How Does Spravato Therapy Affect the Brain?

Many people throughout the world struggle with clinical depression that doesn’t respond to antidepressant medication. Spravato, however, is a unique prescription that has the ability to effectively treat symptoms of severe depression when traditional methods are not successful.

So how can Spravato achieve what other antidepressants cannot?

What Is Spravato Therapy?

Spravato is a brand-name prescription medication used for treatment-resistant depression (depression that doesn’t respond to two or more traditional methods) and suicidal thoughts in individuals with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). This medication, which is available in the form of a nasal spray, can eliminate depression symptoms in as little as a few hours.

Individuals who take Spravato therapy attend several sessions over the course of a few months or more. During each session, they will self-administer the medication with supervision at a certified medical or mental health center. Each session takes about 30-45 minutes, plus an extra two hours for monitoring by a specialist in case of any side effects. Common side effects of Spravato therapy include dissociation, sedation, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, numbness, and more. While these side effects can be uncomfortable, they typically are not dangerous and usually go away after a couple of hours.

How Spravato Works On The Brain

How is Spravato able to rapidly eliminate symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts?

Most conventional antidepressants increase levels of naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain like serotonin and dopamine. Spravato, on the other hand, works to increase levels of glutamate: the most abundant chemical messenger in the brain. Because it’s such a large messenger, the glutamatergic system has a greater impact on more cells at one time. The main ingredient in Spravato (esketamine) is known to create synapses – or connections – between brain cells that many people who struggle with depression lack. When these connections can impact more cells at a time, the individual is more likely to feel the full effects of a medication.

Long-Term Effects of Spravato

In addition to quickly alleviating symptoms of depression, Spravato can also help individuals manage their depression in the long-term. Even long after someone is finished with their sessions, they will still feel the antidepressant effects of Spravato. However, it is still important for individuals to manage their mental health in other ways after receiving Spravato. They can do this by continuing to use oral medication, attending therapy, going to support groups, etc.

How to Get Started With Spravato Therapy

If you think Spravato could work for you, talk to your doctor before making an official decision. They will consider any current conditions you may have along with your medical history to determine if Spravato would be a good fit. If you and your doctor both think it could be right for you, you can begin researching local Spravato providers.

It is important to keep in mind that while many medical and mental health centers now offer Spravato therapy, you can’t receive it just anywhere. Spravato is available through a restricted distribution program called the SPRAVATO® REMS, with which only certain facilities have. However, there are many online resources available to help you find centers near you that are certified to provide Spravato therapy. 

At Elium Health, we offer Spravato therapy in a comfortable and friendly environment. To learn more about Spravato and our other services, give us a call at 866-552-3758 today.


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