Anti-suicidal nasal spray by Johnson & Johnson gets approval for emergency use

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A new report has revealed some game-changing details about a nasal spray that can prevent suicides. The nasal spray named Sravato, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, has been approved as the first of its kind nasal spray for the instant treatment of patients suffering from depression and suicidal tendencies.

Depression was already wreaking havoc in American countries even before the COVID 19 pandemic was the talk of the hour. The forced lockdown from the pandemic has only intensified the suicidal thoughts of patients already in the clutches of depression.

Since The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved its circulation, it will be readily available for public usage soon, according to media reports.

It means that the seventeen million people of America suffering from various stages of depression will now have access to a nasal spray that will instantly suppress the suicidal thoughts, NDTV reports.

J & J took a massive trial of the said medication on individuals specifically grappling with depression. Such kind of study was not conducted earlier hence the effects of nasal spray to control depression was not a topic well researched.

But the research work undertaken by the company has initiated a new lease of treatment for the people battling depression.

Michelle Kramer, vice president of J&J’s U.S. neuroscience medical-affairs unit, stated that since 2019, 6000 patients were administered the spray when they had bouts of suicidal thoughts. Most of these patients were treatment-resistant to depression but the spray seemed to work miracles.

The only catch seems to be the fact that the patients who showed signs of reduced suicidal/intense thoughts by using the nasal spray also showed similar reactions on a placebo effect.

Nevertheless, the spray defiantly worked faster in comparison to other antidepressants that could take weeks to show any significant effects.


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Kramer said: “Relatively rapidly within a few weeks we saw the numbers stabilize, which was pretty interesting for us and validating in the sense that clinic and patients alike were continuing to make this available.”

“We certainly see more and more sites sign-on and more and more patients are treated.”

What is Spravato?

Spravato is a chemical cousin of ketamine which is a standard anaesthetic. Spravato works on the glutamate system (the neurotransmitter of the brain) of the brain while most antidepressants work on the serotonin or norepinephrine (hormones that control the stress level in the brain).

The study is yet to find the result of the in-depth probe into why the spray works so fast or exactly how but drugmakers are more than excited to take up more trials to delve deeper into the workings of the life-changing nasal spray.

Last year saw a remarkable approval of the spray for public use which even garnered the attention of President Trump who hailed the effects of Spravato. He believes that the spray has the capacity to prevent veteran suicides.

Gerard Sanacora, director of Yale’s Depression Research Program, is of the view that the spray “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.”

The success of Spravato initiates a new era in the control and prevention of depression induced suicides and related health hazards. The world awaits more information on the drug with fingers crossed.

(Cover image courtesy of Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine via Flickr)