Ketamine infusions are used to treat depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, fibromyalgia, CRPS, social anxiety, and more.
A common use of ketamine infusions in pain management is for CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome).
CRPS is a neurologic disorder that is characterized by chronic arm or leg pain which developed after trauma such as an injury, surgery, heart attack, or stroke. CRPS is ranked among the most painful of all medical problems. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome activates NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors in the brain which makes patients more sensitive to pain signals as well as less sensitive to opioid medications.
In contrast, ketamine is a NMDA receptor antagonist so it inhibits the action of CRPS, therefore, NMDA receptors in the brain are not activated. Ketamine blocks specific neurotransmitters from binding to the NMDA receptors so a decrease in pain is experienced. It provides pain relief similar to that experienced from usage of opioid medications by a non-CRPS individual.
Ketamine infusions are given for CRPS symptom management most commonly in the following manner:
- A 4 hour high dose ketamine infusion therapy session.
- A series of 5 additional ketamine infusion therapy sessions (every day or every other day) after the initial dose.
- Maintenance infusions every 6-8 weeks as needed.