FDA Approves a New Depression Drug – But Its Results Are Questionable

FDA Approves a New Depression Drug – But Its Results Are Questionable

Depression is an especially tenacious disease. A reported 16 million adults suffer from depression in the United States, yet a quarter of them do not find relief with treatments such as medications or therapy. Still others do not seek treatment at all, perhaps out of fear that it will not work.

It should seem a good thing, then, that the FDA approved a new prescription depression treatment on March 5 of this year. It’s something you may have heard of before: ketamine. Yes – the same ketamine used as a party drug, often referred to as Special K. Even more nefariously, ketamine is also considered a date-rape drug, due to its sedative nature.

Image of nasal spray

“Esketamine is an experimental nasal spray that delivers the active ingredients of the “club drug” ketamine. It was approved as a new treatment for severe depression by the Food and Drug Administration.” Source: NBC News

The version of ketamine approved by the FDA is called esketamine, and it is administered as a nasal spray. According to a report in the New York Times, studies suggest that ketamine may be a good option for people with treatment-resistant depression.

It is essential to note that research simply does not support the effectiveness of esketamine: “the drug did not statistically outperform placebo treatment,” according to the report in the New York Times. And since the FDA requires a drug to succeed in two trials before it is approved for market, the agency actually altered its criteria to push esketamine through the approval process. Also important to note: all of the trials that were conducted on esketamine were paid for and conducted by the manufacturer of the drug.

The long-term effects of esketamine are unknown, and the potential side effects are frightening. “A federal advisory panel noted that side effects, which include dizziness, nausea, increased blood pressure and an unpleasant feeling of dissociation, should be discussed with patients,” according to NBC News. Yes, you read that correctly: this drug causes hallucinations and out-of-body sensations. Dr. Gerard Sanacora, director of the Yale Depression Research Program, also remarked on the high risk of abuse with the drug, and that it is not deemed safe for at-home use.

And then there’s the price tag. “The cost for a one-month course of treatment will be between $4,720 and $6,785,” according to the Times. The nasal spray must also be administered in a doctor’s office, and in conjunction with oral antidepressants. In other words, not only is the drug expensive, but it’s inconvenient – patients have to drive to their doctor’s office to receive it, and they are expected to continue with the medications they are already taking, whether they are helpful or not.

In short: Esketamine has not been proven effective at treating depression. It has nightmarish side effects. It is incredibly expensive and it is highly addictive. Can this really be the best option for patients with depression?

The answer is no; there is a better option. Alpha-Stim® is an FDA-cleared, handheld medical device that treats depression quickly, safely, and easily – and without medications. Alpha-Stim delivers a patented microcurrent of electricity through two Earclip Electrodes to restore balance to the brain, where depression occurs. Treatments are as brief as 20 minutes per day, but there is no risk of overuse or addiction if you choose to use it more frequently.

A comparison of Alpha-Stim and ketamine

Unlike esketamine, Alpha-Stim is backed by decades of clinical trials that prove unequivocally that it works. In fact, not only does it work better than medications, but it costs less, too.

Alpha-Stim is easy to use at home. A doctor’s supervision is not required during treatments, because it is completely safe and user friendly. And while it’s perfectly acceptable to use Alpha-Stim in conjunction with your other medications and treatment methods, you may find that you can decrease or even discontinue your other medications as your symptoms abate with Alpha-Stim.

Alpha-Stim Earclip Electrodes

Alpha-Stim is both more effective and safer than esketamine, and can be used in the comfort of your own home.

If you suffer from depression, it’s normal to want to explore every treatment option that is available to you. But before you turn to risky, unproven, and expensive drugs, why not try the treatment that has been changing lives for decades? We’re experts at what we do – and what we do best is deliver relief. Get started today!

About Alpha-Stim

Alpha-Stim uses cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) delivered through a patented waveform via two earclip electrodes to treat anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Microcurrent electrical therapy (MET) delivers pain relief directly to the source of discomfort via two handheld Smart Probes.

The safety and effectiveness of Alpha-Stim is backed by over 100 independent clinical research studies.

Alpha-Stim is available by prescription in the United States and over-the-counter in other countries. Get started today!

Want to receive blog posts, articles & news?

x