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"FDA Expected To Approve Esketamine Nasal Spray For Depression" - Jon Hamilton

  • NPR: All Things Considered
  • New York, NY
  • (March 04, 2019)

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve a new type of drug for depression. It is esketamine, a chemical cousin of the anesthetic and party drug ketamine. The drug is based on the anesthetic ketamine, which is also a mind-altering party drug. Dennis Charney, MD, dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and president of academic affairs for the Mount Sinai Health System, says esketamine's approval would be a big deal. Esketamine can help patients with major depressive disorder who haven't improved on other drugs. “Many of them are suicidal, so it's essentially a deadly disease when you haven't responded to available treatments and you've been suffering for years, if not decades,” said Dr. Charney. “For me, it's very gratifying. And I think the key word for patients is hope.”

— Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, President, Academic Affairs, Mount Sinai Health System

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