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Your Complete Guide to Spravato Treatments

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Peck
Reading Time: 3 minutes

At Nepenthe Wellness we offer a range of cutting-edge therapies to help you reclaim your well-being. Among our most transformative treatments is Spravato™ (intranasal ketamine), a groundbreaking option for those struggling with treatment-resistant depression. Unlike traditional antidepressants, Spravato™ works rapidly and offers hope for individuals who haven’t found relief with other treatments. Even better, Spravato™ is fully reimbursable on insurance, making this life-changing therapy more accessible than ever.

What is Spravato™?

Spravato™ is an FDA-approved nasal spray containing esketamine, a derivative of ketamine. It is specifically designed for adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) who have not responded adequately to at least two different antidepressants. Spravato™ works differently from other depression treatments by targeting the NMDA receptor in the brain, which plays a crucial role in mood regulation. This unique mechanism of action allows Spravato™ to provide relief much faster than traditional medications.

How Spravato™ Works

Spravato™ is administered as a nasal spray in a clinical setting under the supervision of a healthcare professional. The treatment is typically given twice a week for the first four weeks, followed by a maintenance phase where the frequency is gradually reduced. Each session lasts about two hours, including a period of observation to ensure your safety and comfort.

The Benefits of Spravato™

  • Rapid Relief: Unlike traditional antidepressants, which can take weeks to show effects, Spravato™ often provides noticeable relief within hours or days.
  • Decreased Suicidal Thoughts: While not specifically approved for this purpose, Spravato™ has been shown to reduce suicidal thoughts.
  • Reduced Long-Term Brain Damage: Spravato™ helps form new connections in the brain, potentially reversing damage caused by depression.
  • Insurance Coverage: One of the most compelling reasons to consider Spravato™ is that it is fully reimbursable on insurance. This means you can access this innovative treatment without worrying about the financial burden.

The exact mechanism by which Spravato™ works is still unknown, but it is believed to target the glutamate system in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. Unlike traditional antidepressant drugs that may take several weeks to begin working, Spravato™ often provides relief within hours or days of administration. Treatment involves an initial set of sessions in which the drug is administered twice a week for four weeks, followed by weekly or bi-weekly maintenance doses as needed.

How Spravato™ Compares to Alternative Treatments for Depression

In the evolving landscape of depression treatments, options like Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Ketamine Infusion Therapy have shown significant promise. TMS uses magnetic fields to activate nerve cells in the brain, potentially alleviating depressive symptoms for those unresponsive to traditional medications. Ketamine Infusion Therapy involves intravenous ketamine, offering rapid relief, especially for treatment-resistant depression.

While effective, these therapies have limitations. TMS demands daily sessions over weeks, which can be inconvenient, and ketamine infusions are not for everyone.

This is where Spravato™ stands out. As a nasal spray, Spravato™ provides rapid relief similar to ketamine but in a less invasive manner. Administered under medical supervision, it requires fewer visits compared to TMS, making it a more practical option for many patients. The combination of effectiveness, convenience, and minimal invasiveness makes Spravato™ an appealing alternative for those seeking effective depression treatment.

What to Expect During Spravato™ Treatment

When you come in for Spravato™ treatment, you’ll self-administer the nasal spray by applying it to each nostril three times, with five-minute intervals between sprays. Due to the potential for temporary perceptual changes, it is crucial that the treatment is done under our close supervision.

After administering the spray, you’ll be monitored for up to two hours to ensure any side effects have subsided. This observation period helps us ensure your safety before you leave the clinic and resume your daily activities.

The initial phase involves treatments twice a week for a month. After this period, we transition to a maintenance schedule, reducing the treatments to once a week, then once every two weeks, and eventually once a month, depending on your progress and needs. This gradual reduction helps maintain the benefits while ensuring you receive the appropriate level of care.

Who is a Candidate for Spravato™?

Spravato™ is intended for adults with treatment-resistant depression. To determine if you are a suitable candidate, you will undergo a thorough evaluation by our medical team. This includes a review of your medical history, current medications, and overall health to ensure Spravato is the right choice for you.

Potential Side Effects

Like any treatment, Spravato™ comes with its own set of side effects. These can range from mild to more severe and should be carefully considered before starting treatment. Common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Grogginess
  • Hallucinations
  • Depersonalization

It’s important to discuss these potential side effects with your healthcare provider to determine if Spravato™ is right for you.

Next Steps to Get Started

Ready to explore Spravato treatment? Reach out to Nepenthe Wellness to schedule your consultation and start your journey towards better mental health.