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Ketamine Nasal Spray

What is a Ketamine Nasal Spray?

The nasal spray form of ketamine is one of the administration modalities used in ketamine therapy, also known as “ketamine-assisted psychotherapy” or “ketamine infusion therapy.”

Ketamine has gained attention for its potential therapeutic effects in treating conditions such as depression, anxiety, and chronic pain, especially when other treatments have been unsuccessful.

Ketamine Uses

Ketamine is a Schedule III non-narcotic drug, which means it has a moderate to low potential for physical or psychological dependence.

Its primary use is as a dissociative anesthetic. Users will feel sedated, calm, and relaxed. It can give a slightly euphoric state and relieve pain, which is why it is becoming more widely used for depression and chronic pain.

Depression

Ketamine has become a viable alternative to SSRIs. It takes a different approach and influences the brain differently.

While SSRIs help the brain produce more serotonin to create “good feelings,” ketamine instead interacts with glutamate. This neurotransmitter plays a role in our learning, memory, and development of neural connections.

Ketamine also works more quickly than SSRIs. Ketamine patients can experience an improvement in depressive symptoms within 24 hours, while SSRIs may take months for patients to feel relief.

Many patients who fail multiple SSRI cycles have tried ketamine and found success.

Chronic Pain

Ketamine influences our brains in a variety of ways. Though much of it has not been established, recent studies show its effects on chronic pain.

Ketamine has anti-inflammatory effects, which help provide relief from pain. It primarily works by inhibiting the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor.

Ketamine can provide short-term (immediate) and long-term (3 months+) pain relief.

2 Types of Ketamine Nasal Spray

Ketamine nasal sprays have become widely used due to their positive results in providing depression relief.

There are two nasal spray options: traditionally prescribed or compounded nasal sprays.

Traditionally Prescribed Esketamine Nasal Spray

Due to its recent success, the FDA approved the first product (Spravato) using the S-enantiomer of ketamine in a nasal spray. This enantiomer interacts more strongly with NMDA glutamate receptors.

Spravato is designed to deliver small amounts of esketamine intranasally. Each spray contains 14 mg, and each device includes two sprays.

Patients are required to take ketamine under a doctor’s supervision. Patients will take it in a doctor’s office or a similar setting. Taking ketamine under supervision allows the doctor to observe any side effects, including shortness of breath and hallucinations.

Patients will take 56 mg or 84 mg per application, depending on the doctor’s recommendations.

For the first 4 weeks, patients administer ketamine twice per week. For the next four weeks, patients administer the drug once a week. After that, it may be issued every other week. This ketamine regimen is dependent on guidance from the doctor.

Compounded Ketamine Nasal Spray

Compounding pharmacies can compound ketamine nasal spray for people suffering from depression.

Compounding the nasal spray allows us to produce the medication without preservatives like benzalkonium chloride. Proper storage will be more critical without preservatives, and taking smaller doses may be necessary.

The nasal sprays can also be made into any dosage sizenot just limited to two 28 mg per bottle. The concentration and size can all be customized at the prescriber’s direction.

Probably the most essential distinction between compounded and traditionally prescribed ketamine is the ability to take the medication at home. While patients would need to be directly under doctor supervision when traditionally prescribed, compounded ketamine patients can take the medication in the comfort of their own homes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ketamine

How Much Does Ketamine Nasal Spray Cost?

Prices will vary depending on insurance and the location of purchase. Spravato nasal sprays can cost $729.40 (56 mg dose) or $1,089.35 (84 mg dose).

Compounding pharmacies will have different prices, often under $100 for 30 ml.

Do I Need a Prescription for Ketamine Nasal Spray?

Yes. Ketamine is a Schedule III non-narcotic drug not available over the counter.

A prescription from a medical provider is required. Doctors can write a traditional prescription for Spravato or a compounding pharmacy.

Are There Side Effects?

Full doses of ketamine can cause hallucinations and powerful euphoric feelings. Nasal sprays, however, contain doses low enough to not cause hallucinations.

In fact, side effects are usually very mild because of how small the dose is. Side effects include dizziness, forgetfulness, vomiting, and slowed breathing.

Ketamine nasal sprays can be compounded with other active ingredients that reduce side effects.

Should I Take Ketamine?

Ketamine continues to show positive results, providing relief for depression. Studies have shown its propensity to alleviate treatment-resistant depression.

Only you and your doctor can decide whether ketamine is a good fit.

If you would like to learn more, please call our Littleton or Cherry Creek location. Our knowledgeable pharmacists are always happy to help.

You can also text us directly here:
Littleton: 303-707-1500
Cherry Creek: 303-333-2010

Or send us a message on social media! Follow us and get a peek at how we make our medications in the lab.