Ketamine Infusion Therapy
Ketamine is an anesthetic medication that was first synthesized in 1962 and was FDA approved for use in 1970. It is considered a dissociative anesthetic with strong analgesic (pain control) properties and has a relatively safe side effect profile. Ketamine for the relief of chronic pain, however, is administered in much lower doses than when used to anesthetize, hence it is safely utilized in an outpatient setting. Several studies conducted show that Ketamine has been used to manage pain for a number of conditions including, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, phantom pain, complex regional pain syndrome, postherpetic neuralgia, spinal injury, etc. In fact, the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA), the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) agree that the collective evidence has shown support for ketamine’s role in pain management.
What conditions are treated?
Clinical trials exploring the use of ketamine to treat chronic pain are related to neuropathic pain or nerve pain. However, ketamine can be used to treat other chronic pain disorders such as:
- Pain from decreased blood flow (ischemia) to tissues
- Complex regional pain syndrome, which can affect a limb after injury
- Fibromyalgia, which is a form of widespread musculoskeletal pain, including back pain
- Facial pain
- Phantom limb pain experienced after amputation
- Postherpetic neuralgia, which is nerve pain after the resolution of shingles
- Poststroke pain
- Spinal injury
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain
The treatment process
A total of 3 infusion periods consecutively or within a day of each other will be performed with each infusion period lasting 4 hours. Vital signs are monitored by our highly trained staff and physicians throughout the entire process. Patients generally relax, listen to music or an audiobook during the infusion process.
What type of relief can I expect?
Individual response can vary, but most of our patients notice a significant improvement in their pain after the infusion process. Many are able to engage in previously painful activities with much less discomfort. Patients also note they take less pain medication, and some are able to stop oral pain medications completely. Booster infusions may also be used to potentiate the long term benefits of ketamine.
Ketamine for pain has the potential for reducing pain levels in patients. It is a medication with anesthetic and pain relieving properties and at low doses, ketamine can truly be an effective drug in managing pain. If you’re interested in learning more about how to manage your pain through the use of ketamine or other interventional methods reach out to our team today!