Despite the many advances in therapies and medication for treating depression, not everyone responds to traditional care. Recently, doctors have begun using ketamine to help those struggling with treatment-resistant depression. Board-certified psychiatrist David Kraus, MD, offers ketamine treatments with Spravato® at Fifth Ave Psychiatry, PLLC, to help his patients struggling with depression. To learn more about ketamine and how it might help you, call the office in Manhattan’s Flatiron District in New York City or schedule an appointment online today.
Ketamine is a general anesthetic doctors use when performing surgery. Doctors also use ketamine as an off-label treatment for depression. “Off-label” means the drug is being used for a condition other than the one it was initially approved for. Ketamine has received FDA approval for use in treating depression.
When given in low doses, ketamine interacts with specific neurotransmitters in the brain, prompting the brain to create new neural connections. For people with depression, these new connections help them develop new thoughts and behaviors to improve their symptoms.
At Fifth Ave Psychiatry, PLLC, Dr. Kraus uses Spravato for ketamine treatment. Spravato is an FDA-approved treatment for depression. It contains esketamine, one part of the ketamine molecule, and is given as a nasal spray.
Traditional ketamine for the treatment of depression is given intravenously. But esketamine is more potent than ketamine, allowing patients to get the same benefits in lower doses. And because it’s a nasal spray, Spravato is easier to administer at the office.
Dr. Kraus determines if you’re a candidate for ketamine after an evaluation. Spravato is FDA-approved for treatment-resistant depression and depressive symptoms in adults with major depressive disorder and thoughts of suicide (also called suicidal ideation).
He uses Spravato based on his patients’ needs.
Dr. Kraus gives your ketamine treatment at the office under close supervision. You administer the nasal spray yourself and then remain at the office for two hours for observation. While you relax, Dr. Kraus looks for side effects like dizziness, fatigue, or difficulty thinking.
Because Spravato affects your mental alertness, you can’t drive or operate heavy machinery after treatment. You should take it easy the rest of the day.
Dr. Kraus customizes your ketamine treatment plan based on your needs. He might recommend two treatments a week for the first month, then weekly treatment during the second month.
Depending on how you respond, he may recommend you continue Spravato treatments once a week or every other week.
Most patients experience improvements in their symptoms within the first four weeks of ketamine treatment. Dr. Kraus recommends you continue taking your regular antidepressants while undergoing ketamine treatments.
To learn more about ketamine and how it can help your depression, call Fifth Ave Psychiatry, PLLC, today or schedule an appointment online.