Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently licensed a form of ketamine – esketamine – as a treatment for depression which is resistant to other treatments. It is administered as a nasal spray in a clinic, initially twice a week, then weekly or fortnightly. Regular doses of the drug are necessary to prevent relapse.

image shows hand holding a nasal spray which administers the drug.

In the US, patients who start esketamine ($600 a dose) are asked about whether they have previously taken ketamine ($10 a dose), but not the other way round.

Associate Professor Rupert McShane, University of Oxford, says,

"History teaches us just how important it is to track patients who switch from one potentially addictive drug to another. European and UK regulators urgently need to ensure that treatments with ketamine, and other potentially addictive drugs, are all tracked in the same system along with esketamine. This same logic applies to people who are self-treating without a prescription. This sensible precaution would help prevent esketamine from suffering the same fate as benzodiazepines: overuse, backlash and stigma."

 

Patients' experiences matter – this sort of data platform will give them a voice.Associate Professor Rupert McShane.

 

Read the full article authored by Rupert McShane and Adam Winstock.

NIHR OXFORD HEALTH BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH CENTRE NEWS

Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.

Similar stories

Treating mental illness with electricity - new podcast

A new wave of treatments that stimulate the brain with electricity are showing promise on patients and in clinical trials.

Hours of gaming not negatively impacting wellbeing of most adolescents - new study

University of Oxford researchers found that although many school-age adolescents are spending considerable time gaming, it is not having a negative impact on their wellbeing.

Few mental health apps make it to real world, according to new Oxford University study

Despite enthusiasm for digital technology in addressing young people’s mental health, few effective apps have been successfully rolled out.

Oxford gets £122m funding for healthcare research

Health and care research in Oxford is to receive £122 million in government funding over the next five years to improve diagnosis, treatment and care for NHS patients.

Dementia research - new trial with diabetes drug

An important new trial will test the effects of oral semaglutide on the build-up of a protein in the brain that characterises Alzheimer's disease.