4 promising psychiatric medications seeking FDA approval

In clinical trials, four in-development psychiatric drugs show promise for treatment of schizophrenia, postpartum depression and major depressive disorder, MDLinx reported July 21.

1. Kar-XT

Kar-XT combines xanomeline and trospium, which inhibit postsynaptic neurons to treat schizophrenia. Clinical trials found the drug effectively treats positive and negative schizophrenia symptoms and doesn't cause many adverse side effects.

2. SAGE-217 (Zuranolone)

In 2019 the FDA approved brexanolone, an IV formulation of allopregnanolone, to treat postpartum depression and major depressive disorder. SAGE-217 is an oral form of the drug. It effectively treated symptoms of anxiety and depression.

3. AXS-05

AXS-05 is a combination of dextromethorphan, an FDA-approved cough suppressant, and bupropion, a selective norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor used as an antidepressant and to help people stop smoking, also is known by its brand name, Wellbutrin. Studies showed that bupropion slows the absorption of dextromethorphan in the body, causing it to act as an antidepressant.

4. Hydroxynorketamine

Esketamine, a nasal spray, was approved by the FDA in 2019 for treatment of suicidal ideation related to major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression in adults. Hydroxynorketamine is an intravenous form of the drug, showing rapid treatment of depressive symptoms without the dissociative effects of ketamine and esketamine in clinical trials.

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