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Is Spravato Safe? Plus, 3 Things To Know Before You Book

woman at therapy session

Short answer: Spravato (esketamine) is likely safe if you have been cleared for treatment by a physician and have no interfering medications or conditions.

Of course, if you've already been talking to a doctor about Spravato, you probably know that already.

If you haven't talked to a doctor about your options for Spravato, this article will cover some general information and things you need to know about the safety of the treatment.

Before you get any kind of esketamine therapy, you'll need to talk to a doctor, both in order to get a prescription and because online articles are not a replacement for true medical advice.

We can, however, cover the basics.

Esketamine Therapy Resources on this Page:

Is Spravato Safe?

3 Things to Know Before Getting Treatment

Where To Get Spravato in Brooklyn

Is Spravato (esketamine) therapy safe?

As an FDA-approved treatment for major depressive disorder, esketamine (sold under the brand name Spravato) is generally considered safe for qualified patients.

That means that the benefits of esketamine therapy found through clinical trials generally outweigh the negatives for the average patient.

Note that this does not mean that you are guaranteed of safety when undergoing an esketamine nasal spray treatment. Even if you are a qualified patient, you can still have severe side effects or an allergic reaction to the drug or its inactive ingredients.

Some common side effects of Spravato include:

  • Dizziness

  • Anxiety

  • Sedation and fainting

  • Dissociation, or feeling disconnected for yourself and your environment

These side effects usually fade within a few hours of treatment, but can also linger or become more severe.

3 Things To Know Before Getting Spravato Treatment

Because it's such a new treatment, and because it's a strictly controlled Schedule III substance, getting a Spravato esketamine treatment isn't as simple as picking it up from the pharmacy.

Here is what yo need to know before going in for an esketamine treatment.

#1: Esketamine is NOT Ketamine

While they are very closely related, esketamine or Spravato is not the same as standard ketamine.

Spravato is an FDA-approved treatment for those with major depressive disorder or treatment resistant depression, while ketamine is only approved as an anaesthetic.

In some states, ketamine can legally be administered intravenously as an off-label, non-approved treatment for some psychiatric conditions.

But Spravato is the only form of ketamine-related treatment approved for psychiatric conditions, making it safer (since it has been officially studied in depression patients) and easier to get (since psychiatrists are more readily able to prescribe it to those who need it.)

#2: Your doctor will help keep you safe during treatment.

Because esketamine is psychoactive - meaning it can temporarily distort your perception of time and space - it must be administered in a healthcare setting under the direct supervision of a medical professional.

Here are the steps a doctor will take to ensure maximum safety during your appointment:

Pre-Appointment Research and Approval

Part of any psychiatrist's job is staying up to date about the research behind the treatments they administer. If a certain production run of doses needs to be recalled - your psychiatrist will likely know this and adjust your appointment accordingly.

They will also fill out the paperwork required by the FDA that ensures that esketamine is the right treatment for you.

  • Supervision: You will administer the spray yourself, but the doctor will watch to ensure the correct dosage is applied and the application device functions properly. They'll also guide you through administering it to make sure the esketamine gets to where it needs to be.

  • Monitoring time: Your doctor will monitor you for at least 2 hours before clearing you for discharge. This is usually enough time for psychoactive or disorienting side effects to dissipate. If you are still feeling effects after 2 hours, your doctor may keep you under supervision.

  • On-hand staff: While it's unlikely that anything will go seriously wrong with your Spravato treatment, there is always the chance of having a bad side effect or an allergic reaction. One benefit of being under supervision is that, if something does go wrong, medical staff are on-hand to assist.

  • Guided post-treatment care: Many healthcare providers who offer Spravato, like Williamsburg Psychiatry Group, partner with talk therapists or mental health collectives to help patients maximize the benefits of esketamine before, during, and after treatment. During your appointment, or between appointments, you may be referred to a licensed therapist or psychologist for therapy sessions.

#3: Esketamine must be taken with an oral antidepressant

When you receive a Spravato treatment prescription, one caveat is that it must be taken with an oral antidepressant.

There are several reasons for this, but the most important is that it helps to fill the gap between Spravato appointments.

Spravato is a fast-acting treatment for depression, but the effects can and do wane between appointments.

For those with severe depression, this can be very dangerous. An oral antidepressant can stave off some depression until the next dose.

As long as you only take it as prescribed, and pay attention to your doctor's instructions during treatment, Spravato can be a very safe and effective treatment for those with chronic or treatment-resistant depression.

Where To Get Spravato in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Psychiatry Group

Our team of dedicated psychiatrists at Williamsburg Psychiatry Group has the training and expertise needed to safely guide your treatment with Spravato.

If you don't have a prescription yet, your first step is a consultation. You can book an appointment with our team online, and hey will be happy to assist you.

You can also call us to get in touch with our patient coordinator, who will be able to match you with the right psychiatrist for you.

Our team works closely with our partners at Williamsburg Therapy Group to also offer talk therapy to patients treated with Spravato.

Book a Psychiatry Appointment

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