“After years and years of trying everything for pain, anxiety, and depression, Spravato and ketamine infusions have changed my life. My therapist and psychiatrist are so happy they can send me to Ascend and that they work really closely with my existing mental health team.” -Lauren F
SPRAVATO™, also known as esketamine, is a nasal spray that rapidly alleviates depressive symptoms and when used in conjunction with therapy, assists in rapid healing of treatment-resistant depression and other mood disorders.
The approval of this drug by the FDA is considered to be one of the most significant advances in mental health in the last 30 years, as now patients who have failed two or more antidepressants have a safe, fast-acting, solution that is covered by insurance and co-pay cards.
Studies originally showed effectiveness in 50% of patients. We were the first clinic in our area to begin using SPRAVATO™ and the first in Ohio to administer SPRAVATO™ for the new indication of suicidal ideation. Our statistics show an efficacy of 80% at Ascend Health Center by integrating therapy and holistic approaches. Our anesthesia and psychiatry teams create individual plans with patients about the best treatment options.
SPRAVATO™ can be administered only at certified treatment centers under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Ascend Health Center is one of these clinics and our multidisciplinary team of providers is here to help you heal. We pride ourselves on collaboration and you do not have to leave your current psychiatry and therapy team to receive SPRAVATO™ at Ascend Health Center.
Does ketamine have any side-effects?
Low dose ketamine side-effects include nausea, anxiety, increased heart hate or blood pressure, and sedation, so we include medications when necessary to decrease those risks. In some cases, disassociation is a mechanism of action rather than a side effect to be managed.
How many ketamine infusions are necessary?
We typically recommend 6-10 treatments over 3-4 weeks. Especially for an acute issue and when coupled with psychotherapy, this may be sufficient. Some patients require additional treatments on an as-needed basis, so we offer flexible scheduling.
Are there other routes to take ketamine?
In some cases, intramuscular injections or nasal ketamine are administered at Ascend Health Center. SPRAVATO™, the brand name of esketamine, is a nasal medication derived from ketamine that was FDA-approved on March 5, 2019. Like TMS, we work with patients to get it covered by insurance if other treatments for depression or suicidality have failed. “Treatment resistant” just means depression and anxiety is still a struggle despite trying medication.
Isn’t ketamine a horse tranquilizer?
Many medicines are used with both humans and animals. Ketamine’s unique safety profile makes it an excellent anesthetic for many animals.
If ketamine is an FDA approved medication, why is ketamine off-label for mood disorders and pain conditions?
It is approved, but please review the FDA’s website for more information. There are consensus statements from the American Psychiatric Association and the American Society of Anesthesiologists supporting utilizing ketamine for treatment resistant mood and neuropathic pain conditions. Ketamine was synthesized in 1963 and approved by the FDA in 1970. Medication trials prove a specific use of a drug to be safe and effective without significant side-effects. Once an older medication is approved, it is very rare for drug companies to spend the money required for additional research to put the medication “on label” for specific conditions–think of diphenhydramine uses beyond taking a small pink pill for itching.
Is Spravato ketamine?
SPRAVATO™ is a nasal spray that was FDA-approved for treatment-resistant depression and acute suicidality. It is a derivative of ketamine. During the research and drug development process, scientists isolated one side of the ketamine molecule to create a new version of the drug. SPRAVATO™ is administered in our certified clinic by our nurse anesthetist with fifteen years experience working with ketamine, and patients are required to be monitored for two hours.