Will Intranasal Ketamine Spray Help Me With My Treatment-Resistant Depression?
What is Intranasal Ketamine?
Here at Life Change Associates we see many patients that are still struggling with Major Depression Disorder and it’s debilitating symptoms. We offer an array of options including TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) and intranasal (inhaled spray) ketamine.
A type of ketamine, known as esketamine and marketed as SPRAVATO®, is a recently FDA approved, fast-acting prescription nasal spray that can be used to treat adults with treatment-resistant depression and depressive symptoms in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) with suicidal thoughts or actions.
The way intranasal ketamine is thought to work is through the NMDA receptor in your brain, which can lead to a growth of new nerve connections (synapses) and improved functioning of the network involved in mood regulation.
Part of the excitement about intranasal ketamine is the potential to improve mood and other depressive symptoms on a much shorter time scale than classic antidepressants, sometimes in as little as one treatment.
How Do I Take Intranasal Ketamine?
This medication is currently only available through tight distribution and monitoring due to possible adverse side effects and the potential risk for abuse and misuse. Due to the associated risks and side effects, this medication can only be administered under the direction of a medical profession and requires two hours of monitoring after administration in a medically supervised setting.
To use the nasal device:
- You will take the intranasal ketamine spray yourself, under supervision.
- Gently blow your nose to clear the nostrils before you use the device.
- Hold the device upright between your thumb and first 2 fingers. Do not press the plunger.
- Tilt your head back slightly.
- Insert the device tip into the first nostril. The nose rest should touch the skin between the nostrils.
- Close the other nostril, then firmly press the plunger all the way up as you slowly breathe through your nose. Sniff gently after spraying.
- Repeat the steps for the other nostril.
- During and after each use, you will be checked by a healthcare provider who will determine when you are ready to leave the office.
- You will need a caregiver or family member to drive you home after your treatment.
- Some patients experience nausea and vomiting. You should not eat for at least two hours before or drink liquids at least 30 minutes prior to using the intranasal ketamine spray.
- If you take a nasal corticosteroid or nasal decongestant medicine, take these medicines at least one hour before using the intranasal ketamine spray.
- You should not drive, operate machinery or do anything where you would need to be completely alert until the next day following a restful sleep.
Some side effects include, but are not limited to, dizziness, nausea, dissociation, anxiety, blood pressure increase, vomiting and lethargy. More information on the benefits and risks of intranasal ketamine can be found here.
Is Intranasal Ketamine A Good Fit For You?
Patients interested in ketamine need to undergo a medical and psychiatric screening by Dr. Ravsten to help determine if this treatment is right for you.
If you would like a No Cost Ketamine Consultation to learn about this treatment option simply fill out the Ketamine Screening Form and someone from our office will contact you today.