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Tue Feb 12, 2019, 10:10 PM

Antidepressant based on party drug gets backing from FDA advisory group

13 FEBRUARY 2019

Esketamine could soon be approved for use in people, although questions remain about its efficacy and potential for abuse.

Sara Reardon


A form of the hallucinogenic party drug ketamine has cleared one of the final hurdles toward clinical use as an antidepressant.

At a 12 February meeting at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Silver Spring, Maryland, an independent advisory panel voted 14-2 in favour of recommending a compound known as esketamine for use in treating depression. If the FDA approves the drug, it could buoy the chances of other ketamine-inspired treatments currently under development. But questions remain about esketamine’s overall effectiveness at lifting mood and its potential to be abused.

Mental health researchers rejoiced at the news. “I’m still a little bit in shock,” says James Murrough, a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.If approved, esketamine would be the first truly novel antidepressant to enter the market in several decades. “If this comes to pass, we’ll have done what people have been quick to point out hasn’t been done since the original discovery of antidepressants.”

The FDA is expected to make a decision on esketamine by 4 March.


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Reply Antidepressant based on party drug gets backing from FDA advisory group (Original post)
Judi Lynn Feb 12 OP
cstanleytech Feb 12 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 10:19 PM

1. I am hoping for true breakthrough on Jan 20th 2021.

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