HOUSTON (FOX 26) - “Being depressed, quite honestly it sucks,” said Steven Carlo. “It sucks the life out of you.”
It’s estimated that about one third of people being treated for depression won’t respond to their anti-depression medication. That’s why the Food and Drug Administration approved an Esketamine nasal spray called Spravato.
“This is a huge deal,” said Dr. Sandhya Prashsad with Houston Ketamine Therapeutics. “This is the biggest advancement in depression treatment in the past 30 years.”
It can take weeks before patients feel any benefit from most anti-depression medications. But doctors say the Ketamine spray can start working within days even hours. The spray is only for patients who have failed to respond to at least two other drugs.
“Especially suicidal thinking,” Prashad said. “That will often go away almost immediately.”
In the 90’s, Ketamine became known as a party drug that can cause out of body experiences.
“The dose is significantly lower than people use when they’re abusing it as a party drug,” said Prashad.
She’s been treating patients with Ketamine intravenously for some time now. The drug can only be given at a certified clinic. Prashad, who is in the process of getting certified, says she has no doubt the Ketamine spray will save lives.
“I’ve had many patients tell me they probably wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t treated them with this,” she said.
The cost can range from 600 to 900 dollars depending on the dose, but the FDA approval means most insurance companies will cover the cost.