausted treatment options. Researchers continue to explore new possibilities to further improve depression treatment.