Ketamine has been used as a surgical anesthesia around the world for more than 50 years. About 20 years ago, ketamine’s ability to relieve depression, anxiety, and some pain disorders in less than 24 hours after administration was stumbled upon by researchers. Follow up studies replicating the rapid results have changed researchers’ understanding of depression, revitalizing an area of medical research that had been stagnant for almost three decades.
Esketamine, or Spravato, is derived from ketamine and makes its powerful antidepressant relief available in the form of a intra-nasal spray, similar to a common nasal decongestant. Psychiatric Solutions offers esketamine therapy in our Spokane office, and this novel therapy for treatment-resistant depression can be combined with other treatments, such as antidepressants, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), or other therapies.
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Esketamine, or Spravato, is the first nasal spray medication that is a treatment for depression. Combined with an antidepressant, Spravato is FDA-approved to treat treatment-resistant depression and has been clinically shown to improve symptoms of depression in just 4 weeks.
In a comfortable chair at our office, the patient will administer the Spravato treatment spray under the supervision of one of our healthcare providers. Afterwards, there is a two-hour observation window to monitor for side effects.
Spravato is administered only a couple of times each week: Two treatments per week for the first month, then one treatment per week for the second month, and one treatment every two weeks for subsequent months.
During or shortly after treatment, esketamine therapy patients generally report some sedation and disassociation effects. Other side effects may include nausea, dizziness, vertigo, or headache.
Spravato has been FDA-approved for the treatment of treatment-resistant depression since 2019 and evaluated in both short- and long-term trials for safety and efficacy. Because Spravato is administered in our office and we require a two-hour observation window after treatment, patients can be monitored closely for any adverse side effects.