Depression can happen to anyone. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 3.8 % of the global population struggles with major depressive disorder. Even with many different options of antidepressant drugs available, just one-third of individuals find relief after their initial treatment course, and one-third of patients develop treatment-resistant depression.


Since it can take weeks to months for antidepressants to achieve their full effect, individuals must navigate a period of vulnerability each time they switch medication.


The year 2019 changed everything. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval to a groundbreaking nasal spray medication, Spravato (esketamine), specifically designed to address treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). With it, individuals facing the toughest mental battles found a new hope to get a relief from depression.


Soon clinics such as HWS Center in Fort Lee New Jersey (NJ) stared with revolutionary treatment to help clients achieve a better quality of life.





The Rise of Ketamine and Esketamine (Spravato) in New Jersey Mental Health


You might have heard of ketamine before. It’s well-known for its anaesthetic properties, which were highly valued during the Vietnam War to help soldiers undergo surgeries. Then, things took a turn. Due to ketamine psychedelic effects, people began using it as a party drug, enjoying the “out of this world” feeling it provided. As a result, it was labelled as a controlled substance.


However, as we gained more knowledge about ketamine’s multiple sites of action, it has reemerged as a useful treatment of several neurological conditions including migraine, prolonged seizures, stroke, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). In 2014, a groundbreaking study was published demonstrating the antidepressant effect of a single 50 mg dose of ketamine administered intranasally in patients with Major Depressive Disorder who had not responded to at least one previous antidepressant treatment.


While most antidepressants target the brain’s serotonin and noradrenaline pathways, ketamine works on the NMDA receptors, involved in mood regulation and thought patterns. This action helps to foster new neural connections, potentially “resetting” the brain’s mood regulation mechanisms. The result? A rapid reduction in depression symptoms, often within hours or days, compared to the weeks or months traditional medications may take.


Explore New Jersey’s Ketamine Assisted Therapy.





The Difference Between Esketamine and Ketamine


Ketamine is usually administered intravenously because when given orally, it metabolizes too fast and the effects are reduced. It produces rapid results, though repeated IV treatments can be uncomfortable for patients.


Esketamine is the S-enantiomer of ketamine, meaning it is one of the two mirror image forms (enantiomers) in which ketamine molecules exist. Under the brand name Spravato, it can be administered intranasally and also produces rapid, effective results, while at the same time being more convenient for patients.


As of 2024, Ketamine Infusion  is not currently FDA-approved for depression, but it is being studied extensively. On the other hand FDA approved the use of nasal spray esketamine (Spravato) in adults for the treatment of Treatment-Resistant Depression and Major Depressive Disorder with Suicidal Ideation when used together with an oral antidepressant.





What is Esketamine Treatment Like?


Esketamine treatment, similar to ketamine, can alter perception for two hours following use of nasal spray, making it necessary to be administered in a safe clinical environment such as the HWS Center located in Fort Lee, NJ. Our mental health services are provided by highly trained professionals making your therapy safe, seamless, comforting and effective.


The intranasal ketamine treatment usually consists of receiving two doses weekly for the initial four weeks. This is then adjusted to either one or two doses weekly, depending on how the patient responds, for up to nine weeks. Following this period, the frequency of doses is modified to either once a week or every other week, with the goal of reducing depressive symptoms using the

minimum effective dose.


Ketamine assisted therapy is particularly aimed at individuals with treatment-resistant depression, characterized by inadequate responses to at least two different antidepressants, each tried for a minimum of six weeks with no significant improvement or remission.


For people who haven’t found relief from depressive symptoms with conventional antidepressants, ketamine offers the opportunity to experience life without depression.


Therefore, regardless of the symptoms and obstacles you’ve encountered, don’t lose hope. If you’re doubting whether your symptoms merit or can benefit from a consultation, we always recommend scheduling one. Don’t hesitate to seek help with us. At HWS Center, Fort Lee NJ, we are dedicated to help you live your life with peace and clarity of mind.





Side Effects


The most common side effects of Spravato when used along with an antidepressant taken by mouth include:


If these side effects occur, they usually happen right after taking Spravato and go away the same day.


Usually, ketamine depression treatment administered at the low doses in Ketamine clinics has typically mild and brief side effects, lasting only an hour or so. It’s worth noting that many patients actually appreciate the relaxed and liberating sensation they experience during the treatment, which has been suggested to have potential therapeutic benefits. During the therapy at HWS Center in New Jersey (NJ), we diligently monitor your vital signs and provide anti-nausea medication as needed to ensure your comfort.


On the other hand, approximately 10-15% of classical antidepressant users discontinue their treatment due to long-lasting medication adverse effects, including nausea, fatigue, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and insomnia.


If you’re in New Jersey or NYC and struggling with treatment-resistant depression, HWS Center is the ketamine clinic near you, ready to offer support and care.