FDA-approved depression treatment tested in Wichita

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For nearly thirty years, there wasn’t a single, new, drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to fight depression. That changed this month, when the FDA approved Spravato, otherwise called esketamine.

The nasal spray is branded to treat depression in adults who haven’t found effective medication any other way.

“It’s truly, I believe, a game changer,” said Dr. Paul Murphy, a psychiatrist who works at Ascension Via Christ Research. “For people who have tried three or four medications, none of those have been effective, I see esketamine as the next logical step.”

It’s been called by some as a the cousin to Ketamine – a powerful drug that was also used in clubs decades ago.

Recently some doctors have been using off-named versions to treat cases of depression. One such clinic was profiled in a KAKE News On Your Side Investigation in June 2018.

Ascension Via Christ Research called it exciting news for patients with patients experiencing a depressive disorder. The facility was one selected by the FDA for testing, and Murphy said the results were encouraging for public patients.

“The nasal form of the drug – cleaner safer, much more controllable,” Murphy said. “People come into my office after they’ve struggled with this for years, sometimes. If you’ve tried different medication, been to therapy, you just haven’t been able to get on top of it – this is for you.”

Controversy has risen about the drug by some – mainly because of side effects. Those include dissociation, dizziness, nausea, sedation, anxiety, lack of energy and increased blood pressure.

But Murphy and others at Via Christ Research are convinced. Murphy, so much so, that he plans to start offering it to patients publicly. He said it is available with some insurance plans.

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