Woman consulting with her psychiatrist to see if Spravato is right for her.

An In-Depth Look at SpravatoⓇ

by | May 18, 2022 | Blog

People with depression don’t have to suffer from the symptoms on their own. You have treatment options available to you, such as antidepressant medications and talk therapy. However, standard treatments like these are not always enough to fully address the symptoms of depression for everyone. It can be very difficult to deal with these symptoms, especially if you lose hope that any treatment will be able to help.

This is where the breakthrough medication Spravato comes in. It provides another treatment option for depression, in particular for those with major depressive disorder or treatment-resistant depression. If you have depression and treatments haven’t fully helped, could Spravato help manage your symptoms?

What Is Spravato and How Does It Help?

Spravato is the brand name for a prescription medicine with the active ingredient esketamine. This chemical comes from ketamine, which is an anesthetic drug that can help with treatment-resistant depression. Esketamine is stronger than ketamine, which allows it to work at lower doses and with the benefit of fewer potential side effects. Spravato is approved by the FDA as a depression treatment.

What is Spravato used for?

It is considered an antidepressant that is intended for use by adults with either major depressive disorder (MDD) with suicidal thoughts or actions, or with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Treatment-resistant depression is a term for when you’ve tried two or more antidepressant treatments for major depressive disorder, without finding relief.

This treatment can quickly provide relief from symptoms of depression within hours. A single dose can show results in relieving symptoms, whereas other antidepressants tend to show improvement after weeks. This medication has been studied in clinical trials that used Spravato in addition to an oral antidepressant for depression. The treatment showed positive results in one short-term study and a longer maintenance-of-effect trial.

Antidepressants work by impacting the balance of brain chemicals that have a part to play in mood. These medications work by increasing the levels of brain chemicals to improve mood.

How does Spravato work

This medication offers a new way to treat depression because it works differently than other medications for this purpose. The esketamine found in this medication also impacts a brain chemical. The difference is that it focuses on glutamate, which is associated with memory and learning and also creates excitement in the brain. Other antidepressants focus on the brain chemicals serotonin, dopamine, and/or norepinephrine instead of glutamate.

How Is Spravato Administered?

If you’re considering asking your doctor about whether this medication could help with your situation, it’s helpful to have a better idea of how the process works, from having it prescribed to how it is administered.

This outpatient treatment is not broadly available. Instead, it follows a restricted distribution system due to the risk of side effects, misuse, and abuse. This drug comes in a nasal spray form and is administered under medical supervision through a certified medical office or clinic.

After you administer a dose of the nasal spray yourself at an appropriate medical facility, with supervision and guidance for administering it, you are monitored for two or more hours. The reason for the extra precautions is the risk of sedation, suicidal thoughts, and behaviors, trouble thinking or paying attention, and misuse or abuse after the drug is administered. A medical professional monitors you to check for these types of adverse outcomes and determine when you are safe to leave the office. In addition, you should have someone drive you home from the appointment and avoid driving that day.

How long does Spravato last

This treatment requires numerous doses, generally over the course of two to three months. In the beginning, you use the nasal spray twice per week for a four-week period. After that, you switch to one administration per week for a four-week period. At that point, you administer a maintenance dose, which is tailored to your needs by your provider. In general, you receive Spravato once per week or once every other week at this point.

Spravato is used within a medical plan along with an oral antidepressant. It can also offer faster relief when you begin a new oral depressant and are waiting weeks for it to take effect. Additionally, many people use Spravato within a comprehensive care plan that also includes talk therapy.

To begin utilizing this FDA-approved treatment, please contact a healthcare professional at BestMind Behavioral Health about how to get Spravato Prescribed. First, you need to be diagnosed with one of the mental health disorders that are treated by Spravato, which include TRD or MDD with suicidal thoughts or actions. At this point, a medical facility that is certified to give this treatment can provide it, help you self-administer, and give supervision. This treatment is covered by most health insurance plans.

Are You Not Finding Depression Relief?

Are you continuing to struggle with the symptoms of depression? Esketamine offers a breakthrough treatment option for people with severe depression or those who aren’t being helped by standard treatments.

At BestMind Behavioral Health, we offer licensed medical facilities that can provide Spravato to those who qualify. Reach out to set up an appointment for an evaluation. Our professionals can determine the best treatment plan for your needs, including whether Spravato could be the key to helping you find depression relief.