“Just a little sugar and the pill goes down, everything will shine brighter”He sang Mary Poppins in the famous film. The dream that there are drugs capable of solving every possible evil has always stirred the dreams of medical specialists, chemists, biologists, professors and of course also of patients. But, obviously, it’s not that easy. In AmericaFurthermore, there is an impressive drug culture. At the counters of pharmacies you can buy everything. Tragically famous is the case of the anti-pain drug that was misleadingly put on the market years ago with the declaration, approved by the National Health System, that it was not addictive because it was free of opiates. In reality, the drug produced an impressive addiction because it was full of opiates, causing an epidemic that caused thousands of deaths, worse than heroin, in all social strata, from housewives to lawyers to stars of the show.
Are we now facing a similar case? For the first time in decades, the National Health System has approved a new anti-depressant, Auvelty, which has the characteristic, unlike the anti-depressants currently on the market such as Prozac and Xanax, to take effect within a maximum of one week. There you have it, once again a drug that solves everything immediately. It will be like this?
There depression it is today the disease that is spreading the most in the world, millions of people suffer from it (in the United States alone about 30% of the population). It is therefore a market that appeals to drug manufacturers. The manufacturing company, Axsome, plans to launch the drug later this year with an unknown business partner and said it will offer it to some 25,000 psychiatrists and mental health professionals in the United States. Considering that this is a market of around 80 million people who use anti-depressants, we can only imagine the revenue. The company’s shares have in fact skyrocketed by more than 50% at the time of the announcement. Auvelty is the first oral antidepressant drug to be approved by US regulators in recent decades and offers a new alternative to patients who were able to access drugs developed only years ago.
While drugs like Prozac and Lexapro increase serotonin levels in the brain, Auvelty is an NMDA receptor antagonistwhich means it targets receptors that are thought to be holding an important role in learning and memory. And, unlike current antidepressants on the market, which have to be taken for weeks before they start working, Auvelty has been shown to improve depressive symptoms in patients in just one weeka key strength of the drug.
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