Between 10 and 30% of the depressed patients does not respond to treatments and presents resistant symptoms, causing a serious deterioration of the physical, social and occupational health of patients, as commented by the Head of Psychiatry at the Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona, Enric Álvarez, during the XXVIII National Course of Psychiatry.

However, the expert has reported that a recently approved new medicine to respond to this situation. Specifically, the European Medicines Agency (EMA, for its acronym in English) has approved a new drug for intranasal administration whose active ingredient is the esketamine for the treatment of resistant depression, under the prescription and follow-up of a psychiatrist.

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“More and more new aspects are emerging. We have more and more evidence that the pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatment at the same time, it is more powerful than only pharmacological or only psychotherapeutic treatment. This leads, on the one hand, in pharmacology to look for new drugs that help us, especially for those patients who do not respond well to conventional treatments or are recurrent patients, and, secondly, to try to identify psychotherapies with scientific evidence on its effectiveness in treating depression “, he pointed out.

Along these lines, the doctor has assured that he is advancing “a lot” in these two lines of work, both in discriminating psychotherapies with scientific evidence behind them, as well as trying new drugs or, in some cases, derivatives of others, which have now become new molecules and their efficacy is being tested in depressive disorders.

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“We are facing the irruption of new drugs such as psycho-dysleptics. In this case, for example, esketamine is the latest drug that has appeared and that is going to be used a lot in those cases of depression that do not respond to conventional treatments. The novelty it brings is that it is a drug with a different pharmacological profile, with different route of administration, is administered by intranasal route, with a faster action than those available so far and that has been shown to reduce suicidal tendencies and that is very important, “he described.

On the other hand, Álvarez has clarified that “depression is not being sad“Nor do you have an adaptive problem or when you tend to see the glass half empty instead of half full.” Depression is a disease that appears in a way many times without being able to relate it to any biographical or vital event, sometimes yes . It is a very serious disease that causes symptoms such as the total inability to feel pleasure (social, family, work or sexual). Whatever we do no satisfaction is felt“, has argued.

“Depression is not being sad”

Therefore, he continues, depression requires specialized treatment, since it causes “significant” cognitive dysfunction that prevents the person from leading a “normal” intellectual life. “It is a silent death. In depression there is an intolerance to stress. Anything is complicated, difficult, impossible to do, it is like climbing Kilimanjaro and there is a pain intolerance important “, has settled the expert.