What is ketamine?
Ketamine has been used as a powerful anesthetic and pain-killing medication for about 50 years. It was first used as a sedative during surgeries because high doses cause patients to lose consciousness.
Because ketamine blocks pain signals from traveling to the brain, it is highly effective in relieving chronic pain. The medication affects a very specific set of pain receptors in the spine. Only patients with these pain receptors activated respond to ketamine therapy.
What types of pain conditions can ketamine therapy treat?
Ketamine is a revolutionary way to treat chronic pain resulting from degenerative disease and traumatic injuries. Conditions that may respond well to ketamine infusions include:
- Cancer pain
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Neuropathic pain
- Sickle cell disease
- Spinal injury
Ketamine therapy can also be helpful in mental health disorders like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder. It’s believed that ketamine helps your brain form new synapses, or pathways, to provide long-term relief of these mental health disorders.
How is ketamine administered?
The team at Florida Medical Pain Management Institute provides ketamine therapy through IV (intravenous) infusion. Your provider determines the right dosage based on the severity of your pain and your exact diagnosis. The IVs are administered in-office.
Less commonly, ketamine may be administered as a pill, targeted injection, or topical treatment. Your doctor determines the best route given your condition and dosing needs. They’ll let you know how often you should come in for treatment or how you should use the oral or topical treatments.
Who is a candidate for ketamine therapy?
Ketamine therapy may be right for you if you haven’t had any success in getting relief from your pain with traditional therapies, like opioids. Patients with chronic pain who plan to undergo surgery may also benefit from short-term ketamine therapy.
Before prescribing ketamine, your doctor does a thorough review of your medical history, family history, current health, and presenting symptoms. Patients with poorly controlled cardiovascular disease, severe liver disease, substance abuse problems, or glaucoma may be denied ketamine treatments due to potential contraindications.
To find out more about how ketamine therapy could help alleviate your chronic pain, call Florida Pain Management Institute today or use the online tool to set up an appointment.