Ketamine is a medication that has been approved by the FDA for use in humans as an anesthetic for surgery and other procedures. Ketamine can be administered intravenously (IV) or intramuscularly (IM). Ketamine may also be administered for chronic pain management. Ketamine affects the brain’s perception of pain. It blocks pain signals. Ketamine is categorized as a non-opioid medication for pain. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about Ketamine infusion for pain management.
While ketamine is most commonly known for its anesthetic properties, it’s also an effective medication for managing pain. It works by binding to the NMDA receptor in your brain to block incoming pain signals. Therefore, if you experience discomfort from an impending procedure or you have chronic pain, it’s possible that ketamine could work for you.
Ketamine is administered through an IV drip and can take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to take effect. Once the treatment takes effect, many patients experience feelings of euphoria, sedation, and/or general relaxation. This feeling can continue for up to a few hours after the treatment and wears off gradually. Patients who receive ketamine infusions to treat chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, often report less pain during the infusion and in the days following.
Ketamine infusions can be an effective treatment option for several chronic pain conditions, including:
- chronic migraines
- cluster headaches
- shingles pain
- facial nerve pain
- back pain
- neck pain
- arthritis joint pain
- neuropathic pain syndromes
- postherpetic neuralgia
- diabetic neuropathy
These are just a few of the conditions that respond to ketamine therapy. If you’re experiencing difficult-to-control chronic pain, ask your doctor if ketamine might be right for you.
Before beginning ketamine therapy, it is helpful to understand the benefits and risks of this treatment method. By discussing your medical history with your doctor, you can make an informed decision about whether ketamine is right for you.
Benefits of ketamine infusion:
- Lessens or eliminates pain
- Blocks certain receptors in the brain that send pain signals
- It may have fewer side effects than several oral medications
Ketamine is an anesthetic drug that blocks the nerve receptors in the brain and spinal cord. It also promotes the release of serotonin and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters inhibit the pain signals sent to the brain. When combined with an opioid, such as morphine, ketamine can block pain for weeks. Ketamine can reduce both acute and chronic pain.
Ketamine can be administered intravenously to block pain for a much longer period of time than oral medications can provide relief. An intravenous infusion of ketamine can last up to a week at a time. Oral pain medications, on the other hand, are usually effective for only a few hours to a few days in severe cases.
Ketamine also reduces anxiety and muscle spasms by blocking NMDA receptor activity. This can help ease painful symptoms of fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other chronic pain conditions. Patients report feeling relaxed after receiving ketamine treatments. This reduces anxiety linked to their physical pain, which can help them tolerate more procedures.
When administered safely and correctly, ketamine is a safe and effective sedative agent approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When used as part of a comprehensive pain management plan, ketamine is proven to provide rapid relief from acute and chronic pain. It’s also beneficial for patients who have experienced serious side effects from other medications. Ketamine is considered “safe and effective” when administered by a medical professional in a medical setting.
Contact Florida Regional Pain Management, PA: Shonith Manohar, MD, in Jacksonville, Florida, at (904) 737-7246 to learn more about ketamine infusion therapy and its benefits for pain management.