Suicide is an alarming public health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Every year, over 800,000 people die by suicide, and many more attempt it. Suicide does not discriminate and can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or socio-economic status. It’s a complex issue that often stems from mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. While there are several treatments available for mental health disorders that can lead to suicidal ideation, they don’t always work for everyone. In recent years, a new medication called Spravato has emerged as a promising intervention for high-risk patients with suicidal ideation.
Understanding High-Risk Patients
High-risk patients have attempted suicide in the past, have persistent suicidal ideation, or have a mental health condition that puts them at risk of suicide. Such patients require intensive and immediate intervention to prevent suicide attempts or fatalities. In addition, high-risk patients may experience feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and despair, which may lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Traditional treatments such as antidepressants and therapy may not be effective in treating suicidal ideation, leading to a need for alternative interventions.
The Effectiveness of Spravato in Treating Suicidal Ideation
Spravato, also known as esketamine, is a nasal spray that targets the brain’s N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. This receptor is believed to play a role in mood regulation, and Spravato works by blocking it. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the medication in 2019 for treatment-resistant depression and suicidal ideation. Spravato is administered under the supervision of a healthcare professional and is intended for use in conjunction with an oral antidepressant.
Multiple clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of Spravato in treating suicidal ideation in high-risk patients. For example, in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, patients who received Spravato had a significantly greater reduction in suicidal ideation compared to those who received a placebo. The study also found that the effect of Spravato was rapid, with patients experiencing significant improvements in suicidal ideation within hours of administration.
How Spravato Works
Spravato works by blocking the NMDA receptor in the brain. This receptor plays a crucial role in synaptic plasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change and adapt. By blocking the NMDA receptor, Spravato helps increase the availability of glutamate, a neurotransmitter, in forming new synaptic connections. This process is thought to be responsible for the rapid onset of Spravato’s therapeutic effects.
Spravato is administered via a nasal spray and is intended for use in a clinical setting. Therefore, the medication must be administered under the supervision of a healthcare professional, and patients must be monitored for at least two hours after administration. The dosage and frequency of Spravato administration depend on the patient’s response to treatment and the healthcare professional’s discretion.
The Benefits of Spravato over Traditional Treatments
Spravato offers several benefits over traditional treatments for suicidal ideation:
- The medication works rapidly, with patients experiencing significant improvements in suicidal ideation within hours of administration. Traditional treatments, such as antidepressants, can take several weeks or even months to show significant improvements in symptoms.
- Spravato has been shown to be effective in high-risk patients who have not responded to traditional treatments.
- Spravato is administered under a healthcare professional’s supervision, ensuring that patients receive the appropriate dose and are monitored for any adverse effects.
The Dosage and Administration of Spravato
Spravato is administered via a nasal spray and must be administered under the supervision of a healthcare professional. The medication is intended for use with an oral antidepressant and is administered twice a week for the first four weeks of treatment. After the initial four weeks, the frequency of Spravato administration may be reduced to once a week or once every two weeks, depending on the patient’s response to treatment.
The dosage of Spravato depends on the patient’s weight and is calculated based on milligrams per kilogram of body weight. The healthcare professional administering the medication will determine the appropriate dosage for each patient. Patients must remain in the clinical setting for at least two hours after administration of Spravato to ensure that any adverse effects are monitored and managed appropriately.
Common Concerns and Side Effects of Spravato
Like all medications, Spravato has potential side effects that patients and healthcare professionals should be aware of. The most common side effects of Spravato include dissociation, dizziness, nausea, and headache. Dissociation is a feeling of detachment from one’s surroundings and is the most common side effect of Spravato. Patients may also experience an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, which may require monitoring.
There is also a risk of abuse and dependence on Spravato, a Schedule III controlled substance. Therefore, patients and healthcare professionals should be aware of the risk of abuse and dependence and closely monitor patients receiving Spravato.
Spravato Treatment Success Stories
Spravato has been shown to be effective in treating suicidal ideation in high-risk patients, and there are many success stories of patients who have benefited from the medication. For example, one patient, who had attempted suicide multiple times and had not responded to traditional treatments, reported significant improvements in mood and a reduction in suicidal ideation after receiving Spravato. Another patient, who had persistent suicidal ideation, reported feeling a sense of hope and an improvement in overall mood after receiving Spravato.
Conclusion and Next Steps for Seeking Spravato Treatment
Suicide is a complex issue that requires immediate and intensive intervention in high-risk patients. While traditional treatments such as antidepressants and therapy may not be effective in treating suicidal ideation in all patients, Spravato offers a promising alternative. Spravato has been shown to be effective in high-risk patients who have not responded to traditional treatments and works rapidly, with patients experiencing significant improvements in suicidal ideation within hours of administration.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal ideation or has attempted suicide, seeking help is essential. If you’re interested in Spravato treatment in Aurora, CO, speak to a healthcare provider about whether it suits you. With the right intervention, support, and treatment, it’s possible to prevent suicide and help individuals lead fulfilling lives.