KETAMINE INFUSION THERAPY
In many pain relief clinics across the country, people who haven’t been helped by using the standard treatments are now able to receive a series of ketamine infusions which is reported to ease depression in many patients. Ketamine therapy has also been applied in emergency room settings when attempting to curb suicidal thoughts, which also make it a potential lifesaver, when other methods are not available or not effective.
Ketamine infusions normally involve the delivery of a carefully controlled dose of ketamine around the clock provided through a small pump. A butterfly needle is placed under the skin near the abdomen, where the ketamine being injected can form a small ‘puddle’ in the region. This ketamine ‘puddle’ will then be absorbed into your bloodstream, allowing the level of ketamine to rise steadily and in a controlled manner. This process is also known as a subcutaneous route of drug delivery and is the best way to keep dosage consistent throughout the procedure.
HOW DO KETAMINE INFUSIONS WORK?
When compared with the more familiar intravenous route of drug delivery, where the drug is sent directly into the bloodstream, there is less risk of an infection as well as a larger margin of safety if any problems develop while using the pump. Pain clinics still often perform ketamine infusions through the intravenous route, but it is our belief that the subcutaneous infusion is a safer method and works better for our patients.
Due of the protocol that we use, side effects are usually predictable and are typically milder than other forms of ketamine infusion. Feelings of mild sedation, even sometimes including grogginess, may be common as dosages increase to within a range where most patients will receive some benefit. Sometimes, there might be problems with concentration or when judging distances, but these side effects are generally predictable as the parts of the brain which contain nerve cells are able to be blocked by the action of the ketamine during treatment. These symptoms typically go away within just a few hours after the infusion.
What Conditions Are Treated by Ketamine?
SMALL FIBER NEUROPATHY
COMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN SYNDROME (CRPS)
REFLEX SYMPATHETIC DYSTROPHY (RSD)
Ketamine infusion therapy is usually a mild procedure, with few patients expected to terminate the treatment early because of side effects.
Since ketamine is a derivative of phencyclidine (PCP), patients undergoing treatment will likely be provided benzodiazepine in order to control any effects of dysphoria.
Side effects such as nausea or headaches are actively managed and will often subside during the course of ketamine infusion therapy.
Patients will sometimes remain tired for several hours following and will need to be accompanied home by an adult.
BENEFITS OF KETAMINE INFUSION THERAPY
The most notable pharmacological action with ketamine treatment is the antagonism of NMDA receptors, which are the main reason for recommending ketamine infusion for chronic pain and psychiatric conditions that don’t respond well or effectively to conventional therapies. Studies have consistently shown that increased NMDA expression or activity in animal models are symptomatic of chronic pain.
The most researched out of the NMDA antagonist class would be ketamine, and it remains the subject of many current CRPS research endeavors. We believe that several of the pharmacological functions with ketamine infusion therapy could produce an “entourage effect” that is helpful for managing many treatment-resistant psychiatric conditions.
Additionally, ketamine is not considered to be a highly addictive substance like some other common FDA-approved analgesics such as opioids.
The most critical step on the path to recovery is finding a pain management doctor who can address your pain management needs successfully. The Pain Relief Center and its five specialized institutes are dedicated to meeting any and all of a patient’s needs. Located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Dr. Rodriguez and his friendly staff will help you along the path to recovery.
Our new center in Dallas is part of a nationwide development by Pain Relief Centers, geared to providing individualized and comprehensive healing and pain management services with unprecedented levels of compassion, care, and comfort for each patient.