The generic name of SPRAVATO is Esketamine. It came about as the result of decades in which researchers explored the role that glutamate (another neurotransmitter) plays with respect to mental health. Classic anti-depressants mainly act on neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine. However, the limitations of these medications led researchers to explore other ways. Esketamine is one form of ketamine, an anesthetic once used recreationally. Though ketamine was originally developed as an anesthetic, in some studies it yielded rapid and robust antidepressant effects. This discovery laid the foundations for SPRAVATO, a nasal spray that exploits esketamine's antidepressant potential.


How Does SPRAVATO Work?

SPRAVATO, the pharmacy grade of ketamine, is unique in contrast to traditional antidepressants. It hits the glutamate system, more specifically at the N-methyl-D aspartate (NMDA) receptor. The NMDA receptor plays a central role in synaptic plasticity, the ability of synapses to become stronger or weaker over time. Mood disorders have been suggested to be due, in part at least, to dysregulation in synaptic plasticity.

SPRAVATO works by modulating the NMDA receptor, in an effort to restore synaptic plasticity and reduce depressive symptoms. Its rapid onset of action distinguishes it from traditional antidepressants, which may take weeks to show their results.

What Is The Treatment Process?

A nasal spray, SPRAVATO, is administered in our office by a healthcare professional under the care of our board-certified psychiatrist. During the induction phase (several weeks) patients usually use the inhalent twice a week. After the induction period, the frequency of administration may be gradually reduced to once a week or less depending on individual response. The treatment is not a cure for all; it works along with any prescribed oral antidepressant and often talk therapy. This collaborative approach aims to take advantage of the therapeutic effects while still dealing with the maze that can be treatment-resistant depression.

The Treatment Process

What Is The Effect Of SPRAVATO On Patients?

Clinical trials indicate that SPRAVATO is effective in treating TRD (Treatment Resistant Depression). Clinical trials have demonstrated that patients who had not responded to several commonly used anti-depressants improved significantly when treated with SPRAVATO. Also of particular note is the rapid onset, for patients with TRD typically suffer a great deal in having to wait around while waiting weeks for traditional antidepressants to take effect. In addition, SPRAVATO has been shown to be effective in reducing suicidal ideation an aspect of the treatment process that is especially important. Sometimes the ability to swiftly relieve these symptoms and thoughts of self-harm can become lifesaving and bring hope from despair.