Can I Get a Ketamine Infusion for Pain Control?
According to ketamine’s history and use, it is much more fascinating than the rumors. Ketamine was first synthesized as a surgical anesthetic in 1962. It was quickly favored over other medications of the time due to its quick onset and desirable behavioral effects. For this reason, the use of ketamine infusion for pain control has increased considerably in recent years.
Induction and maintenance of surgical pain relief were approved by the FDA in 1970. Recent studies have shown that ketamine can provide symptom relief to patients with a variety of mental and physical conditions, including chronic pain, treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PTSD. Here’s everything you should know about ketamine infusion for pain control.
How Does Ketamine Work?
Ketamine acts as an antagonist to the NMDA receptors, which means that it blocks neurotransmitters from passing through to the next cell. While this action has many medical benefits, the drug’s effect on dorsal-horn neurons is one of the most promising in pain treatment. By preventing central sensitization of dorsal-horn neurons, ketamine can cause analgesia. Ketamine blocks the transmission of pain. The spinal cord stops sending too many pain signals to the brain.
What Are Therapeutic Ketamine Infusions (TKI)?
A sub-anesthetic dose is when ketamine is administered to treat a condition other than general anesthesia. The specific doses that are administered will depend on the condition being treated.
Low-dose ketamine injections are generally around 0.5 mg/kg/hr. However, the dose can be adjusted depending on the patient’s response. Initial treatment involves one to six infusions over several weeks. Maintenance infusions are usually performed every three to five weeks following the initial treatment.
An infusion appointment for low doses will take approximately one hour. There are 20 minutes of active infusion and 40 minutes of recovery before the patient is released. Low-dose ketamine infusions are prescribed for:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Migraine headaches
- Infusions with high doses
A high-dose infusion of ketamine for acute pain starts at approximately 1 mg/kg/hr. This can be adjusted depending on patient response. This protocol is faster-paced and involves five infusions per day or every other, then maintenance infusions every six to 8 weeks, depending on the patient’s needs.
A high-dose ketamine injection will take longer than a low-dose appointment. This appointment will last for six hours. Four hours of that time will be spent in active ketamine infusion, and two hours in recovery. This dose is used for the following:
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Reflex sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
Treatment of Chronic Migraines With Ketamine
Ketamine is a sedative, analgesic, and painkiller that can be used to treat a wide range of conditions. However, the most common condition is chronic headaches. These “headaches”, which are debilitating and often disabling, are the third most prevalent and sixth most severe illness in the world. More than 90% of sufferers can’t work or function properly during an episode. This is why intravenous ketamine injections might be an option to treat migraine pain.
A study published in the Journal of Headache and Pain found that all patients who received ketamine injection therapy for chronic migraine pain experienced significant pain relief for at most eight hours. Some patients report pain relief lasting up to three months. This is especially good news for those who have ever experienced migraine headaches, and those who suffer from them regularly. Chronic migraine sufferers may become more resistant to painkillers over time. Ketamine’s mechanism of action is different from traditional pain medication.
Contact Florida Medical Pain Management Today
Florida Medical Pain Management is proud to offer comprehensive pain management services to a diverse group of patients. We are committed to providing the highest quality care, while also helping you get back on your feet. Call us today to learn more about our ketamine infusion therapy!