Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.
Skip to main content

Is Spravato® Treatment Safe?

Is Spravato® Treatment Safe?

If you live with depression, life can be incredibly difficult. Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and fatigue along with difficulty concentrating and lack of enjoyment in life can plague you each day and make it hard to function. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of treatment options available for depression such as antidepressants and psychotherapy. However, up to 30% of people find that the first two treatments they try aren’t enough to manage their symptoms. This is referred to as treatment-resistant depression. 

In more recent years, new treatments have been developed to address treatment-resistant depression, including Spravato®

At her practice in Newport Beach, California, Venice Sanchez, MD, and the rest of our team offer Spravato to provide relief for those struggling with treatment-resistant depression. This blog reviews what you need to know about this innovative treatment, including its safety. 

Understanding Spravato

Spravato is a brand name for a drug called esketamine, which is derived from ketamine. Ketamine was used for many years as an anesthetic but was recently discovered to have the ability to treat depression and other mental health conditions such as anxiety and bipolar disorder. 

Esketamine is actually a more potent form of ketamine and is administered through a nasal spray. Because it does have a higher potency, you can use it in lower doses and reduce your risk of adverse side effects. 

This nasal spray treatment is able to address depression by increasing the amount of glutamate in your brain, which is the most abundant chemical messenger your brain has. By increasing the amount of glutamate, your mood can be positively impacted.

How the treatment process works

If our team determines that you have treatment-resistant depression, you can be considered a candidate for Spravato. In addition to not responding to treatment, treatment-resistant depression also typically presents with more intense depressive episodes and thoughts of suicide. 

Spravato does have the ability to distort your perception, so it has to be administered in our office. You spray the medication into your nose three times, five minutes apart under our supervision. Then we observe you at our office until any side effects have subsided. 

How safe is Spravato?

Just like any medication, Spravato does have a risk of adverse side effects. Known mild side effects of Spravato include dizziness, nausea, vertigo, and increased blood pressure. On rare occasions, Spravato has been shown to cause more severe side effects such as cognitive impairment, high spikes in blood pressure, and dissociation. 

Because there is a risk of severe side effects, you always need to take it under medical supervision. As long as you take it under the close supervision of a licensed professional such as Dr. Sanchez, it’s a perfectly safe drug to use. 

It’s important to note, however, that because Spravato can cause dissociation, you shouldn’t drive the day you use the medication. 

To learn more about Spravato and if it would be a good treatment for you, schedule an appointment with our team by calling our office or booking online today. 


You Might Also Enjoy...

How TMS Can Treat OCD

How TMS Can Treat OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that’s usually managed well with medication and psychotherapy. However, for some, these treatments aren’t enough. Find out if TMS could be the right treatment for you.
I Have Severe Phobias: Can You Help?

I Have Severe Phobias: Can You Help?

While it’s common to be scared of heights or going to the dentist, phobias are much more intense and can affect your quality of life. We discuss how we can help you manage your phobias here.
How Is PTSD Diagnosed and Treated?

How Is PTSD Diagnosed and Treated?

It’s normal to experience intense feelings after a traumatic event. However, if these feelings begin to worsen instead of lessen, you might have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Learn how this condition is diagnosed and treated here.

Why You Feel Anxious After New Year’s Day

After the holidays die down, you might be expecting to feel some relief. However, for some, the day after New Year’s brings nothing but anxiety. If that’s the case for you, we want to explain why that is and how to manage it here.