What is SPRAVATO™ and how does it work to treat depression?
Ketamine Depression Treatment in San Diego
SPRAVATO™ is a prescription nasal spray prescribed for adults with treatment-resistant depression. (TRD is defined as depression that has not responded to at least two antidepressants). SPRAVATO™ contains esketamine, a drug derived from ketamine, which has been used as an anesthetic drug since the 1960s and became popular as a party drug in the 1980s. SPRAVATO™ has a different molecular makeup than ketamine and contains much lower doses of the derivative than would be found in any anesthetic or club drugs.
Studies have shown that when used in combination with an oral antidepressant, SPRAVATO™ begins to improve symptoms of depression within a few hours. Most oral antidepressants work by changing levels of chemicals in the brain that affect mood and emotion, a process that usually takes weeks to start working. SPRAVATO™ is thought to work differently, although it is unclear exactly why or how it works. Depression is a complex condition, and there is still so much unknown about its exact causes, and why some treatments work better than others.
SPRAVATO™ Treatment Process
SPRAVATO™ is prescribed in combination with an oral antidepressant and administered under the direct supervision of a healthcare provider. SPRAVATO™ is classified as a Schedule III drug, which means the FDA has approved it for medical use but it also has a high risk of misuse and dependence, so laws govern how it is dispensed and administered. SPRAVATO™ is only available to patients enrolled in the SPRAVATO™ Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program at a certified SPRAVATO™ treatment center.
Your first visit to our SPRAVATO™ treatment center will involve evaluation and assessment to confirm that SPRAVATO™ is a suitable option for you. During this time, your provider will explain the process, answer questions, and otherwise prepare you for your subsequent treatment sessions. Treatment does not usually take place on the first visit.
On treatment days, you’ll need to make arrangements for transportation, as you will not be able to drive or operate any heavy machinery for the rest of the day.
At your treatment sessions, you will administer the SPRAVATO™ nasal spray under the supervision of your provider and then remain at the treatment center for two hours of observation. This gives you the opportunity to rest while your healthcare provider monitors you for side effects. You can bring items, such as books, headphones, a journal, or a media tablet to keep you restfully occupied during the observation period.
Treatment sessions will take place twice a week during the first month, once a week during the second month, and then once a week or once every two weeks thereafter. You will continue to take your oral antidepressant medication as prescribed.