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Have Your Treatments for Depression Failed You? Spravato® Might Be Your Answer

Have Your Treatments for Depression Failed You? Spravato® Might Be Your Answer

Fighting against depression can feel like an uphill battle. The endless feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and sadness can make even getting out of bed seem like an impossible task. 

Typically, depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is treated with a combination of medications such as antidepressants and psychotherapy. For many people, these methods are effective at lifting those dark clouds of depression. 

However, for more than 60% of people, the first method of treatment they try isn’t enough to give them relief from their depressive symptoms. And another third of those don’t even find a second or third treatment effective at managing their depression. When this happens, the depression becomes known as treatment-resistant depression. 

If you find yourself battling treatment-resistant depression, it can start to feel like a hopeless situation. But, thankfully, research has brought a new treatment to the table called Spravato®. It’s an effective method for managing treatment-resistant depression offered by our team led by Venice Sanchez, MD, at her practice in Newport Beach, California. 

In this blog, we review how Spravato works and if it’s a viable treatment option for you.

How Spravato works to provide relief

Spravato is a prescription nasal spray recently approved by the FDA that contains esketamine, a substance made from the drug called ketamine. Ketamine is an anesthetic that’s been used for many years as an alternative treatment for depression. The results from ketamine can be instantaneous and incredibly effective at addressing severe depression and suicidal thoughts.

This can happen because ketamine increases the amount of glutamate in your brain. Glutamate is the most abundant chemical messenger in your brain. By increasing glutamate, communication in your brain increases, and your mood is boosted as a result.

Esketamine is a much more potent form of ketamine and can provide immediate relief from depression that hasn’t responded to other treatments. It’s also been shown to have far fewer side effects than traditional ketamine.

Spravato works best when combined with an antidepressant. Unfortunately, it can take up to six weeks to start seeing any results from medications, so Spravato can fill in the gaps while you wait for the antidepressant to take effect.

What to expect when you get Spravato

Spravato has the potential to distort your perception of reality for a short amount of time. For this reason, the nasal spray must be administered in our office under our close supervision. 

You give yourself the medication by spraying it into your nose three times, five minutes apart. We then monitor you for up to two hours to make sure all potential side effects have diminished. You can then go back to your normal activities.


Typically, you receive this treatment twice a week for a month before we steadily decrease the frequency over a few weeks. We start by reducing the treatment to once a week, then once every two weeks, and then once a month. 

Are you a good candidate for Spravato?

The FDA has approved the use of Spravato for those who have tried multiple antidepressants for at least six weeks at a time and haven’t experienced at least a 50% decrease in symptoms.

We’d love to talk with you about Spravato or other effective treatment methods for major depressive disorder. Simply schedule an appointment with our team by giving us a call at 949-269-6142 or booking online.

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