How Many Esketamine Treatments Do I Need? | Active Path

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Considering esketamine (Spravato) treatments for your treatment-resistant depression? Here’s how many treatments we typically administer to our patients: All sessions require a two-hour observation period. For the first four weeks, treatments are twice weekly followed by four more weeks of weekly sessions. After these eight weeks, an ongoing (maintenance) plan will be decided on after a discussion with your medical care provider.

Major depressive disorder, also known clinically as depression, is a mental health disorder that affects an estimated 5% of adults in the U.S. A larger number of women are affected than men, and the severity of this disorder can range from mild to moderate to severe. 

Depression is a type of mood disorder that is typically characterized by low mood and loss of interest in routine activities. It usually negatively affects a person’s ability to function and perform everyday activities. Fortunately, depression is a treatable mental health disorder. Most people use treatments like talk therapy and antidepressants to treat their depression, but those methods don’t work for everyone. For people who haven’t found relief from multiple trials of antidepressants, methods like esketamine and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can prove to be more effective. You can learn more about esketamine in the paragraph below, including what it is, how it works and how many doses of esketamine are needed for treatment-resistant depression.

What is esketamine? 

Esketamine is a nasal inhalant drug that is derived from an anesthetic called ketamine. It has been approved by the FDA specifically for patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and can begin to improve the effects of depression within the first few hours of use when the patient is currently on an oral antidepressant. Esketamine is a self-administered nasal spray. A technician under the supervision of a licensed clinician will watch you administer the doses to ensure that they’re taken correctly. You will then be monitored for any side effects for two hours before you can go home using prearranged transportation.

It’s important to understand that esketamine is a treatment that is ideally taken in conjunction with traditional oral anti-depressant medication. Esketamine is a treatment that is designed to alleviate some of the symptoms of depression within 24 hours. When regularly administered over a period of several weeks, it allows one to experience relief from symptoms of depression and maintain the benefit.

What’s the difference between esketamine and ketamine?

There are a few fundamental differences between these two drugs. You can briefly read about each in the section below to better understand what distinguishes esketamine from ketamine:

  • Esketamine has been FDA approved for treatment-resistant depression. 
  • Esketamine is highly regulated and monitored.
  • Esketamine is administered via nasal inhalation, while ketamine is usually administered via intravenous infusion.
  • Esketamine presents milder adverse side effects.
  • Esketamine is covered by insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Esketamine should be taken along with an oral antidepressant.

How many esketamine treatments can help someone with depression?

If you are interested in esketamine treatments for your depression symptoms, don’t hesitate to speak with a qualified mental health professional who can help. They can work with your providers to determine how many esketamine treatments you will need for your depression. 

Generally, how many treatments of esketamine are needed for someone with depression can vary. It depends on the strength/dose of the esketamine used, how long it takes for your antidepressant medication to work, and the density of symptoms you are experiencing.

For our patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, esketamine treatments are administered twice a week with a two-hour observation period. The amount of esketamine administered depends on the severity of symptoms a patient is experiencing as well as the tolerability of the medication. Initial treatments are continued for eight weeks (12 sessions). After the first eight weeks, the number of treatments that are needed to continue are determined by the medical care provider. Patients with persistent symptoms may need continued treatment at varying intervals. Your provider may adjust the number of treatments and dosage as they see fit.

How can several doses of esketamine treatments help someone with depression?

  • It can reduce symptoms of depression within four weeks.
  • It builds neural connections in the brain.

Active Path Mental Health can provide you with the treatment you need for your depression

Mental health disorders like depression can steer your life out of control and leave you feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. Depression can affect your ability to perform everyday tasks, and negatively impact the quality of your interpersonal relationships and overall quality of life. Fortunately, treatment from our Active Path team can help you get better control on the symptoms of depression. We will collaborate with you to determine the best course of action. Let us help you take the first step toward a hopeful future. 

Active Path Mental Health is proud to say that patients can choose to receive treatment from locations in both Oregon and Washington. The team members at each one of our locations are dedicated to helping patients recover from their mental health disorders. 
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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