how does spravato work

Innovative treatments for depression have been at the forefront of mental health community but one buzzword that has taken centre stage is Spravato.
However, what is Spravato and more importantly, how does Spravato work? Let’s dig into this wonder drug and see how it works and the benefits.

What Exactly is Spravato?

Spravato, known scientifically as Esketamine, is a nasal spray approved by the FDA as a treatment for adults with treatment-resistant depression.
To those who have tried other medications of their kind without success, this represents hope.
But this isn’t your typical anti-depressant. Its unique approach as well as speed makes it different from traditional treatments.

How Does Spravato Act?

Let’s Talk About the Science Behind Spravato
To know Spravato mechanism of action and how it functions, we will have to get into the intricacy of the brain.
Different factors such as an imbalance in brain chemicals have been linked to depression.
Nevertheless, it is a different story with Spravato; the traditional antidepressants target these imbalances by boosting serotonin or norepinephrine.

NMDA Receptors and Glutamate

This is a novel approach in treating depression since it targets NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors of the brain. These receptors are involved in cognitive functions and mood regulation.
Furthermore, Esketamine, which is Spravato’s active ingredient, binds to these receptors thus moderating glutamate which is another chemical that the brain uses.
Glutamate: Most abundant neurotransmitter in brain, key to learning and memory processes of the organ.
Hence, if one affects how glutamate is used by NMDA receptors then this can make Spravato symptoms of depression be alleviated faster than most other types of antidepressant medications that take several weeks to be effective.

Rapid-Acting Relief

What makes Spravato one of its kind is its fast-acting nature. Within hours or days after administration, several patients feel its effect while on traditional anti-depressants may take weeks or even months before they start showing any positive change.
This might be essential for people who suffer from severe depressive symptoms because they cannot wait much longer.

Who Can Benefit from Spravato?

Spravato is designed specifically for adults whose depression has been resistant to treatment, meaning they did not respond to at least two types of different antidepressants.
It’s administered in a certified doctor’s office or clinic under the supervision of medical personnel ensuring that patient safety and treatment response are monitored.

Side Effects and Considerations

Though it represents a great leap forward in treating depression, Spravato does have risks.
These risks may include lightheadedness, unsettled stomachs, high blood pressure as well as feeling disconnected from oneself.
Such threats must be talked about with one’s healthcare provider before accepting Spravato.

How Long Does Spravato Take to Work?

Spravato is one of the most promising treatments because it relieves depression symptoms within a short period.
Unlike traditional antidepressants that can take weeks or even months to show any improvements, Spravato can lead to visible benefits in little time.

Immediate and Long-term Effects

Some patients have seen the effects within the first 24 hours after treatment. Others say their moods improve dramatically within initial hours.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that people’s responses vary immensely and sometimes; people might not sense any immediate effect at all but insteading developing gradually over one’s course of therapy.
The long-term benefits of using Spravato are usually assessed after several weeks of continuous treatment.
In order to ensure that you get better results from your therapy, your healthcare provider will closely monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments in your treatment plan.

What Does Spravato Feel Like?

Each person has their  unique experience when it comes to the Spravato treatment, though there are common feelings and impacts that many patients share.

During the Course Of Treatment

The administration of Spravato can cause an array of sensations. Patients have reported experiencing different effects ranging from relaxation and detachment, to vivid dreams as well as a floating feeling.
With dissociative properties, one may feel somewhat detached from their body or environment immediately following application. This is why treatments typically happen under medical supervision in a healthcare environment.
These feelings vanish quickly after treatment ends; furthermore, they are only temporary. You will be supervised by a healthcare provider throughout the procedure for your safety and comfort.


After undergoing treatment, some patients might experience after-effects of Spravato such as drowsiness or increased tranquility. Therefore, patients must not drive any vehicle or operate heavy machinery until the next day after having sound sleep due to these outcomes.
On a more emotional level, patients often describe a lift in mood, decreased feelings of depression, and a newfound sense of hope. Over time and with continued treatment, these effects can contribute significantly to overall well-being and quality of life.


Spravato’s novel approach to treating depression presents fresh opportunities to those who struggled with regular antidepressants.
By acting fast and targeting new parts of the brain, it marks a major milestone in mental health therapy.
If you or someone you love is suffering from depression that has not improved through standard treatments, you should consider looking into Spravato as an option worth exploring.
This approach must however be facilitated by an expert who understands your health background well enough.
Contact us at Esteem Behavioral Healthcare today for more information on Spravato treatment and how it can help you.

Spravato FAQs

How does Spravato work?

To help alleviate depressive symptoms, Spravato affects NMDA receptors in the brain..

How long does Spravato stay in your system?

The effects of Spravato can last several days but the exact duration varies from person to person.

What to do during Spravato treatment?

Just relax and feel at ease. It’s a managed treatment done by medical professionals.

Does Spravato work?

Spravato has helped many patients suffering from resistant depressive disorders with remarkable relief of their symptoms.

What is the Spravato experience like?

Some individuals may report feeling calm and others quite detached while under close monitoring by health care providers.

How long is Spravato treatment?

It usually consists of multiple sessions throughout some weeks or as advised by your physician.

How does Spravato work in the brain?

It adjusts how glutamate works via NMDA receptors, influencing mood and cognitive functions.

What does Spravato do in the brain?

Spravato manipulates chemicals in the brain that help alleviate depression quickly.

How can you tell if Spravato is working?

If mood becomes better, there is an increase in energy levels or just better feelings generally.


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