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- 20 April 2021

Esketamine for Resistant Depression

Discover Esketamine therapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression: a lifesaver for those who haven't responded to other treatments.

Esketamine: A new hope for Treatment-Resistant Depression

When Depression doesn't respond to commonly available treatments, it can be considered treatment-resistant.

In the ongoing battle against depression, a promising new weapon has been added to our arsenal for effectively combating it: Esketamine. This therapy is considered a lifesaver for people suffering from depression who have shown resistance to conventional treatments. Esketamine is administered in a safe environment with constant monitoring to ensure the highest level of treatment personalization.

Our dedicated program has an 8-week duration, during which Esketamine is combined with a targeted antidepressant calibrated to meet the individual needs of each patient. In addition, we offer the opportunity for genetic testing ― although this is not mandatory ― that can provide valuable personalized information about the class of medications and specific agents that will work best for the individual.

What is Esketamine?

Esketamine is a medication based on Ketamine, an anesthetic agent also used for years as a treatment for depression. However, only recently has Esketamine, a more powerful version of Ketamine, gained FDA approval for use as a nasal spray in patients with treatment-resistant depression.

Esketamine is derived from a portion of the Ketamine molecule but is more powerful, allowing for lower dosages and minimizing side effects. Esketamine is currently available in an intranasal formulation approved by the FDA.

For whom is Esketamine therapy recommended?

Currently, Esketamine is recommended for people with treatment-resistant depression. This includes patients who have unsuccessfully tried at least two different antidepressant treatments, each for a minimum period of six weeks, without experiencing remission of symptoms or at least a 50% improvement in depressive symptoms.

For those who have not responded positively to other antidepressant treatments, Esketamine provides an opportunity to explore living free from depression. In many cases, Esketamine is a true lifesaver for those who have suffered from depression for a long time without benefit from other available treatments.

How does Esketamine work in Depression Treatment?

Esketamine and its parent molecule, Ketamine, are highly effective treatments for depression, primarily due to their unique mechanism of action that is different from other antidepressant medications.

Conventional antidepressants act by increasing levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the brain. These neurotransmitters act as crucial messengers between brain cells; therefore, an increase in their availability would allow better communication between brain cells, resulting in a positive influence on mood and depressive symptoms.

Esketamine acts similarly, but differs from traditional antidepressant drugs by significantly increasing glutamate levels, the most abundant neurotransmitter in the brain. This effect allows it to impact a considerably larger number of brain cells simultaneously compared to common antidepressants.

The efficacy and neuroprotective action of Esketamine

Traditional antidepressants typically have a relatively slow onset of action, often taking several weeks before producing noticeable effects. In contrast, Esketamine has an immediate impact on brain cells, offering relief from depressive symptoms within hours.

Extensive clinical studies demonstrate that Esketamine reduces depressive symptoms in the majority of individuals who haven't responded to various types of conventional antidepressants, a group that comprises up to 33% of people with depression.

Furthermore, research suggests that untreated depression can cause long-term brain damage and increase the risk of dementia. Studies in this regard indicate that people with depression may experience up to a 20% reduction in the hippocampus, a brain region critical for memory and learning. Esketamine appears to be able to counteract these harmful effects, preventing the neurotoxic damage caused by depression and promoting the growth of new neuronal connections.

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