Ketamine Treatment for Chronic Pain and Depression
For those experiencing chronic pain and/or depression, ketamine infusion therapy is an alternative option to traditional approaches such as physical therapy, medications, injection therapy or standard clinical interventions that may have not been successful in reducing your pain. Ketamine can be effective for patients who have a tolerance to narcotics and in conditions where a person develops hypersensitivity or hyperalgesia (increased abnormal pain responses).
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a medication with both anesthetic and analgesic properties. It works as an NMDA receptor antagonist which is involved in pain control, blocking the receptors involved in conditions which cause pain response to light touch, water, clothing or other sensations that are typically not experienced as being painful, thereby alleviating these symptoms.
Can Ketamine treat my condition?
Chronic pain can be dramatically altered or even eliminated through ketamine infusions. Certain types of pain considered to be “neuropathic” in origin are considered to be most responsive to ketamine therapy. Examples of this kind of pain include:
- trigeminal neuralgia
- complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
- diabetic neuropathy
- phantom limb pain
- post herpetic neuralgia
Other types of chronic pain such as chronic temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) pain, various headaches and musculoskeletal pain may also benefit from ketamine infusions.
Patients who have been diagnosed with treatment resistant depression are candidates for ketamine infusion therapy. This includes patients with major depressive disorders, post-partum depression, bi-polar depression and severe anxiety states. When a patient has not responded to in-patient therapy medications, outpatient therapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or other forms of treatment, ketamine infusions should be considered as the next step.
How is it administered?
Intravenous (IV) ketamine infusions involve the delivery of ketamine into the bloodstream. This treatment is done under continuous monitoring of medical staff. The patient is admitted to a monitored setting as an outpatient. Depending on the treatment post-procedural care may last up to a couple hours until the patient is discharged home. The treatment can be repeated if it is found to be effective for the patient’s condition.After infusion, heightened painful sensations may disappear for a prolonged period of time.