SPRAVATO (Esketamine) week 1

Last week was my first week receiving SPRAVATO (Esketamine) treatments. I received my first treatment on Tuesday March 10th. I’m sorry I didn’t post about it sooner, it was a bit of a crazy week, as you will soon discover.

I had to fast for 2 hours and not drink anything for 30 mins before the appointment to minimize nausea and vomiting. I also took phenergan. We started out to the appointment with plenty of time to get there, we now live over 30 mins away from the office, traffic was okay then Stuart said, “I’m going to the wrong place.” He had driven to my therapist office instead of my psychiatrist office. I instantly got very anxious. I hate to be late and I was already nervous about this appointment. I’m still not very sure about where things are in this town, I think it makes it more difficult to get to know these things when you don’t drive, so I didn’t realize that we really weren’t that far from our desired destination. We arrived right on time, but by the time we got there I was pretty agitated.

First I was told that the normal person who does this was out and a substitute was taking her place, she would be back next time. I was then asked if I’d like to be in a room with a recliner or a couch, I said a recliner. Then I tried the recliner and it rocked, it moved even when it was reclined. I decided that was a very bad idea if this stuff might make you have vertigo you sure don’t want to be in a chair that moves. So we moved to the room with the couch. We talked about how the drug was to be administered. It’s a nasal spray, it comes in devices that contain 28 mg each, depending on the dose you are to receive is how many devices you use, to be self administered under supervision 5 minutes apart. From what I read you normally start at 56 mg (2 devices) and depending on how that works, you work up to 3 (84 mg). I was surprised when I was to start out at 3. Then she took my blood pressure and it was WAY too high so we had to wait 20 minutes to see if it would come down. Every time I go to that office my blood pressure it high, I don’t know what it is about that place. Maybe it’s the ride over there, my nervousness…?? Anyway, I had them dim the lights, I laid on the floor (it’s a nice, clean room with a nice rug) and I meditated. She came back and actually got on the floor with me and took my blood pressure again and it was down enough to start.

I had to tilt my head back and insert the device in one nostril while holding the other closed, push the plunger and sniff. Then do the other side. Easy peasy. I didn’t feel much, but by the time the 5 minutes were up and I was ready to take the 2nd dose I could feel it a little. I repeated the same administration and WHOOSH! Oh boy I felt that one! I suddenly felt very panicky, a bit paranoid and did not like it at all. Then I realized it was because I was fighting it. So I relaxed and just let it go, and I started to feel just fine. I felt tipsy kinda, but more high. By the time we were ready for the third dose I was giggly and had a hard time leaning my head back for it, but I got it done, and oh what a trip it was. I was told I was quite entertaining. I did not loose time, and I knew where I was the whole time. I did get to where I couldn’t understand what people were saying for a while, and Stuart had 2 heads and a third eye, but it didn’t freak me out. I laughed a lot and got very interested in the smallest things, like the top of my water bottle and the tip of my nose. I said some pretty funny things, that I probably shouldn’t repeat here, but one time I did tell everyone I loved them. As it started to slow down it was just fun, actually most of it was just fun. Something I haven’t felt in a long time. I just curled up on the couch with Stuart and laughed and joked and waited for things to get to where I could go home. The trippy experience lasted about an hour. I had to stay there for two hours from the time of my first sniff, as long as my blood pressure wasn’t too high, the treatment can make your blood pressure rise for 4 hours after. She took it and she couldn’t hear it. She waited and tried again, she finally got it and it was 90/70 so my blood pressure went way down instead of up. hahaha

So that was my first treatment. I won’t go into as much detail about the next one, there are just some more things to know about the rest of the week.

After the treatment I walked outside and started sneezing, I’m pretty sure it was because there was a big bush outside that has just started to bloom, lots of things are blooming here suddenly. I sneezed and sneezed that night until I took Benedryl. I woke the next morning with a bad migraine and vertigo. It was very cloudy and a bit rainy, so I thought it was that. I had to use my walker. The vertigo got worse. If I kept my head straight it was okay, but if I moved, rapid spins! The next morning I couldn’t lift my head without severe vertigo. There was no way I could go in to have my second treatment. I finally figured out it was BPPV (Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). I’ve had this before a few times, but it’s been a while. The last time my doctor showed Stuart how to do the Epley manuver so he could fix it, and he did, but I had to be upright for 48 hours and it takes a while for you to feel steady enough to move around. Luckily the office was able to change things around and I was able to have my second treatment on Friday.

