New medication for treatment-resistant depression now available at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

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Adding esketamine nasal spray to our available treatment options will improve patients’ quality of life, and potentially save lives.

David R. Eiler, MD

Living with depression is challenging, and when standard treatments don’t provide relief, it makes the situation even more difficult. Thankfully, there are an increasing number of treatments available to patients with treatment-resistant depression. The Mood Disorders Consultation Clinic at Dartmouth Health’s Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), a program of Interventional Psychiatry, is now able to offer esketamine nasal spray, also known by its brand name Spravato®, to patients with treatment-resistant depression. This is in addition to other cutting-edge and effective treatments for depression, including transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Esketamine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for adults with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD) or depressive symptoms in MDD associated with suicidal thoughts or actions. It is taken in addition to an oral antidepressant medication and may be helpful to patients who have tried multiple, conventional antidepressants and are still depressed. Esketamine may work faster at reducing depression symptoms than conventional antidepressants. Patients are initially given two treatments a week for four weeks, followed by a tapering period if the first month is successful of one treatment a week for four weeks and a maintenance period of one treatment every week or every other week.

“The prospect of making this treatment available to our treatment-resistant patients is very exciting,” said David R. Eiler, MD, a psychiatrist at DHMC and member of the Mood Disorders Consultation Clinic team. “Depression is a serious disease and presents differently in different people. Like any other disease, no one treatment fits all. Adding esketamine nasal spray to our available treatment options will improve patients’ quality of life, and potentially save lives.”

To learn more about esketamine nasal spray and how to contact the Mood Disorders Consultation Clinic, visit

About Dartmouth Health

Dartmouth Health, New Hampshire's only academic health system and the state's largest private employer, serves patients across northern New England. Dartmouth Health provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, as well as across its wide network of hospitals, clinics and care facilities. DHMC is consistently named the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in numerous clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth Health includes its Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the only such center in northern New England; Dartmouth Health Children’s, including the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the state’s only children’s hospital and clinic locations around the region; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene and New London, NH, and Windsor, VT, and Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and more than 24 clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. Through its historical partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Health trains nearly 400 medical residents and fellows annually, and performs cutting-edge research and clinical trials recognized across the globe with Geisel and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. Dartmouth Health and its more than 13,000 employees are deeply committed to serving the healthcare needs of everyone in our communities, and to providing each of our patients with exceptional, personal care.