Living with frequent or daily pain changes the shape of your days and nights. Ketamine infusions may offer a path toward relief and are one of many innovative solutions available from Dr. Beata Grochowska, MD, of Regenerative MedSpa of Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia. If you’d like to explore ketamine infusions in greater detail, call today to book a visit or schedule online in just a few clicks.
Ketamine is a medication originally developed as a type of anesthetic. In the 1970s, researchers began exploring the drug’s antidepressant effects. In the late 1990s, the scientific community again turned its attention to examining the effects of ketamine. More recently it has been found to alleviate the symptoms of chronic neuropathic pain and severe, treatment resistant depression, PTSD, and OCD when used at sub-anesthetic doses (doses much lower than what would be used for sedation and anesthesia). Although intravenous ketamine has not yet been FDA approved for the treatment of pain and depression, like many drugs, it may be used in what is called an “off label” manner. This means that licensed physicians, because of their extensive training and understanding of medications, may use a drug to treat a condition that is not listed on the drug’s label.
Researchers believe that ketamine relieves pain by targeting a specific type of receptor present in your central nervous system. This receptor is called N-methyl-D-aspartate, often referred to as NMDA. Each individual patient may have a unique response to ketamine infusion therapy, but in general, 75% of patients will have improved symptoms. Reports show improvements lasting weeks, months, or permanently in some cases. Success depends on patients’ active participation in comprehensive care of their ailment, involving their primary care practitioner or psychiatrist.
Ketamine infusions are performed intravenously, delivering a solution of ketamine directly into your bloodstream, where it can begin blocking pain signals without having to first navigate your digestive tract.
Numerous randomized trials on ketamine use for pain management reveal that this approach is successful in many applications. Some of the types of pain that respond well to ketamine infusions include:
Extensive research shows that most people with chronic pain do not achieve good pain relief through treatments like opioids, antidepressants, or anti-epileptics. Ketamine offers another path toward reduced pain and enhanced quality of life.
The process begins with intravenous catheter (IV) placement. Your practitioner uses a small needle to place thin tubing into a vein on your hand or arm. You might feel a brief pinching sensation as the needle enters your skin, but no significant pain.
A small piece of surgical tape secures the tubing, and the other end connects to a flexible bag containing your ketamine solution. The solution moves through the tubing and slowly enters your bloodstream, one drip at a time.
You should feel relaxed during your treatment session but remain awake and alert throughout. During the infusion you will listen to soothing music and rest and relax. Some report an almost immediate lift in mood during and shortly after treatment and a reduction in pain. The infusion takes an hour but you will have to stay up to an additional hour for monitoring of your recovery.
You might feel a bit sleepy after ketamine infusions, so you have to have a friend or loved one over the age of 18 drive you home. If you’re ready to learn more, call Regenerative MedSpa of Buckhead today to schedule a visit or book an appointment online.