Nasal Ketamine vs. Spravato: A Comprehensive Comparison

Depression is a challenging condition that affects millions of people worldwide. For those with treatment-resistant depression (TRD), finding effective relief can be particularly difficult. Nasal Ketamine and Spravato have emerged as promising alternative treatments for TRD, offering hope where traditional antidepressants have failed. In this blog, we will explore the differences between Nasal Ketamine and Spravato, helping you understand which option might be best for your needs.

What is Nasal Ketamine?

Nasal Ketamine, a form of ketamine administered intranasally, has been used off-label to treat depression for several years. Originally developed as an anesthetic, ketamine has shown rapid antidepressant effects in clinical settings.

Mechanism of Action

Nasal Ketamine works by modulating the glutamate system in the brain. It increases synaptic plasticity and connectivity, which are believed to play a key role in its rapid antidepressant effects.

Administration and Dosage

Nasal Ketamine is typically administered in a clinical setting under medical supervision. The dosage and frequency can vary based on individual patient needs and response to treatment.

Efficacy and Benefits

Clinical studies have demonstrated that Nasal Ketamine can provide rapid relief from depressive symptoms, often within hours of administration. It is particularly effective for patients who have not responded to other treatments.

Side Effects and Risks

While generally well-tolerated, Nasal Ketamine can cause side effects such as dizziness, dissociation, and increased blood pressure. It is important to be monitored by a healthcare professional during treatment to manage any potential risks.

What is Spravato?

Spravato (esketamine) is a prescription nasal spray approved by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression. It is derived from ketamine but contains only the S-enantiomer, which is believed to contribute to its therapeutic effects.

Mechanism of Action

Like Nasal Ketamine, Spravato targets the glutamate system, enhancing synaptic plasticity and connectivity. This mechanism is crucial for its rapid antidepressant effects.

Administration and Dosage

Spravato is administered in a healthcare setting under the supervision of a certified medical professional. The treatment involves initial doses followed by maintenance doses, tailored to the patient’s response.

Efficacy and Benefits

Spravato has been shown to significantly reduce depressive symptoms in patients with TRD. Its efficacy has been validated through rigorous clinical trials, and it is often combined with oral antidepressants for optimal results.

Side Effects and Risks

Common side effects of Spravato include dizziness, nausea, dissociation, and sedation. Due to its potential for abuse and other risks, it is only available through a restricted distribution program under REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy).

Key Differences Between Nasal Ketamine and Spravato

Cost and Insurance Coverage

Spravato, being an FDA-approved medication, is more likely to be covered by insurance. Nasal Ketamine, used off-label, may not be covered, leading to higher out-of-pocket costs for patients.

FDA Approval and Regulatory Status

Spravato is FDA-approved specifically for TRD, providing a level of regulatory assurance. Nasal Ketamine, although effective, is used off-label, meaning it lacks the same regulatory endorsement.

Clinical Studies and Efficacy Comparisons

Both treatments have shown efficacy in clinical studies, but Spravato’s approval is backed by extensive clinical trials. Nasal Ketamine, while effective, relies more on off-label usage data.

Chemical Composition

While both treatments are derived from ketamine, Spravato contains only the S-enantiomer, whereas Nasal Ketamine includes both the R- and S-enantiomers.

Administration Process

Nasal Ketamine can be administered in various clinical settings, whereas Spravato requires a certified healthcare setting due to its REMS program.

Choosing between Nasal Ketamine and Spravato depends on various factors, including individual patient needs, treatment history, and financial considerations. Both treatments offer promising results for those with treatment-resistant depression, providing new avenues for relief. At Cambridge Biotherapies, we offer Spravato and Ketamine Infusions. Consult with our team of professionals to determine the most suitable approach for your journey towards better mental health.

Schedule a Consultation