Have you ever felt like you’re on a merry-go-round of antidepressant medications, hoping the next one will finally be the one? You’re not alone. Recent studies show nearly 3 million American adults have treatment-resistant depression.

At Desert Bolt Behavioral in Phoenix, Arizona, our board-certified providers understand the frustration of trying — and dropping — different medications in the search for relief from depression.

For those who have tried multiple treatments without success, there’s a buzz about an innovative option: Spravato®.

Keep reading to learn about this antidepressant and the ways it differs from the traditional medications you’ve already tried.

Understanding traditional antidepressants

The chemicals dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are neurotransmitters that occur naturally in your brain. Traditional antidepressants work by increasing the levels of these chemicals in your brain over a period of weeks.

The idea behind these drugs is that having more of these neurotransmitters encourages better communication between your brain cells, which should, in turn, improve or boost your mood.

While these medications help some people, other people have what’s called treatment-resistant depression (TRD).

You could have TRD if you’ve tried two or more antidepressants for a minimum of six weeks each and you haven’t experienced at least a 50% improvement in your mood or your symptoms of depression.

If this sounds familiar, don’t wait to seek help, as untreated depression can lead to additional mental and physical issues, like insomnia and addiction.

How Spravato is different

FDA-approved Spravato isn’t your traditional antidepressant. The base compound in the medication is esketamine, a derivative of the drug ketamine. This active ingredient operates on a different neurotransmitter system than most traditional antidepressants.

While traditional antidepressants target serotonin, dopamine, or norepinephrine, Spravato affects your glutamate system. Glutamate is an important neurotransmitter linked to learning and memory.

The exact mechanism remains a topic of research, but it’s believed that Spravato helps restore certain synaptic connections in the brain, potentially helping ease depressive symptoms faster because it affects more brain cells after one dose.

In fact, most people notice an improvement in depressive symptoms within a few hours after taking Spravato. Like all medications, Spravato has a risk of some side effects, including:

  • Feeling disconnected from yourself
  • Mild hallucinations
  • Elevations in blood pressure
  • Headache or drowsiness
  • Nausea

Most effects resolve after about an hour and improve with each dose. The drug is administered as a nasal spray, which you receive under medical supervision so we can address any reactions you have safely.

Learn if Spravato is right for you

If you’re curious about Spravato or feel it might be the next step for you, our team of dedicated providers at Desert Bolt Behavioral is here to help. Our goal is to guide you through the maze of depression treatments, helping you discover the right path for you.

From comprehensive evaluations to personalized care plans to medication management, our specialists ensure you’re never alone in this journey. We offer various depression treatments, from cognitive therapies to different medication options.

We’re committed to empowering you toward better mental health. Whether Spravato is a fit for you or if another treatment is the right choice for your needs, we’re with you every step of the way.

Request an appointment online or by calling us at Desert Bolt Behavioral in Phoenix, Arizona, to learn more about Spravato and whether it might be right for your depression.

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