Ketamine, a drug originally meant for sedation, is now an effective alternate treatment for other ailments. At one point, the use and benefits of Ketamine were only for operating rooms and battlefields, but now it can treat major depression, cancer pain, and chronic pains.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a schedule III drug with dissociative anesthetic properties that make people feel detached from their surroundings. However, it does not reduce your blood pressure or breathing rate; hence it is safe for medical use.
How do Ketamine Infusions work?
Administering a Ketamine infusion is a simple process. The doctor connects the patient to an IV that has a mix of saline and Ketamine. Depending on the doctor’s prescribed dosage, the patient can have the IV for an hour or more.
Once the infusion is complete, the doctor allows the patient to recover for the next 30-minutes in the doctor’s office. However, a patient cannot drive home because of disorientation and tiredness after receiving the infusion and must have someone accompany them.
Benefits of Ketamine Infusion Therapy
The most significant benefit of Ketamine infusion is alleviation or reduction of chronic pain and depression in the patient. Therefore it is an excellent alternate medication for a person who had no luck with other treatments to reduce chronic pains or cure treatment-resistant depression (TRD).
Some patients can lead a happy, pain-reduced, or even pain-free life by receiving Ketamine infusion. The treatment is almost painless compared to other therapies for pain management. It is a non-surgical process and can be helpful for patients who have tried therapy, surgery, and other medications with no outcomes.
Ketamine infusion produces quick and effective results. Side effects are very uncommon, and most patients may only experience mild side effects if and when they occur.
Ketamine and Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a discomfort that can last from months to years. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report in 2019, over 20.4% of US adults suffered from chronic pain. The constant discomfort caused by pain can affect the quality of life, and some even struggle with basic motor functions.
Chronic pain can have an impact on your professional life, sleeping pattern, and social life. Thanks to Ketamine infusion as it can help alleviate chronic aches and pains. Ketamine helps block the brain’s pain receptors and reset your nerve cells in the brain and spine.
Ketamine infusion can be beneficial for two types of patients.
• The ones suffering from chronic pain and did not get any relief from treatment options like opioids.
• Patients suffering from chronic pain and considering surgery to get rid of the discomfort.
Conditions that Ketamine Infusion Can Treat
Pain is not only physical; people suffering from long-term depression are in agony as well. It can affect their lifestyle, quality of life, and they experience emotional stress every day. Unlike traditional mental health treatments such as antidepressants, Ketamine infusion can produce faster results and offer instant relief to such patients.
Many patients reported feeling the relief and their symptoms dissipate right after receiving Ketamine infusion therapy. So, mental health patients suffering from TRD, PTSD, or experiencing suicidal thoughts can rely on Ketamine infusion and reap its benefits right away.
That is not all, as there are several other areas where patients suffering from chronic pain can benefit from Ketamine infusion treatment. Some of the pain types include.
• Chemotherapy-induced pain
• Diabetic patients
• Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
• Chronic back and neck pain
• Pain caused by nerve injury due to an accident or surgery.
• Severe fibromyalgia
• Spinal injuries
• Phantom discomfort
• Neuropathic pain
• Sickle cell disease
• Cancer pain
• Crohn’s Disease
• Gastrointestinal pain
• Lyme disease
• Rheumatologic pain
• Bipolar disorder
Most of the pains mentioned above are something that patients experience after recovering from the injury or surgery.
CRPS and Ketamine Infusion
Ketamine infusion has shown promising results in treating people with Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). The treatment works for CRPS patients by slowing down their reactions and preventing them from overworking the nerves. This gives the patient a sense of relief from discomfort.
CRPS typically occurs when a patient suffers an injury, including a sprain, fracture, or surgery. In all of these cases, minor stimuli in your arms and legs can cause extreme pain. Ketamine infusion therapy changes your brain’s signaling pattern that is responsible for causing pain in any part of the body.
So, if you or a loved one has had no luck with conventional medication for discomforts like these, Ketamine infusion therapy might be something worth exploring. The powerful anesthetic properties of Ketamine will block your nerve cells and pain receptors and reduce pain.
Side Effects of Ketamine
Every treatment and medicine comes with some side effects, but Ketamine infusion therapy has minimal side effects, and they are very uncommon. That said, some of the side effects include:
• Nausea and vomiting
• High blood pressure
• Perceptual disturbance
• Disorientation as time may appear to speed up or slow down
• Blurry vision
• Certain noises, textures, and colors
• Out-of-body/dissociation experience
Remember, these side effects are temporary and do not last much longer after you have received the infusion.
Doctors are very careful when administering Ketamine in patients. Every dose is different based on the situation and condition of the patient. Therefore, you must never try using Ketamine at home without a doctor’s advice.
Furthermore, if it is not advisable to use Ketamine if you suffer from the following conditions:
• Severe liver disease
• Cardiovascular conditions
• Poorly controlled psychosis
• If you suffer from or have the tendency for substance abuse
• Elevated intracranial pressure
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