In the U.S. over 100 million people reportedly suffer from some form of chronic pain. Most people can relate to having experienced physical pain in their lifetimes, but to have to live with that pain on a daily basis can become intolerable Neuropathic pain syndromes are the root cause of many individuals chronic discomfort. Neuropathic pain syndromes are related to disorders like diabetes, fibromyalgia, CRPS, Lyme disease and migraines to name a few.
The most common treatment for neuropathy is to mask it with narcotic prescription pain medications. Narcotics like Opioids are highly addictive, and our state is currently leading the country in abusing the drug and overdose episodes. The CDC reports that nearly half of all opioid-related deaths are due to the narcotic being prescribed for pain-related circumstances.
Many pain medications have adverse effects. In addition to common side effects, patients also develop tolerance which requires increasing doses of medication to effect the same relief over time. The other issue of course is withdrawal. Weaning off opiods and similar classes of medications such as benzodiazepines and nerve medications must be done slowly and carefully so patients do not suffer from symptoms of withdrawal.
Clearly, patients need alternatives when dealing with certain chronic neuropathic pain conditions. Ketamine infusion therapy, can provide an effective alternative when conventional modes of therapy are not helping patients adequately.
A recent study conducted at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital involved 61 patients with intractable migraines. Of the 61 patients in the study, 75% showed a decrease in the intensity of their headaches after receiving low dose IV Ketamine infusions over five days. On a scale of 0 to 10 (10 being the highest), the self-reported pain score from patients was on average 7.5 before the initiation of the study and 3.4 at the conclusion of the IV Ketamine infusions.
IV Ketamine is currently used to help treat neuropathic pain syndromes such as CRPS, fibromyalgia, trigeminal neuralgia, migraines, and herpetic neuralgias. There is a growing body of evidence to support that it may have long-term effects for pain relief.
In recent FDA and other professional associated studies, patient results with ketamine show:
• Reduced pain
• Decreased depression
• Diminished suicidal thoughts and episodes
• Rapid ability to reverse depression and
There are varying protocols with respect to the dosages, number of infusions and length of time for each infusion. In general, patients receiving IV Ketamine infusions for chronic pain syndromes undergo from 3-8 initial infusions on consecutive days with each one lasting 3-5 hours. For mental health patients, the infusions last 1 hour and occur every other day for 2 weeks for a total of 6 initial infusions.
Ketamine IV therapy impacts pain relief, mood, and anxiety and can result in positive treatment outcomes for the following disorders:
• Severe or Chronic Depression
• Chronic Pain
• Bipolar Disorder
• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
• Post-Partum Depression (PPD)
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)