On Tuesday (March 5), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a ketamine-like nasal spray for patients with depression who haven’t responded to other treatments.
The drug, called Spravato and made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, contains the active ingredient esketamine. This substance has the same molecular formula as ketamine but a different chemical structure. (In other words, it contains the same type and number of elements but in a different configuration.) Ketamine is typically used as an anesthetic, but it’s also been used as an illicit party drug.