Anti-Suicide Nasal Spray

Back in 2012, the Army awarded a grant to Dr. Michael Kubek of the Indiana University School of Medicine to develop an “anti-suicide nasal spray”. gives some details:

the spray would deliver an extra dose of thyrotropin-releasing hormone, (TRH for short) which causes a “euphoric, calming, antidepressant effect.” TRH has been used in the past to treat severe depression and bi-polar disorders. Between the quick-acting effect of the chemical and fairly direct delivery system, the drug might be able to literally stop people from killing themselves on the spot.

The Military Suicide Research Consortium offers some more info, similarly emphasizing that a primary benefit of the nasal spray was that it would be quick-acting. So I’m assuming the idea was that if someone was thinking about suicide, they could squirt the spray up their nose and the thoughts would go away. Although this suggests a problem. If someone was serious about suicide, wouldn’t they purposefully not use the nasal spray?

The Army grant was for three years. But I can’t find any follow-up indicating whether the spray was successfully developed. Although I did find that Dr. Kubek died in 2019.

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