Improvement in Depression Symptoms with Esketamine Nasal Spray: Study

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People with depression had significant improvement in their symptoms after just one dose of esketamine nasal spray, delivered via intravenous infusion (IV), on top of their existing treatment, according to a study published August 14 in JAMA Network Open.

This study provides promising evidence that a single dose of esketamine could enhance the efficacy of oral antidepressants in treating the challenge of fluctuating antidepressant responses among people with major depressive disorder, wrote the authors.

This study, though small, found a pretty big response in terms of separation from placebo, says Alan Schatzberg, MD, the director of the Stanford Mood Disorders Center and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford Medicine in California.

“It suggests that you can give even a single dose on top of a treatment regimen for depression and get a reasonable response — significantly better than a placebo — even with a single injection of esketamine, which goes along with what we see with ketamine,” says Dr. Schatzberg, who was not involved in this study.

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