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Ketamine versus Spravato Treatment: Which One is Best for Me?
June 9, 2022 at 5:00 AM
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Ketamine infusions are an option for treating treatment-resistant depression, as well as a variety of other mental health conditions. Spravato treatment may be another option. This guide is meant to help you understand the differences between the two.

What are the Differences Between Esketamine (Spravato) and Ketamine?

While both ketamine and esketamine are ground-breaking treatments for major depressive disorder and treatment resistant disorder, there are considerable differences between the two.

What is Ketamine?

Historically, ketamine was used as an anesthetic in veterinary medicine. But due to recent scientific studies and research conducted by reputable institutions such as the National Institute of Mental Health, ketamine has been found to be an effective, innovative treatment for a variety of mental health conditions at low doses.

The long-term efficacy of ketamine is a big appeal for it’s use to treat conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more. After the treatment course is completed, many people experience relief from their symptoms for long periods, receiving boosters of the treatment as needed, or on a lower frequency.

Ketamine is primarily administered through an IV under the supervision of a medical professional. After the initial course of six 40-minute sessions separated by two to three weeks, an individual will begin to experience a drop in the intensity of their symptoms.

For many people with mental health conditions, who have tried previous treatments and found no relief, ketamine may be effective. Spravato may be another option.

What is Spravato Treatment?

Spravato (or esketamine) is another type of ketamine that is administered intranasally while in conjunction with traditional oral antidepressants, as opposed to intravenously. This means that instead of receiving ketamine treatment through an IV infusion, esketamine is administered through the nose. Both, however, are still administered under the care of a healthcare provider.

Spravato is self-administered over a five to ten minute time frame with two to three sprays administered in five-minute intervals. Since Spravato comes in two doses (56mg and 84mg), a healthcare provider determines the right dose of medication for the person receiving it.

During the first four weeks, Spravato is given twice a week for a total of eight doses, then once weekly from weeks five to eight. After week nine of starting treatment, Spravato is given every 2 weeks or once weekly.

Spravato has been FDA-approved specifically for treating treatment-resistant depression, while ketamine has not yet been FDA-approved for treating the condition. Because of this, one benefit of Spravato treatment is that it's often covered by insurance.

But Spravato may be less effective than ketamine, and possibly have a risk for more side effects.

Is Ketamine or Spravato More Effective?

Recent research seems to suggest that ketamine infusions are more effective and well-tolerated than Spravato.

In a meta-analysis (a study where researchers pull from a large amount of data from different studies to reach their conclusion) representing 1,877 participants, found that intravenous ketamine had more positive long-term effects for those treated in comparison to Spravato.

Intravenous ketamine treatment also had less drop-out rates due to adverse effects than esketamine.

Which One is Right for Me?

While esketamine may seem like a more convenient option, it’s only FDA-approved for treatment-resistant depression. This could mean that if you wanted to try treating PTSD or anxiety disorders with ketamine, transfusions may be your best option.

Additionally, while an intranasal administration may seem more convenient, ketamine infusions may deliver more effective, long-term results. In the end, the decision to treat your mental health condition with either Spravato or ketamine infusions will depend on what your healthcare provider recommends.

Find Out if Ketamine Infusions Can Help

Long Island Ketamine Infusions prioritizes our clients’ needs. If you’re unsure whether ketamine infusions or Spravato treatment is an option for you, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.