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conditions we treat

Treatment-Resistant Depression

While standard treatments such as oral antidepressants are effective for some people with depression, for others, symptoms do not adequately respond or side effects are intolerable. New treatments, including Spravato (esketamine) and ketamine therapy, may provide relief for patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). 

General Information

What is Treatment-Resistant Depression?

Definitions of treatment-resistant depression (TRD) vary, but the medical community largely describes it as depression that shows an inadequate response to antidepressants of adequate dose and treatment duration.

A course of treatment typically runs at least 6 to 8 weeks. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), if a patient has an inadequate response to treatment after 6 to 8 weeks, alternative approaches should be explored. An inadequate response can mean that treatment is either ineffective or intolerable.

It is estimated that as many as half of people seeking treatment for depression may have treatment-resistant depression. By working in partnership with a medical professional, people with treatment-resistant depression do have a way forward with alternative treatments.

Causes of Treatment-Resistant Depression

There is no known single cause of treatment-resistant depression. The cause can vary from person to person.

Some people with severe depression or major depressive disorder may not respond to treatment. In other cases, patients may not be able to tolerate medication prescribed to treat their depression.

Additional factors such as genetics, personal and family history, and even brain chemistry may all make depression treatment-resistant. New treatment options can help people with TRD, regardless of its cause.

Treatment Options at Andala

Spravato (Esketamine Nasal spray)

Andala offers FDA-approved Spravato esketamine nasal spray as one type of treatment for TRD. Spravato has proven to be effective on treatment-resistant depression in both short-term and long-term trials.

Spravato is believed to target the NMDA receptor, which is different and potentially more effective for many people than conventional antidepressants.

Spravato is typically prescribed in tandem with an oral antidepressant. Patients self-administer Spravato under the supervision of a medical professional. To learn more about Spravato treatment and how it can help your TRD, visit our Spravato page.

Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine therapy is another alternative to traditional treatment that Andala offers for people with TRD. Ketamine has been used for decades by medical professionals as an FDA-approved anesthetic.

In recent years, medical professionals have begun exploring its application in the treatment of TRD because of its fast-acting, antidepressant properties. Recent studies have shown that some people can show improvement in depression symptoms within 24 hours of their first treatment; multiple treatments can result in enhanced and prolonged effects.

Can Treatment-Resistant Depression be Cured?

Until recently, treatment-resistant depression left people feeling as if they had no way to overcome their depression. Alternative treatments such as Spravato and ketamine therapy have shown to be effective in patients who were unresponsive to a traditional 6- to 8-week course of treatment for depression.

As with any medical condition, patients with TRD should work in close consultation with their doctor to explore their options.

If you would like to explore therapeutic alternatives to traditional treatment for treatment-resistant depression, contact the medical professionals at Andala today.