Mental health care is changing, and that’s exciting. Esketamine is derived from the psychedelic drug ketamine. It’s an FDA-approved medication for depression and is thought to lead to growth through the creation of new connections in the brain. If you aren’t finding relief from traditional psychotherapy and medication management, then maybe esketamine treatments can help you find not just relief, but joy.
What is esketamine?
Esketamine is a drug that is derived from the anesthetic ketamine that has a long history of being used to treat depression. Esketamine is a more potent form of ketamine and is fairly new to the market as it became FDA-approved in March 2019.
Esketamine treatments come in the form of a nasal spray, which has a brand name called Spravato. The nasal spray is to be used alongside antidepressants to treat more severe cases of depression that are categorized as treatment-resistant depression (TRD).
Because esketamine is considered a controlled substance, it must be administered by specially trained medical personnel in a certified clinical setting. Most patients receive it as an outpatient and go home in a couple of hours.
What does esketamine treat?
People who are currently struggling with major depressive disorder (MDD) and haven’t found success or have experienced adverse side effects from at least two different antidepressant treatments may have TRD. People with TRD may finally find success with esketamine.
How does esketamine work?
Like antidepressants, esketamine raises the levels of certain chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin that occur naturally in the brain as neurotransmitters. However, esketamine is different than antidepressants as it increases the brain’s most prevalent chemical messenger: glutamate levels. This results in a greater reach and more substantial impact on brain cells with a single dose compared to antidepressants.
What does an esketamine session look like?
Esketamine treatments are an office-based, outpatient procedure. Patients self-administer the nasal spray under the supervision of a healthcare provider and in a comfortable, safe setting. They will then be monitored during and after the treatment in a comfortable care setting for two hours. Read more in the next section about side effects to learn more about that two-hour supervision period.
Are there any side effects?
The most common side effects of esketamine include:
- Increased blood pressure
- Bad taste in the mouth
These side effects usually only occur within one to two hours after the nasal spray has been administered. To help ensure the safety of patients, there is a two-hour window of supervision at the clinic following the administration before patients can leave and head home.
Your path to treatment
For esketamine to become included in your customized treatment plan, our staff will gather information on your symptoms and background, as well as any treatments you have attempted. They will answer any questions you may have about esketamine and, if you are interested, discuss how the treatment works. From there, you will be able to schedule your treatment sessions. A typical course of esketamine treatment consists of twelve sessions over two months. Your physician will also help you to determine maintenance treatments based on your unique needs.
All treatment plans at Mindful Health Solutions are customized to each patient. Our talented team of clinicians and support staff is dedicated to working with patients collaboratively to find a treatment plan that works for them. Our goal is to help patients find relief in a way that feels good.
Why Mindful Health Solutions for esketamine treatment?
Esketamine is a fairly new treatment for depression, and not everyone can provide the same expert and safe medical care as we can at Mindful Health Solutions. Our professional providers are ambitious to help you find happiness. You can trust that they will only recommend esketamine as a treatment option for you if they believe it will help you finally experience relief.
Overall, we understand the importance of patient-centered care and understand that one size does not fit all when it comes to mental health treatment. Patients respond well to the dynamic menu of treatments we offer, which includes traditional medication management and psychotherapy as well as cutting-edge alternatives.
Mindful Health Solutions also wants to make treatment comfortable and accessible. If patients are unable to physically come into the office or prefer a virtual appointment, Mindful Health Solutions offers telepsychiatry. This allows patients to get care from wherever they are in the state. We also foster a strong culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Our therapists strive to embody a sense of awareness, respect, and humility with regard to cultural differences. And last but not least, we accept most major insurances.