What Is Spravato and When Should It Be Used for Depression?

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What Is Spravato and When Should It Be Used for Depression?

Depression can be debilitating, and for some people, traditional antidepressants fail to relieve symptoms, or they experience unacceptable side effects. Still others prefer natural solutions. 

Fortunately, treatments like Spravato™ are paving the way for more effective interventions. Horizons Wellness Family Health is dedicated to offering comprehensive care to its patients. Recognizing the diverse nature of mental health issues and the varying responses to treatment, our practice offers innovative solutions like Spravato, aiming to alleviate treatment-resistant depression for our patients.

What is Spravato?

Spravato, known generically as esketamine, is a nasal spray approved by the FDA in 2019 as a treatment for depression. It's derived from ketamine, a powerful anesthetic that has been used medically for decades. Esketamine acts rapidly and is particularly used for treatment-resistant depression, a condition where patients don't respond to traditional antidepressants.

When it comes to anti-depressant medications, Spravato stands out due to its novel approach. It operates on the brain differently than standard antidepressants, targeting the NMDA receptors and re-establishing neural connections that influence mood and emotional balance.

When is Spravato recommended?

While Spravato represents a leap in depression treatments, it's not the first line of defense. Horizons Wellness Family Health often reserves this option for patients who haven't found relief with two or more traditional antidepressants. Such individuals are diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression. Spravato offers a new avenue when other paths have turned up empty.

Administering Spravato

Spravato isn't a medication that patients take home. Due to its powerful effects and potential side effects, it's administered under the direct supervision of a healthcare provider at a certified treatment center, like Horizons Wellness Family Health. 

After inhaling the medication, patients are observed for about two hours to ensure no adverse reactions occur. This also allows the medical team to monitor and document the drug's effectiveness and the patient's response.

Benefits and risks

The advantages of Spravato are pronounced. Many patients have reported feeling relief within hours to days, instead of the weeks that conventional antidepressants might take. Moreover, its rapid action can be life-saving for those with suicidal thoughts or severe depression.

However, like all medications, Spravato comes with potential risks. 

Some individuals might experience disassociation, a feeling of being detached from oneself or reality, or increased blood pressure. 

What to expect with Spravato treatment 

After initiating Spravato treatment, many patients experience a rapid alleviation of depressive symptoms. This swift onset of action is a distinguishing feature of Spravato compared to traditional antidepressants, which can often take weeks to show notable effects. 

Improvement in mood, increased energy, and a decline in feelings of hopelessness are common responses post-treatment. Some individuals also report enhanced clarity of thought and a renewed sense of purpose.

The frequency of Spravato treatments varies. Typically, the initial phase involves more frequent administrations, often twice a week for the first four weeks. As the treatment progresses and if positive outcomes are observed, sessions might reduce to once a week and eventually, to once every other week. 

Regular follow-ups at Horizons Wellness Family Health allow for personalized adjustments to the treatment plan, ensuring the highest chance of therapeutic success and long-term well-being.

Depression treatment with Spravato 

Sometimes, the path to wellness requires stepping beyond the conventional. If you or a loved one struggles with treatment-resistant depression, consider contacting us at Horizons Wellness Family Health. It’s possible to feel good again.