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The Science Behind Spravato: How it Works and Why it’s Different from Oral Antidepressants

Depression is a mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. While traditional oral antidepressants are effective for many people, there are still many individuals who do not respond to these medications. This is where Spravato comes in. Spravato is a medication that has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression, and it works in a different way than traditional oral antidepressants.

In this blog post, we will delve into the science behind Spravato, how it works, and why it’s different from oral antidepressants.

What is Spravato?

Spravato, also known as esketamine, is a type of medication that is administered as a nasal spray. It is a derivative of ketamine, which is an anesthetic drug that has been used for decades. Spravato works by blocking a receptor in the brain called N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA). By blocking this receptor, Spravato increases the production of a neurotransmitter called glutamate. Glutamate is essential for the growth and development of neurons in the brain, and it is believed to be involved in the formation of new neural connections. By increasing the production of glutamate, Spravato is believed to help improve the symptoms of depression.

Spravato is effective for individuals who have not fully responded to traditional oral antidepressants. There are many people who have tried several different antidepressant medications and have not found complete relief from their symptoms. In these cases, Spravato may be a viable option.

Facts About Spravato

Here are a few facts about Spravato to help you better understand its use:

  • Administration: Spravato is administered via nasal spray under the supervision of a healthcare provider, while oral antidepressants are taken in pill form at home.
  • Chemical structure: Spravato contains esketamine, which is chemically different from traditional oral antidepressants such as SSRIs and SNRIs.
  • Speed of action: Spravato has been shown to have a faster onset of action, with some patients experiencing relief from depression symptoms within hours or days of treatment. Many people who have taken oral antidepressants report that it can take several weeks or even months for the medication to take effect.
  • Dosage: The dosage of Spravato is administered in a specific way, with the initial doses given more frequently than maintenance doses. In contrast, oral antidepressants are typically taken at a consistent daily dose.
  • Frequency of administration: Spravato is typically administered twice weekly for the first month, and then weekly or bi-weekly thereafter, while oral antidepressants are taken daily.
  • Side effects: Both Spravato and oral antidepressants can cause side effects, but the types and severity of side effects differ. Common side effects of Spravato include dissociation, nausea, and dizziness. These side effects can occur during an active treatment session but typically subside the same day. Conversely, common side effects of oral antidepressants include weight gain, sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal issues, and other systemic side effects.
  • Efficacy: Clinical trials have shown that Spravato can be effective in treating treatment-resistant depression, while oral antidepressants have been shown to be effective for a range of depressive disorders.
  • Cost: Both Spravato and oral antidepressants can be covered by some insurance. At Neuro Wellness Spa, we are proud to accept nearly every insurance provider. Plus, our team handles all the paperwork, so you can focus on what’s important.
  • Accessibility: As Spravato must be administered in a REMS-certified healthcare setting, it may not be as accessible for patients who live in remote or rural areas, compared to oral antidepressants which can be obtained through a pharmacy.
  • Potential for abuse: Spravato is not physically addicting but it could be psychologically addicting if used recreationally at higher doses or greater frequencies than healthcare professionals use clinically.

Spravato is a promising medication that offers a different approach to treating depression than traditional oral antidepressants. There are many people who have tried several different antidepressant medications and have not found little relief from their symptoms. In these cases, Spravato may be a viable option.

If you are interested in trying Spravato in Los Angeles, call us today to learn more about how Neuro Wellness Spa can get you started with your first service within the next seven days.

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