Head Well

Head Well

Integrative Psychiatry & Wellness

 Head Well Integrative Psychiatry

Explore how Spravato (esketamine) is revolutionizing the treatment of depression and suicidality. Learn about its benefits, how it works, and what patients can expect.

Depression is a pervasive mental health condition affecting millions worldwide, often accompanied by suicidality, which poses a significant challenge for both patients and healthcare providers. Traditional antidepressants may not work for everyone, leaving a gap in effective treatment options. However, recent advancements have introduced a handful of new treatments, including Spravato (esketamine), as a promising alternative. This post delves into the value of Spravato for individuals battling depression and suicidality, offering hope and a new path to recovery.

What is Spravato?

Spravato, the brand name for esketamine, is a nasal spray approved by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression and depressive symptoms in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) who are at risk of suicide. Esketamine is a derivative of ketamine, a medication known for its rapid-acting antidepressant effects, but tailored to provide a more targeted approach with potentially fewer side effects. For patient who have tried and failed several treatments, it may also be covered by insurance and therefore more accessible from a cost perspective.

How Does Spravato Work?

Unlike traditional antidepressants that target the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, Spravato operates on the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the brain. This action helps to modulate glutamate, a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation. By rebalancing these chemical messengers, Spravato can alleviate depressive symptoms more quickly than conventional treatments, sometimes within hours or days.

The Value of Spravato for Depression and Suicidality

1. Rapid Response: Spravato can reduce depressive symptoms significantly within the first 24 hours of treatment, a critical feature for individuals experiencing suicidality.

2. Treatment-Resistant Depression: For those who have not responded to traditional antidepressants, Spravato offers a new avenue for treatment, providing hope and potentially life-saving outcomes.

3. Innovative Mechanism: By targeting NMDA receptors, Spravato represents a novel approach in the fight against depression, diversifying the arsenal of available treatments.

4. Safety and Efficacy: Clinical trials have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of Spravato, with many patients experiencing long-term improvements in their symptoms.

Considerations and Side Effects

While Spravato is a significant advancement in depression treatment, it’s not without potential side effects, including dissociation, dizziness, nausea, sedation, increased blood pressure, and headache. Treatment must be administered under medical supervision in a certified healthcare setting to manage these risks effectively. Individuals receiving Spravato must be monitored for 2 full hours and are unable to drive themselves home from treatments.


Spravato represents a beacon of hope for individuals with depression explore and understand its full potential, Spravato underscores the importance of innovative approaches in mental health care.

If you or a loved one are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, it’s crucial to seek professional help. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether Spravato could be a suitable option for your treatment plan.