I got to the appointment and the regular person who oversees this was there. I had a massive migraine, so no surprise my blood pressure was high again. Once again I meditated for 20 minutes and got it down enough to do the treatment. I’m really not liking that. I have normal to low BP everywhere else. That is starting to concern me. But the main thing you need to know from this appointment is that she said I should have started off with 2 doses. So I only got 2 on Friday. It was nothing like Tuesday. She said I must have a higher tolerance. She was surprised at how I could have a coherent conversation. I felt really high, like I had a lot of marijuana, but I didn’t feel like I was tripping. Nothing looked strange, I didn’t feel different (when I had my first treatment my sense of touch was different). So for my next treatment we go back up to 3. When I first got the treatment my migraine vanished, it was bliss because I went in there at an 8+, unfortunately when it ended the pain started to return and ended up right back where it started. I really am hopeful that as this treatment continues I’ll have more lasting results.

I saw my therapist later in the day on Friday and she said I looked brighter. I was still pretty “happy”. We had such a nice visit, we just talked and talked, it was like girl friends laughing. I know it was because I had just had my treatment that day, but that was fun. You don’t normally have that kind of day with your therapist. Hahaha!

Any questions please feel free to ask me anything!

If you don’t feel comfortable asking in the comments, you can send me a private message by clicking on the About Me – Contact Me tab at the top of the page, I’m happy to answer anything I can. If you message me, be aware sometimes I don’t check my email every day, so it might take me a couple of days to get back to you.

22 thoughts on “SPRAVATO (Esketamine) week 1

      1. I tripped balls in a good way, it was the most wonderful experience, aside from having to vomit on the first day. I saw peoples auras etc…It has taken the edge off the pain, rewired my brain in a good way as I don’t want to ruminate on anything, not even the pain, I feel energetic and motivated. I’ve had widespread pain that they cant figure out. They did find a cyst on my spinal column but that only explains a small portion of my symptoms. I would do the ketamine again in a flash…it’s amazing. I wrote blogposts on each infusion if you have time, I try to keep my posts pretty short, as we are all busy!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ll read them! This post got long! Haha
          I’m upset I am not allowed to have ketamine. It has shown to help more than esketamine and it’s much more affordable. I’m not sure this is going to help as much as I was hoping. Oh well, never know until you try.
          I hope you can find a way to manage your pain.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. My doctor is only licensed to give esketamine. If it only gives partial success I’m going to look for a doctor who is, if it doesn’t help at all I’m not sure ketamine would either.
              But I think I’m noticing improvement, it rained here yesterday and I didn’t have a migraine, that never happens! And I’m depressed about the social isolation, but not abnormally so, I think most people are to some degree.
              So, that was a long answer huh? 😁

              Liked by 1 person

              1. It’s a great answer, thank you for taking the time too! Sounds like you are reaping some benefits from it. Would be nice if you could give the infusions a chance and see if they help. I go to Allpria pain clinic, I believe they are nation wide. I’m on Medicaid and surprisingly it covers the Ketamine.

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                1. I have both private insurance and Medicaid. They never tried to get ketamine approved, since this was for depression and the FDA passed this they frown on using ketamine for that now. It was used off label for it for years, and some doctors still do it. Some people pay out of pocket because it’s cheap, I probably would have. It’s like $500 a treatment, and you don’t need them often, not like SPRAVATO. Some people only need one or two treatments ever. So yeah, I’d have tried it.

                  Liked by 1 person

  1. Am hoping you find success with this treatment and the trippiness subsides. G had that reaction when he had surgery on his arm. They kept him awake for that one. He saw hieroglyphics on the wall. Was also the most likeable, friendly and chill he’d been in ages. lol

    Looking forward to seeing how this works out for you. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha!! The trippiness is actually a desired effect. 😄 Not too much, but it means that it’s doing what it’s supposed to. I had my 3rd treatment yesterday and I didn’t trip as much as the 1st time, I get more of a really stoned feeling. I’m told I have a high tolerance. 😳 who would have thunk it?

      Been thinking about you a lot lately.
      ❤🥰❤🥰

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        1. That’s interesting. Do you work in the field? My BP always seems to be a little high when I first get there but it comes down after I rest for a little while, then it continues to come down throughout the treatment. In the literature for SPAVATO and from the clinic’s experience they normally see patients’ BP go up during treatment. Mine always comes down. I’m pleased with that.
          But I’m interested to find that you have seen more people like me.

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  2. Hah that’s a good therapist vibe right there! It’s interesting to read how you’ve been getting on. “I really am hopeful that as this treatment continues I’ll have more lasting results” – I really, really hope so. Fingers crossed, Wendy, fingers crossed  ♥
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

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