Intravenous (IV) ketamine infusion therapy involves the release of ketamine into the bloodstream. Ketamine is an NMDA (N-methyl D-aspartate) receptor antagonist used for several anesthetic and sedative purposes, such as pain management.
Ketamine blocks nerve channels, which cause serious pain sensations while still allowing the nerve to function properly and normally. Painful sensations will be alleviated for a period of time following these infusions.
Evidence shows that NMDA receptors are involved when people build up a tolerance to narcotics. This treatment can be helpful in conditions where a person is struggling with hypersensitivity or hyperalgesia and increased abnormal pain responses. In some situations, patients can develop a pain response to even water, a breeze, clothing, a light touch, or other minimal sensations which are usually not felt as painful. This is called allodynia.
Ketamine can block the receptors involved with these conditions, alleviating the symptoms. This medication can provide effective pain relief when infused with a patient’s blood. At the practice, Dr. Buddhavarapu offers this service to his patients struggling with chronic pain. If this is a good option for treatment, he will go over all the details with each patient.
A number of conditions can be treated using IV ketamine infusion therapy, including complex regional pain syndrome, also referred to as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, neuropathic pain, centralized pain, hyperalgesia, allodynia, or intense widespread pain.
Ketamine can be a good option if traditional approaches, such as physical therapies, opioids, other medications, or standard clinical interventions have not successfully alleviated pain.
Patients will have an ECG before the infusion to ensure no abnormal heart rhythms are present. The infusion is administered using a catheter in the hand or arm. The medical staff will monitor each patient’s vital signs during infusion.
Some patients will feel like the pain has gone or is significantly decreased following the ketamine infusion. This can last for several hours up to many weeks. Patients will not be able to drive after the infusion, and they must be sure to have a person ready to take them home. This person will also need to make regular contact with the patient for 24 hours following the infusion.
The infusion itself does not cause any discomfort. There can be some discomfort experienced with the placement of the catheter, but this should be over quickly
To learn more about ketamine infusion therapy, schedule an appointment at Serene Outpatient Infusion Center by calling the office or reaching out online.