How Spravato® Differs From Traditional Antidepressants

How Spravato® Differs From Traditional Antidepressants

About one in every three people with major depressive disorder (MDD) is not helped by traditional antidepressants. For these patients who suffer from what’s known as “treatment-resistant depression,” Spravato® nasal spray can offer life-changing relief.

At ReNew Wellness and East Valley Serenity Health in Gilbert, Arizona, our team sees firsthand the improvement Spravato® can make. Here, they explain how this FDA-approved treatment works and how it differs from traditional antidepressants.

Traditional antidepressants

Antidepressants are prescription medications that treat depression by improving how your brain uses serotonin and norepinephrine, chemicals that influence mood. 

There are several types of antidepressants, and each works differently. Many patients with depression must try multiple medications before finding the one that provides the best symptom relief with the fewest side effects. 

Despite the many options, some people still don’t find relief with antidepressants.

Spravato

Spravato is an FDA-approved nasal spray that treats adults with TRD and MDD with suicidal thoughts or actions. Esketamine, derived from ketamine, is the active ingredient in Spravato.

Like antidepressants, Spravato affects brain chemistry. However, it increases levels of glutamate, a chemical messenger that stimulates nerve cells. 

Researchers are still not entirely clear about how Spravato improves depression symptoms but believe that increasing glutamate levels stimulates the brain to reactivate or create new neural connections.

Those who suffer from chronic depression lose vital brain connections, which prolongs their mood disorder. Spravato helps the brain regrow these lost connections and improve mood.

Unlike antidepressants which can take weeks to work, Spravato’s effect is immediate, relieving symptoms within hours.

Am I a candidate for Spravato?

Our specialists determine whether Spravato is right for you. If you have TRD or MDD with suicidal thoughts or actions, and you’ve tried at least two traditional antidepressants without success, you may be a candidate for Spravato.

Spravato is an in-office treatment. During your first month of therapy, your treatments are twice a week. The following month, treatment sessions are weekly. From there, you continue with treatments once a week or bi-weekly.

Administering Spravato takes seconds, but you remain at our office for two hours for monitoring. You need to have someone drive you home afterward and should take it easy for the remainder of the day.

When using Spravato, you need to continue your antidepressant medication. 

A different drug

Spravato relieves the often debilitating symptoms of depression by creating new neural pathways. Antidepressants improve how the brain uses the chemicals that control mood. 

If you suffer from treatment-resistant depression, Spravato may be your answer. To learn more, call our office or book an appointment online today. 

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