Esketamine produces rapid effects in treatment-resistant depression - Medical News Today

A new study in Biological Psychiatry reports that esketamine, a component of the general anesthetic ketamine, shows rapid and significant improvement in depressive symptoms in patients who do not respond to currently available therapies. The study aimed to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of esketamine in hopes to fulfill a long-awaited clinical need for therapies that can crack treatment-resistant depression.

Ketamine piqued researchers' interest when a study demonstrated that low doses of the drug have rapid antidepressant effects, alleviating symptoms within just 2 hours. This stood in stark contrast to conventional antidepressant drugs, which can take 1 to 3 months to produce an effect. In addition, ketamine appeared to work in patients who did not see improvement in symptoms with conventional antidepressant drugs, about one third of patients with major depressive disorder."

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