Johnson&Johnson’s nasal spray ‘Spravato’ gets approval as antidepressant for ‘actively suicidal people’
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The tragic death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who allegedly committed suicide, has sent the entire nation into a state of shock. The unfateful incident not only shocked the nation but also triggered a debate on mental illness.
Since his demise on June 14, the internet is flooded with discussions on depression, anxiety and many other crucial issues related to mental health conditions, which were ignored otherwise by people. Similarly, a debate was also triggered in America regarding the mental illness amid the coronavirus pandemic and enforced lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
Now amid these debates of mental illness, Johnson & Johnson has introduced the first antidepressant nasal spray for actively suicidal people.
According to a report by Bloomberg, J&J's ‘Spravato’ has also got the nod from America’s Food and Drug Administration.
“The Food and Drug Administration approval means the quick-acting nasal spray will be available to people with suicidal thoughts -- that constitutes 11% to 12% of as many as 17 million Americans who have major depressive disorder -- and a plan to put them into action”, Michelle Kramer, vice president of J&J's US neuroscience medical-affairs unit, was quoted as saying by the Bloomberg.
Kramer further said that the Spravato has been used by about 6,000 people for treating depression since its approval in 2019.
In the study done by Johnson&Johnson, it was found that those who used the Spravato had a rapid reduction in the severity of their thinking, although the results did not differ in a statistically significant way from patients given a placebo.
According to the report by Bloomberg, the data from studies of the drug shows it "may offer clinicians a new way to provide support to patients quickly in the midst of an urgent depressive episode and help set them on the path to remission," said Gerard Sanacora, director of Yale's Depression Research Program and a trial investigator.
What is Spravato?
Spravato is a close chemical cousin of the anaesthetic ketamine, which differs from existing antidepressants because it acts on the glutamate system in the brain rather than on serotonin or norepinephrine. Scientists have been working to better understand how the drug helps patients and why it works so quickly.
The drug's approval last year marked the first major breakthrough for depression since 1987. President Donald Trump has since trumpeted the drug as having the potential to curb veteran suicides, but a Veterans Affairs medical panel only approved the drug's use on a limited basis, the Bloomberg report stated.
America has been in the throes of a suicide crisis even before the pandemic, with the rate rising 30% from 1999 to 2016. Subsequently, in India, some of the die-hard fans of Sushant Singh Rajput reportedly committed suicide after the actor’s sudden demise. Since then, many instances have been reported from across the country where people resorted to suicide over some depression issues.
Posted By: Talib Khan