The Spravato Treatment Process: What to Expect During Your Sessions

September 1, 2023 by Steve Suntala

Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Despite the availability of various antidepressant medications, a significant number of patients fail to respond to traditional treatment methods.

Recently, a new treatment option called Spravato (esketamine nasal spray) has emerged as a breakthrough in battling treatment-resistant depression. Follow along as we break down what patients can expect during their Spravato treatment sessions at New Pathways, and as we shed light on the potential benefits and side effects of this innovative therapy.

What Is Spravato?

Spravato is a prescription medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of depressive symptoms in adults with TRD. It is a self-administered nasal spray that is done with the supervision and guidance of a healthcare provider in a certified Spravato treatment center.

What Happens During a Spravato Treatment Session?

During a Spravato treatment session, patients are advised to arrange for transportation to and from the healthcare facility, as the medication commonly causes drowsiness or dissociation. Upon arrival, the patient will be assessed by medical personnel in a private room to monitor progress and to ensure they are safe and comfortable before starting treatment. Blood pressure is measured before administration, as elevated blood pressure is a potential risk associated with Spravato. If the patient’s blood pressure is within an acceptable range, the healthcare provider supervises and guides the patient self-administering Spravato at the prescribed dose.

Mental health professionals monitor the patients’ vital signs during and after the treatment session to ensure their safety. The patient commonly experiences feelings of dissociation, a dream-like sedated state that often has psychologically therapeutic benefits. These effects typically begin within minutes of administration but dissipate throughout the course of the session. Patients are advised to rest quietly and to make the most of this introspective state of mind. Patients will need to refrain from driving or operating heavy machinery for the remainder of the day.

Spravato treatment consists of an initial phase, where patients receive multiple treatment sessions per week over the first four weeks, followed by a maintenance phase with less frequent sessions. The exact duration and frequency of treatment sessions may vary based on individual needs and the healthcare provider’s recommendation. Throughout their treatment journey, patients should continue their oral antidepressant medications as prescribed.

The Results and Side Effects of Spravato

Spravato has shown promising results in various clinical trials, demonstrating a rapid reduction in depressive symptoms, including suicidal thoughts, in patients with TRD. It is crucial to highlight that Spravato should not be used for acute suicidal ideation or in place of emergency care. Instead, it serves as an adjunctive therapy to traditional antidepressants for the long-term management of depressive disorder.

As with any medication, Spravato also carries potential side effects that patients should be aware of. The most common side effects reported in clinical studies include:

  • sedation
  • disassociation
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • increased blood pressure

These effects are usually mild to moderate in severity and resolve on their own within a few hours.

It is worth noting that Spravato has certain safety precautions in place. The healthcare provider prescribes and administers the medication, and it is only available through a restricted distribution system called the Spravato Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program. This measure ensures that patients receive proper education about the risks and benefits of treatment and helps prevent misuse or abuse of the medication.

Before embarking on Spravato treatment, patients should have an open and honest discussion with their New Pathways Clinic provider regarding their medical history, current symptoms, and expectations. This conversation will help us assess whether Spravato therapy is suitable for the patient’s unique circumstances.

Spravato Nasal Spray at New Pathways Clinic

Spravato offers hope for individuals who have struggled with treatment-resistant depression and provides an alternative when traditional antidepressants have proven ineffective. As ongoing research and clinical studies shed light on the potential benefits and long-term effects of esketamine therapy, the therapeutic landscape for TRD continues to evolve.

Patient experiences during treatment sessions at New Pathways involve supervised administration and monitoring in a private room. It is essential for patients to have open communication with their healthcare provider to discuss the suitability of Spravato therapy and the best approach to managing their depressive symptoms. As we continue to advance in the field of mental health, Spravato holds great promise in offering newfound hope for those battling treatment-resistant depression.

To get started on your journey with Spravato, contact us at New Pathways or visit our Spravato Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. We are located currently in ClevelandColumbus, and Cincinnati to serve your needs. We hope to hear from you soon!

At New Pathways Clinic our heartfelt mission is to establish a holistic mental wellness campus that touches the lives of individuals in the greater Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati regions. We are dedicated to combining state-of-the-art mental health treatments, like Ketamine therapy infusions and Spravato nasal spray, with the expertise of compassionate mental health professionals to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, migraines, and bipolar disorder.

Our unwavering commitment drives us to continuously evolve and adapt as the scientific landscape of ketamine research expands and diversifies, leading to innovative mental health treatments. We are determined to pave the way for a healthier future for Cleveland, central Ohio, and southern Ohio.

New Pathways Clinic also offers Semaglutide & Tirzepatide weight-loss shots, ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, and  ketamine/Spravato support groups for patients.

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