Ketamine is an anesthetic drug that has been popular in hospitals for decades. It is used to put patients under general anesthesia. In other cases, it can be used to sedate patients who need to undergo MRI scans or other medical testing. With ketamine-assisted therapy though, patients receive a much lower dose of the drug. The purpose is not to fully sedate into unconsciousness, but to relax and put you in a meditative state. Let’s talk more about how ketamine can help with chronic pain.
How Ketamine Works
Ketamine assisted therapy works in a few different ways that vary patient to patient. When it comes to how ketamine can help with chronic pain, the amount of ketamine someone receives and the frequency will vary and change. Some patients will receive their dose on a once/weekly basis, while others will receive treatment several times per week. The goal is to reduce pain gradually in some patients, while simply manage pain in others.
Ketamine is only administered in an office with a practitioner present. It is never administered by the patient in their own home. You need to be watched to ensure you do not experience any harmful side effects and to ensure the dosage remains appropriate.
How Ketamine Can Help with Chronic Pain
Ketamine is a powerful drug that can reduce pain and inflammation. This occurs because ketamine has the ability to block receptors that cause these reactions. Ketamine also causes a release of chemicals in the brain. These chemicals are feel-good chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin. This can make people feel positive or euphoric while they’re on the drug. This further reduces the pain and discomfort that a patient is being treated for.
Ketamine is also used to treat severe depression, chronic pain, and other medical conditions sometimes in combination with other medications such as morphine or midazolam (Versed).
What are the Side Effects of Ketamine?
Although there are vast benefits for how ketamine can help with chronic pain, the drug does come with some side effects. Ketamine is a dissociative general anesthetic that can cause psychological effects, also known as the “K-hole.” It can be prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as chronic pain. However, ketamine has many
side effects such as confusion and hallucinations.
Additionally, the drug can cross the blood-brain barrier and has a high risk of abuse. Benzodiazepines are depressant drugs that have sedative, muscle relaxant and anticonvulsant effects. They are prescribed for anxiety disorders, insomnia, seizures, and alcohol withdrawal. However, benzodiazepines can cause confusion and extreme fatigue as well as a dependence on them. Abuse of benzodiazepines can lead to drug addiction, which is why ketamine is heavily monitored by a practitioner.
Ketamine assisted therapy is a rapidly growing field. People with chronic pain have reported mass success when involved in this treatment. They often report reduced pain, greater tolerance for pain, and sometimes even a 100% reduction in the pain! If you’re considering giving ketamine assisted therapy a try, or if you want more info on how ketamine can help with chronic pain, give us a call today at Balanced Ketamine!