Ketamine Infusion for Pain Management
Ketamine was first used as an anesthetic in 1966. More recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in ketamine as an effective therapy for myriad chronic pain conditions, including neuropathic pain, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), fibromyalgia, post-herpetic neuralgia, migraine and spinal cord injury.
Ketamine infusion has been reported as safe and efficacious for the management of refractory complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) in inpatient and outpatient settings. The problem with using narcotics for CRPS is that huge doses are required because pain caused by CRPS is resistant to the pain-relieving effects of narcotics. Narcotics use often leads to hospitalization due to prolonged heavy sedation and respiratory depression. In addition, chronic use of narcotics leads to physical dependency, tolerance and constipation.
Not so with ketamine. Ketamine has a selective effect on relieving pain from CRPS without causing prolonged sedation and respiratory depression. Ketamine is less likely to lead to lengthy, expensive hospitalization. There is no problem with physical dependency, tolerance or constipation with ketamine. In addition, ketamine "booster" infusions have proven effective against severe, multiple-extremity, intractable CRPS. Ketamine booster infusions can lead to fewer ER visits for difficult and serious cases of CRPS. The FDA supports ketamine as having "a wide margin of safety; several instances of unintentional administration of overdoses of ketamine (up to ten times that usually required) have been followed by prolonged but complete recovery.”
Ketamine treatment is not for every pain patient or type of pain, and it is often used as a last resort therapy for patients who have not had success with other pain treatments. Talk to our doctors to learn whether ketamine infusion is right for you.
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