A derivative of ketamine known as esketamine has officially been granted FDA testing in the United States. This the first major legalized attempt at pushing in a new direction for the pharmaceutical treatment of depression in decades. One of the benefits of ketamines use is that it can alleviate depression almost instantaneously in some users. This in contrast SSRI’s and similar medications such as in Prozac and Wellbutron which can take weeks.
This is of massive importance when someone has reached the point of being suicidal and a danger to themselves. The drug is being used for people who do not respond well to first line anti-depressants. Depending on how the trials go this may eventually change.
Ketamine hasn’t been show to have some of the detrimental mental side effects of other anti depressants. Many people may be able to take ketamine for depression, and not become mentally dependent on it, but that doesn’t mean however that it is risk free.
Ketamine has many effects on the circulatory, and pulmonary systems of the body. It is also known to cause an increase in blood pressure, intracranial pressure, pulmonary edema, and other side effects. Also ketamine also has psychedelic properties that can produce out of body experiences, and due to this it has become a very popular club drug. Its most widespread use is for anesthesia most commonly by veterinarians.
While this is progress for the legalization, and regulation of psychedelic drugs, most pharmaceutical companies are gouging prices on this form of depression treatment. Ketamine is used in several depression centers and costs $500 or more a visit for I.V. use.
At that price someone could buy enough ketamine to last days to months depending on the user. There is also no need for intravenous use of ketamine in 99% of the people who are treated for depression. People who choose to use it medicinally for depression are also required to stay in a hospital setting for observation.
This new trial of testing using esketamine, is a saline solution. It is used as a nasal spray, and is known as Spravato and is very low dose. Johnson & Johnson said the wholesale cost of each treatment with esketamine will range from $590 to $885, depending on the dose. That means twice-weekly treatments during the first month will cost centers that offer the drug at least $4,720 to $6,785. Subsequent weekly treatments will cost about half as much.
This is a major mark up in comparison to ketamine and esketamine. Normally a single dose can be bought for as little as 5 to 10 dollars on the streets. It has also been shown in animal studies that traditional ketamine may be a more powerful anti-depressant than esketamine. However since Ketamine is an older generic drug pharmaceutical companies have opted to use the patented esketamine. This is in a attempt to make more profit, and to help pay for trials.
Welcome to our corrupt medical system!