The anesthetic drug ketamine helps reduce chronic (long-term) pain and treat conditions like depression. If you have pain that isn’t getting better with other treatments, visit Asher C. Goldstein, MD, and the other Zephyr Medical pain experts in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. They use ketamine for patients who don’t respond to frontline treatments like physical therapy and injections. Call Zephyr Medical today or book an appointment using the online form to see if ketamine treatment can relieve your pain.
Ketamine has been an anesthetic used in surgery for many decades. More recently, researchers discovered it has pain-relieving and mood-improving qualities. Patients now benefit from ketamine treatment for chronic (long-term) pain and mood disorders like depression.
It’s not clear exactly how ketamine controls pain. But it appears to block the activity of chemicals called NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors in your brain. NMDA reacts to a neurotransmitter (a chemical that enables nerve cells in your brain to communicate) called glutamate, which activates other cells.
Ketamine stops NMDA from overstimulating your nerve cells, resulting in pain reduction.
Ketamine might relieve pain even when other treatments aren’t working. It’s especially effective for conditions like:
Before suggesting you try ketamine, the Zephyr Medical team offers many other treatments. These include physical therapy, medication, steroid injections, nerve blocks, and radiofrequency ablation.
For most patients, these treatments effectively relieve pain. Others feel limited or no benefit. Or you might find that as your condition develops, treatments that used to be effective no longer provide sufficient relief. In these cases, ketamine offers an effective alternative.
Ketamine comes in various forms — pills, injections, creams, and inhalants. Intravenous (IV) ketamine infusions involve having a needle in an arm vein that slowly delivers the drug directly into your bloodstream.
The ketamine infusion process takes about an hour. During this time, you can enjoy Zephyr Medical’s comfortable, relaxing IV therapy suite. Infusion has advantages because the medical team can monitor and react quickly should you have any problems.
Before your ketamine treatment, your doctor gives you midazolam. This sedative drug stops the ketamine from causing adverse effects like hallucinations.
If your first session offers relief from pain and you suffer no harmful effects, the Zephyr Medical team will give you further ketamine treatments. The frequency of treatment varies depending on how effective the ketamine is at relieving your pain and how long the effects last.
Most patients feel the benefits of ketamine treatment for around three months. Patients can have up to 10 ketamine treatments in one cycle.
Call Zephyr Medical today or book an appointment online to discover how ketamine treatment can help you manage chronic pain.