Skip to Content

Esketamine (nasal)

Generic Name: esketamine (nasal) (es KET a meen)
Brand Name: Spravato

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Mar 14, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is esketamine?

Esketamine is a nasal spray that is used together with medication taken by mouth to treat depression that is resistant to to other treatments.

Esketamine is used only in a healthcare setting. You will not be able to use esketamine at home.

Esketamine is for use only in adults under a special program. You must be registered in the program and understand the risks and benefits of this medicine.

Esketamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Esketamine can cause severe drowsiness, or feelings of being disconnected from your body or thoughts or surroundings. Esketamine is used only in a healthcare setting where you can be watched closely for at least 2 hours after each dose.

You will need someone to drive you home after using esketamine.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use esketamine if you are allergic to esketamine or ketamine, or if you have:

  • a blood vessel disorder affecting your brain, chest, stomach, heart, or arms and legs;

  • a history of aneurysm;

  • a history of bleeding in your brain; or

  • an abnormal connection between your veins and arteries (a condition called arteriovenous malformation).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Some people have thoughts about suicide when first using an antidepressant. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Do not use if you are pregnant. Esketamine may harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of esketamine on the baby.

Do not breastfeed while using this medicine.

How should I use esketamine?

Esketamine is a nasal spray that is used in a healthcare setting. You will give yourself the nasal spray while being supervised by a healthcare professional.

Esketamine may cause nausea or vomiting. You should not eat anything for at least 2 hours before using esketamine. Avoid drinking liquids within 30 minutes before using the medicine.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use that are given to you. Ask your doctor or caregivers if you do not understand these instructions.

You will be watched closely for at least 2 hours after you use esketamine. This medicine can cause side effects such as severe drowsiness, or dissociation (a sense of being detached from your body or emotions, distortions in how you perceive things or people around you).

Your caregivers will decide when you are ready to leave after using this medicine. You will need someone to drive you home. You should not plan to drive yourself anywhere until the next day, after a full night's sleep.

Esketamine is usually given 2 times per week at first, and then once every 1 to 2 weeks. Your doctor will tell you how often you need to use the medicine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your esketamine dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since esketamine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while using esketamine?

Avoid using any other nasal medicines within 1 hour before you use esketamine nasal spray.

Do not drive yourself or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert until the day after your esketamine dose.

Esketamine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked before and after you use esketamine. Esketamine can increase your blood pressure for several hours after each dose. Tell your doctor if you have chest pain, trouble breathing, severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, or a seizure.

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • extreme drowsiness or feeling like you might pass out;

  • severe dizziness or feelings of floating;

  • unusual changes in mood or behavior;

  • thoughts of hurting yourself;

  • worsening depression;

  • sleep problems;

  • problems with thinking or memory;

  • unusual or unpleasant memories (flashbacks);

  • hallucinations, feeling "spaced out"; or

  • urination problems (painful urination, increased urination, urgent need to urinate).

Common side effects may include:

  • dissociation, feeling drunk;

  • increased blood pressure;

  • drowsiness;

  • dizziness, spinning sensation;

  • feeling anxious;

  • nausea, vomiting; or

  • decreased sensations (touch or other senses).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Esketamine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Depression:

INDUCTION PHASE:
Weeks 1 to 4:
-Day 1: 56 mg intranasally once
-Subsequent doses: 56 to 84 mg intranasally 2 times a week

MAINTENANCE PHASE:
Weeks 5 to 8: 56 to 84 mg intranasally once a week
Weeks 9 and after: 56 to 84 mg intranasally every 2 weeks OR once a week

Comments:
-Important Consideration: Treatment sessions should be directly supervised by a healthcare provider; treatment sessions include nasal administration of the dose and post-administration observation.
-Patients who require nasal corticosteroids/decongestants should use the agent(s) at least 1 hour before using this drug.
-Patients should be advised to avoid eating foods for at least 2 hours before, and to avoid drinking liquids for at least 30 minutes before administration.
-After the induction phase, evidence of therapeutic benefit should be evaluated to determine the need for continued treatment.
-After Week 8, the dosing frequency should be individualized to the least frequent dosing to maintain remission.

Use: In combination with an oral antidepressant for the treatment of treatment-resistant depression (TRD)

What other drugs will affect esketamine?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect esketamine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Related questions

Hide