Summit Mental Health Clinic

Adult and Child Psychiatrist located in Austin, TX

Depression is the most common mental health condition in the United States. Though there are many effective treatments for depression, not everyone responds to traditional methods. Esketamine is a medication that helps patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression. Francisca Ifesinachukwu, MD – affectionately known as Dr. Ada – and the team at Summit Mental Health Clinic in Austin, Texas, offer esketamine as a treatment option for depression. To learn more about this innovative treatment, call the office or request an appointment online today.

Esketamine Q&A

What is esketamine?

Esketamine is an FDA-approved prescription nasal spray for treatment-resistant depression. The medication is a more potent form of ketamine, a general anesthetic that blocks sensory perception to provide pain relief and short-term memory loss during surgical procedures. 

The anesthetic works by blocking neurotransmitters in the brain. Though ketamine has been used as a general anesthetic for decades, more recently, researchers have been looking into the benefits of the drug for mental health conditions like treatment-resistant depression. 

How does esketamine work?

Esketamine works by targeting the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in your brain. Your NMDA receptors are responsible for many functions, including memory, learning, and neuroplasticity, which allows your brain to reorganize and grow new nerve connections. 

Though it’s not fully understood how esketamine improves depression symptoms, researchers theorize that it may have something to do with neuroplasticity. 

To get the most benefits from your esketamine treatment, the team at Summit Mental Health Clinic recommends combining the treatment with your oral antidepressants and psychotherapy. 

Am I a good candidate for esketamine?

When you come in to see the mental health experts at Summit Mental Health Clinic, they conduct a comprehensive evaluation to fully assess your mental and physical health. 

You may be a good candidate for esketamine if you suffer from chronic depression that hasn’t improved with traditional therapy and prescription medication. 

What can I expect during esketamine treatment?

The team at Summit Mental Health Clinic takes an individualized approach to care and develops personalized treatment plans that fit your mental health needs. They review the details of your esketamine treatment during your consultation, so you know what to expect.

Your esketamine treatments are administered at the office under close supervision. Your course of treatment may include two sessions a week for the first month, then once a week or once every other week afterward.

After you receive your nasal spray, the team requests you remain at the office for up to two hours to be monitored for side effects. Esketamine may cause hallucinations and sleepiness, and the team recommends you not drive or operate any heavy machinery until the following day. 

Most patients report an improvement in symptoms within four weeks of starting treatment.

To get help for your treatment-resistant depression, call Summit Mental Health Clinic, or request an appointment online to learn more about esketamine.