Spravato®: The Nasal Spray That Combats Treatment-Resistant Depression

Jul 20, 2022
Spravato®: The Nasal Spray That Combats Treatment-Resistant Depression
Millions of Americans suffer from treatment-resistant depression, a kind of depression that can’t be relieved by traditional medications and therapy. Spravato offers real hope by targeting depression in a different way. Here’s how it could help you.

Nearly 10% of Americans suffer from a depressive disorder in any given year, according to data from Johns Hopkins Medicine. Depression is more than the occasional feelings of sadness that we all have. 

People with depression have feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and deep sadness that persist for long periods of time. And while most of us can pinpoint our cause of sadness, people with depression typically have those feelings all the time, without an identifiable trigger.

While treatment is available, data shows that nearly a third of people who have depression find medical treatment — therapy, medications, or both — ineffective in providing relief for their depression symptoms. These people have what’s known as treatment-resistant depression, suffering from long-term effects that take a severe toll on their well-being and lives.

At Ayan Wellness in Lakeland, Florida, our team understands the devastating effects of depression and the toll it takes on our patients and their loved ones. 

When traditional therapies prove ineffective in relieving depression symptoms, our team may recommend an innovative treatment called Spravato®, a nasal spray containing an agent shown to offer dramatic benefits to patients with treatment-resistant depression.

The science of Spravato

Also called esketamine, Spravato is derived from ketamine, a drug used for years as an anesthetic. Ketamine is a combination of two molecules: R-ketamine and S-ketamine. Spravato includes only the S molecule of ketamine — hence the medical name, esketamine (or S-ketamine).

For treatment-resistant depression, Spravato is used in combination with an oral antidepressant that you take on a regular basis. But unlike these medications, most of which target neurotransmitters like serotonin or dopamine, Spravato targets an abundant chemical called glutamate that plays a role in mood regulation and depression. 

By managing glutamate, Spravato also helps stabilize mood fluctuations common in people with depression. In addition, ketamine (the parent form of esketamine) helps optimize nerve signaling in your brain, and some research shows it may help your brain grow new nerve connections

Together, all these effects may help reduce feelings of suicide or self-harm that can occur with long-term symptoms of depression.

Spravato offers benefits over ketamine therapy (which is also used for depression treatment) because it’s stronger than ketamine. This means it can be given at lower doses to reduce the risk of side effects. Plus, unlike ketamine that’s administered through an IV, Spravato is given as a simple nasal spray administered under our supervision.

What to expect with Spravato

Spravato isn’t a medication that can be prescribed for home use. That means when you need treatment, you’ll come to our office and we administer the spray on a specific schedule, just as we would administer injection therapy for other medical issues.

Spravato is non-invasive and completely painless. However, there are some side effects you should be aware of. 

Some people who have Spravato therapy find they feel a little disconnected or disassociated from their surroundings for a brief period. This could lead to mild feelings of nausea or dizziness. For that reason, we may advise you not to eat for two hours prior to your treatment. 

Spravato will also make you feel drowsy. You should plan to have someone drive you home from your appointment, and be ready to take it easy while the medicine takes effect and your body adjusts. You’re also monitored at our office for a brief period before being discharged home. 

Most people notice the full benefits of Spravato within a few weeks of treatment. It’s important that you continue to take your oral antidepressant since Spravato is designed to work in tandem with those medications.

Learn more about Spravato

Treatment-resistant depression can have devastating consequences for your life, your health, and your well-being. With Spravato, you could find the relief you’re looking for. To learn more about this innovative therapy, book an appointment online or over the phone at Ayan Wellness today.

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