Washington: An antidepressant nasal-spray can be a safe and effective way to treat depression in patients who do not respond to existing treatments, a study has found. Being common and treatment resistant, individuals with depression are often unable to relieve their symptoms despite trying anti-depressants, researchers said.

According to the study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, esketamine nasal spray, in conjunction with an oral antidepressant, offers a new fast-acting treatment for people that have not responded to other depression treatments.

“Not only was adjunctive esketamine therapy effective, the improvement was evident within the first 24 hours,” said Michael Thase from the University of Pennsylvania in the US. “The novel mechanism of action of esketamine, coupled with the rapidity of benefit, underpin just how important this development is for patients with difficult to treat depression,” said Thase.