What You Should Know About Ketamine Infusion Therapy

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What You Should Know About Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Ketamine emerged as a safe field anesthetic during the later stages of the Vietnam War. Applied later to chronic pain treatment, low doses of ketamine also displayed antidepressant effects. Ketamine infusion therapy has several applications.

Depression and chronic pain are two conditions that are sometimes hard to treat. Some patients won’t respond to the typical therapies that work for others, reducing the options available. Larger doses of medications carry their own side effects and complications. 

One solution for both conditions may be found through ketamine infusion therapy. While ketamine is administered in other forms, an intravenous (IV) infusion matched to your condition may be the treatment you’ve waited to find. 

Visit the ketamine therapy specialists at Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management to learn more about its suitability for your needs. Here’s what you should know about ketamine infusion therapy to help you make an informed treatment decision. 

What is ketamine? 

After its development in the 1950s, ketamine was first used as a veterinary anesthetic before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for people in 1970. 

Quickly adopted as a safe and effective field anesthetic during the Vietnam War, ketamine later found a role in mainstream medicine. 

Along with its pain management properties, ketamine was found to have anti-depression characteristics too. Medical protocols for its use came into place, and now ketamine is used as both an anesthetic and a depression treatment, under some circumstances. 

You can receive ketamine in different forms, including: 

  • Injection
  • Lozenges
  • Nasal spray
  • Intravenous infusion

Most research done on ketamine focuses on the drug given intravenously, the way you receive it during an IV infusion. 

For chronic pain

In many cases, the pain cycle works in a logical way. You suffer an injury and pain begins, then improves until you heal, when pain is gone. 

However, chronic or degenerative conditions may mean you never fully heal — so the pain never vanishes. Sometimes, you may recover from your injuries, but your nerves continue to report pain even after the reason has passed. 

Ketamine infusions may be the answer when pain persists or when relief through conventional treatments isn’t enough. A series of infusions could help you experience long-term freedom from your pain when dealing with conditions such as: 

  • Arthritis
  • Chronic neck or back pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Neuropathy (nerve pain)
  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Trigeminal neuralgia 

Relief from a series of ketamine infusions depends on your personal response. Results can last anywhere from a month to nearly a year. 

For depression

If you’ve tried two or more conventional antidepressants with limited benefits, you may be a candidate for ketamine therapy. 

Typically, the nasal spray form of ketamine is the first-line delivery method for depression, but an infusion may be recommended, depending on your condition. 

What to expect from IV infusion

Usually, the infusion lasts about 40 minutes, delivered in an outpatient setting. There’s also a waiting period after the infusion to allow dissociative effects from the medication to wear off. This period depends on the dosage of ketamine you receive and your response to it. 

You’ll be in an agreeable state similar to sedation. One benefit of ketamine over similar drugs in its class is the calming effect it has. It’s a well-tolerated treatment for virtually anyone. 

Discover more about ketamine infusion therapy by scheduling a consultation at the nearest location of Metro Anesthesia & Pain Management, in West Des Moines or Des Moines, Iowa. You can reach your office of choice by phone or online. Book your session today.