Spravato for depression treatment has become a more common way to access the benefits of ketamine for mental health. The nasal spray is a brand-name prescription medication that is prescribed for adults with the following conditions:
- Treatment-resistant depression (TRD): TRD is depression that hasn’t improved even after a patient has tried two or more antidepressant medications. TRD is diagnosed only when treatment includes different classes of medication used for a reasonable amount of time without showing any improvements in moods or experiencing unsatisfactory results (such as intolerable side effects).
- Major depressive disorder (MDD): MDD is defined by persistent sadness or irritability. It is also commonly referred to as clinical depression. MDD is the most common mental health condition in the United States.
Spravato is used together with another antidepressant medication that is taken orally to treat TRD and MDD.
At Axis Integrated Health, we have an established process for using Spravato for depression treatment.
- Scheduled 60-minute intake appointments with one of our psychiatrists to learn more about your needs and situations.
- If we determine Spravato for depression is appropriate for you, we will discuss its benefits and also get insurance authorization on your behalf.
- Once approved for treatment, we will schedule your appointment. The first treatment will begin as soon as possible after approval.
- You will be scheduled for two treatment sessions each week for the first four weeks.
- For the second four weeks, you will come in for one treatment session per week.
- After the first eight weeks, you will come in for one treatment with as much time in-between sessions as is tolerable for your situation and based on your response to the treatment.
Each visit occurs in a private room. You will have access to noise-canceling headphones, a curated ketamine music playlist, warm blankets, eye masks, and comfortable chairs to relax while receiving Spravato. You are also welcome to bring whatever you need to feel comfortable, including one other support person.
You will stay in the clinic under observation until potential side effects have passed. You will always receive a debrief before and after each treatment session with one of our team members. During the debrief session, our team members will chat with you about the experience and help you make the most of each Spravato nasal spray treatment.
Spravato is a ketamine nasal spray that takes about 10 minutes to take effect. You may experience some dissociative effects. The experience can be a strong catalyst for change.
Call us at (720) 400-7025 to schedule your intake session to see if Spravato for depression treatment is right for you.
When taking Spravato for depression, there are a few things you need to do in order to prepare for the ketamine experience:
- Plan your ride: Be sure to find someone to give you a ride or schedule a ride with a ride-sharing app, as you can not drive until the day after your treatment session and after a good night’s sleep.
- Time your food: You shouldn’t eat four hours before your treatment session, and you shouldn’t drink liquids 30 minutes before your treatment session. On the day of treatment, you should limit meals to light foods and avoid anything greasy or heavy. Failure to follow this recommendation may cause you to experience nausea or vomiting during or after your treatment.
- Medication management: If you are taking a nasal decongestant medicine or nasal corticosteroid, you need to take those medications an hour before your Spravato for depression treatment.
- Avoid these: Do not drink alcohol within 24 hours of Spravato treatment as it decreases the effect of your treatment. If you take Lamictal or benzodiazepines, skip them within 6 hours of treatment.
- Relax and rest: The night before a treatment session, you should take it easy and do things you enjoy. Avoid any stressful media, movies, or music.
The non-brand name of the drug used in Spravato is Esketamine, which is made from a drug called ketamine. Esketamine is a more potent version of ketamine, which the FDA approved specifically for use as a nasal spray for individuals with TRD and MDD.
Esketamine is derived from part of the ketamine molecule. It is more potent than ketamine, which allows it to be delivered at a lower dosage level and with fewer side effects.
Spravato nasal spray is FDA-approved; therefore, most insurance companies will cover this treatment!
Esketamine works differently than other antidepressants drugs.
Conventional antidepressants increase naturally occurring chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Increasing the amount of these chemicals in the brain allows for more effective communication between brain cells, positively impacting one’s mood.
Esketamine works in a whole new way. Instead of increasing serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine in the brain, like other antidepressants, Esketamine increases the levels of glutamate by working at a different receptor called the NMDA receptor. Glutamate is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in your body. It is important for proper brain function.
By increasing the levels of glutamate, your brain is able to grow new and stronger communication paths that help balance out the communication between different areas of the brain. In depression, we now know that the brain does not communicate between different areas as it should. This causes commonly reported symptoms of depression, such as recurring negative thoughts, brain fog, and hopelessness.
Esketamine does this rapidly, and many patients feel improvement after a few treatments.
The most common side effects of receiving esketamine are dizziness and a temporary increase in blood pressure. Esketamine can also cause an out-of-body experience or sedation.
That is why the drug is administered in a clinical setting under observation. You don’t leave until these side effects have subsided. Side effects are usually the most intense during your first two treatments and become less intense during later treatments.
Other side effects can include
- A feeling similar to feeling drunk
- Feeling anxious
- Feeling very happy or excited
You can take Spravato for depression if you have TRD or MDD and other treatment methods have not worked for you. This form of treatment is best for individuals without a history of alcohol or substance abuse disorders or other major medical conditions.
You should not take Spravato if you have the following conditions:
- Blood vessel disease
- History of bleeding in the brain
- Abnormal connection between your veins and arteries
- Allergies caused by esketamine, ketamine, or any other ingredient contained in Spravato
Before taking Spravato fore depression, please let us know about any medications and supplements you are taking, as well as any health conditions you have. This will help us determine if Spravato is the right treatment for you when considering your whole-health picture.
Spravato is an innovative new treatment for individuals with depression. It offers unique treatment benefits.
Most traditional antidepressant medications are designed to be slow-acting, which means that it can take many weeks for you to notice a difference in how you feel. Esketamine is different, though. It rapidly impacts your brain’s cells, bringing immediate relief from your depression symptoms within hours of treatment.
Many traditional antidepressant medications may increase suicidal thoughts, especially at the start of treatment. Eskatamine is one of the only drugs proven to decrease suicidal thoughts. The only exception is lithium, which is commonly used to treat bipolar disorder.
TRD is tricky to treat. Esketamine has been approved by the U.S. F.D.A. since 2019 for TRD. Multiple studies have shown that it is an effective TRD treatment option.
Research has shown that taking Spravato for depression helps you build new brain connections. A newer understanding of depression has shown us that depression may be caused due to irregular communication paths in the brain.
As your brain continues to follow the negative thought pattern paths, it starts to shut down other pathways. This changes the brain's communication, worsening depression.
Clinical studies have shown that taking Spravato for depression helps the brain make new connections and helps the brain heal from the damage resulting from long-term depression.
Esketamine (the active drug in Spravato) and ketamine are not the same thing.
Ketamine is comprised of two mirror-image molecules: R-ketamine and 5-ketamine (which is known as esketamine). Therefore, Esketamine is one-half of the molecular compound within ketamine.
When the molecule is split in two, each molecule is now called an enantiomer. Each one interacts differently with the receptors in your brain.
Spravato, when used in combination with another antidepressant medication, is approved for use by the U.S. F.D.A. for treating adults with TRD and MDD.
Ketamine isn’t FDA-approved to treat depression due to the fact that it is already FDA-approved and has been around so long it's now considered a generic drug. However, it is legal to prescribe for off-label uses and hundreds of studies have shown amazing results when appropriately trained medical providers offer ketamine as a treatment for depression.
If you suffer from treatment-resistant depression or major depressive disorder, Spravato may be the treatment you need.
Contact Axis Integrative Mental Health at (720) 400-7025 or fill out our contact us form to learn if Spravato for depression treatment is right for you!