Ketamine for pain and depression

Ketamine (for pain and depression) is most widely used as an anaesthetic agent – it is used to relieve pain, but has recently been found to be suitable in the treatment of major depression. In the US, the FDA approved ketamine for the induction and maintenance of anaesthesia, further highlighting its pain relief properties. Further still, ketamine is also being currently used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ketamine is not typically used as a first-line therapy for chronic pain management or psychiatric disorders, but should instead be considered, by the patient’s interdisciplinary team, when these approaches have not worked.

Why Ketamine?

Using Ketamine for the treatment of pain and depression presents the prospective patient with several advantages, chief among them being a fast-acting solution that is effective and carries fewer side-effects with its use. As such, whereas traditional anti-depressants typically take between several weeks and months before the patient experiences some relief for whatever mental illness they suffer from, Ketamine infusions means that the effects are felt within the day, typically in minutes or a few hours. Further, side-effects such as weight gain, a common symptom of prescription anti-depressant, are non-existence with Ketamine infusion Therapy.

Low-Dose Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Most available medications for chronic pain in patients contain opioids as part of their ingredients, making these drugs potentially addictive to patients that use it to find relief. Further still, these opioids come with several negative and unwanted side effects, such as constipation, nausea and vomiting, and drowsiness. The use of low-dose ketamine infusion therapy may be a suitable way of managing pain, with ketamine comparing to morphine in its pain efficacy. It may also provide a viable treatment for several mental health conditions, thereby improving an individual’s quality of life.