On Tuesday, the 5th of March 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration had issued a statement saying that they had approved a nasal spray antidepressant of Johnson & Johnson for the people resistant to other treatments such as conventional anti-depressants and low-dose benzodiazepines.
However, the US multinational pharmaceutical conglomerate had also placed restrictions over the use of the drug, saying that it could widely by abused and misused. The approval of J&J’s esketamine had been the first introduction of a new type of therapy for depression in over three decades and had raised hopes that its relatively first mode of action and ability to treat some unreachable patient could improve psychological health.
Johnson & Johnson’s Esketamine would be sold under the brand name Spravato. In fact, Esketamine is actually a chemical mirror of an anesthetic Ketamine, abused widely as party recreational drug and went by the street nickname as “special K”.
In order to prevent abuse, FDA had restricted the use of the drug and patients were not allowed to take it at home and they must have to take the drug in a doctor’s office or medical facility. Addressing to Esketamine’s potential to alter the conventional treatment pattern, the global head of J&J’s Janssen Research and Development, Mathai Mammen said, “Spravato has the potential to change the treatment paradigm and offer new hope to the estimated one-third of people with a major depressive disorder who have not responded to existing therapies”.