As Michael A. Ellis hypothetically phrases it in his Psychology Today Article, “the Holy Grail of Psychiatry” would be to develop a depression medication that works in days rather than the average 4 – 6 weeks it takes the depression medications we currently use today.
As he goes on to explain in his latest web publication, we may have finally reached the once thought impossible, “Holy Grail” of a drug.
The drug, known as Esketamine is reportedly a new type of potentially groundbreaking medication that is able to effectively treat what is known as treatment-resistant depression – as you might have surmised based on the concept of its namesake, medication that can effectively treat ‘treatment-resistant’ depression is something no other drug has yet to achieve. What’s more, if its latest human trials are any indication, Esketamine is vastly faster acting than any of its competition (which it also soon might make obsolete!).
What is Treatment-Resistant Depression?
Treatment-resistant depression, for those who are unaware, is a diagnosis given to a depressed person after two or more anti-depressants fail to treat the potentially life-threatening symptoms of their depression.
Unfortunately, and as you might have already surmised, those who are diagnosed with this particular type of major depressive disorder are at a higher risk for committing self-harm, including turning to illicit drugs or alcohol in order to ‘self-medicate,’ and worst of all, committing suicide.
Needless to say, with the FDA’s advisory committee recent recommendation to approve Esketamine for public use, the drug known as “The Holy Grail of Psychiatry” could serve as a lifesaving and enormously needed respite for a nation that is currently in the midst of a mental health crisis – Not to mention a gift from the heavens for the near 16 million Americans who experience depression and its often-formidably harsh symptoms every day of their lives.
Introducing, Esketamine – The Potential “Holy Grail of Psychiatry”
If it hasn’t already been made clear, Eskatemine, or Spravato, the name brand it would soon become to be known as if it “achieves final approval by the FDA,” is a wholly new type of drug altogether, even down to the way it is ingested. Unlike most depression medications, which come in a digestible pill, Spravato, comes in a fast-acting 28mg nasal spray.
Other than its unique form of delivery, the most significant difference between Spravato and its competition is what would essentially make it a “game changer” in psychiatric medicine. This “game-changing” factor being, as previously stated, the unprecedented speed in which it takes the drug to effectively combat serious symptoms of depression – including diagnoses once thought to be untreatable by modern medicine.
And how lightning-fast the drug is said to be! Under the scrutiny of the FDA and its human trials, Spravato is reported to be able to treat major-depressive symptoms as quickly as 24 hours! To put that in analogous terms, the unprecedented quickness of Spravato’s effect would be akin to the impact steam engines of the 19th century had on the nation when the horse carriage was the only mode of transcontinental transportation – As the Industrial Age can attest, that’s a big deal.
The bottom line? The speed in which it takes effect, Eskatmine, AKA Spravato (if approved), can immediately make an enormous national impact by improving and saving countless lives of those who experience even the most stubborn forms of major depressive disorder.
Tragically, the weeks-long wait for an anti-depression drug to take effect can be the difference between overcoming depression, and fatally falling victim to its often-unwaveringly painful symptoms.
Just to reiterate, this medication is a big, freaking, deal.