Safety and effectiveness of intranasal esketamine for treatment-resistant depression: a real-world retrospective study

This retrospective analysis (n=171) examined the effectiveness of esketamine in participants with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) using real-world data. A significant reduction in depressive symptoms was observed using the PHQ-9 and GAD-7 from baseline to last the last treatment.


Aim: There is limited real-world evidence for patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) receiving esketamine nasal spray. 

Methods: This retrospective cohort study used data collected from a psychiatric clinic’s EHR system. 

Results: A total of 171 TRD patients received esketamine from July 2019–June 2021. This predominantly female, white population had several mental health comorbidities and high exposure to psychiatric medications. We observed significant reductions (p < 0.001) in average PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores from baseline (PHQ-9: mean: 16.7; SD: 5.8; GAD-7: mean: 12.0; SD: 5.8) to the last available treatment (PHQ-9: mean: 12.0; SD: 6.4; GAD-7: mean: 8.7; SD: 5.6). There were no reports of serious adverse events. 

Conclusion: This study found a significant disease burden for patients with TRD. Esketamine appears to be well tolerated and effective in improving depression and anxiety.”

Authors: Madeline Brendle, Sachin Ahuja, Maisa Valle, Claire Moore, Paul Thielking, Daniel C. Malone & Reid Robison

Study details

Compounds studied

Topics studied
Depression Treatment-Resistant Depression

Study characteristics

171 Humans