What is Ketamine?
Systematic and evidence-based reviews have found ketamine to be effective for both chronic pain and depression, and recent years have witnessed a dramatic increase in research and publications, clinical use, and publicity. Ketamine is classified by most pharmacological sources as an “anesthetic agent,” being able to induce general anesthesia. Ketamine exerts its analgesic and antidepressant effects via different mechanisms being its primary mechanism the binding to NMDA receptors in central nervous system. Activation of NMDA receptors play a role in cognition, chronic pain, opioid tolerance, hyperalgesia and mood regulation and is considered the principal receptor involved in phenomena of central sensitization and windup. The simplest and most elegant explanation proposed for ketamine’s chronic pain-relieving properties is that it “resets the CNS”. Ketamine may exert its profound analgesic effects by not only affecting the sensory-discriminative system, but also modulating the affective-motivational component of pain. An anti-inflammatory mechanism has also been speculated.
What to expect during the treatment?
An intravenous line (IV) will be started in an extremity so you can receive ketamine. The risk of venipuncture (IV-line insertion) may include temporary discomfort from the needle stick, bruising, infiltration or infection. You will be monitored throughout the infusion under the supervision of a physician following the guidelines for sedation established by the American Society of Anesthesiology. After the infusion is completed, you will be discharged home once you meet the standards for post sedation assessment.
The usual protocol is 6 treatments, once a week, but variations of the protocol depend on the condition treated.
What should I do before every treatment?
- Do NOT eat solids at least 6 hours prior to the infusion. You may drink clear liquids (water, juice, coffee without cream) up until 2 hours prior to the infusion
- Please continue to take your daily medications as scheduled with a sip of water.
- You must have a friend or relative who can drive you home after the infusion.
- Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time in order to fill the necessary paperwork.
- Wear loose fitting clothing.
- Female Patients
- If you are PREGNANT or trying to get pregnant, you MUST inform us immediately.
- Urine pregnancy test will be done prior to the procedure at the facility.
- Diabetic Patients
- If you are a DIABETIC, you need to let us know and we will schedule your procedure early in the morning when possible. Take half of your long acting insulin the morning of your procedure only. DO NOT take any oral diabetic medications. Please, check your glucose at home on the infusion day.
What should I do after the treatment?
- Take it easy today! REST for 24 hours. Then, increase activity as tolerated.
- DO NOT drive any vehicle or DO NOT operate any equipment for 24 hours.
- DO NOT make any important decision for 24 hours.
- Resume a normal diet as tolerated.
- Resume your medications as instructed including pain medication
The side effects of Ketamine are dependent on the dose and how quickly the infusion is given. The dose being used is lower than anesthetic doses and will be given slowly over 45-90 minutes. These side effects are rare and often go away on their own. The most common short-term side effects of ketamine therapy include mild nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, feeling tired or groggy, hallucinations, confusion, nightmares, vivid imagery, dissociation, increased heart rate and blood pressure during the infusion, muscle twitching, While most patients will not experience any significant side effects during ketamine therapy, you should be aware of theme during or after the infusion.
If you experience any side effect, let the physician know. Premedication can be prescribed in your next infusion to reduce the possibility of side effects presenting again. Remember you should not drive the day of an infusion and can resume driving the following day.
Is this treatment covered by my insurance?
Currently, insurances are not covering Ketamine Infusions, but we do offer LOW MONTHLY PAYMENTS.
Please ask our staff about it.