Revolutionary nasal spray helping to treat depression
A first-of-its-kind nasal spray that is helping people who live with treatment-resistant depression is now available for use in Australia.
The spray, called Spravato, has shown promising results overseas as its helps excite the brain, according to experts.
It is available for use by patients with treatment-resistant depression, which affected about a third of those in Australia who live with depression.
The esketamine spray is administered through the nose and must be taken in conjunction with oral antidepressants and under the close observation of a mental health professional.
The combination of oral medication and the spray has been proven to work more quickly than most existing treatments.
Professor Mal Hopwood from the University of Melbourne and Albert Road Clinic said the spray works by generally exciting the brain.
"It works amending a transmitter system called glutamate that none of our treatments target," he said.
The spray was approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in March and has since been become available in 20 treatment centres.
The spray will not be available over the counter at a pharmacy, but will instead be available to patients who have a referral from a GP or psychiatrist.
Image credits: Nine / Janseen Australia