What is Ketamine?
Ketamine has been often used in the emergency trauma and induction/maintenance of anesthesia setting since the 1960’s. A powerful non-narcotic anesthetic with NDMA antagonist properties, ketamine infusions have been approved by the FDA for various disorders that have been refractory to conventional treatment such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain management of chronic pain syndrome and complex regional pain syndrome. It has been found to help reduce central sensitization and “wind-up” phenomenon that plague many chronic pain patients. It is used to essentially “reset” the brain. Although not first line, ketamine infusions can provide a large degree of relief for those cases that nothing else seems to help.
Am I the right candidate?
Well that depends. Typically we like to try first-line therapies such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID’s), neuromodulators, low dose opioids, and various injections with physical therapy. If these modalities have failed, then yes, ketamine infusions may be appropriate for you.
What does the procedure entail?
Ketamine infusions are typically done in an outpatient setting in which patients and their vitals are being continuously monitored by a trained provider. Patients are able to sit back and relax in a comfortable chair while the infusion takes place. Often times patients listen to music, read a book, or take a nap. Ketamine infusion protocols can vary patient to patient. Here at Crescent Pain Relief, Dr. Shaikh tailors each protocol specifically for the patient’s disease pathology and co-existing conditions. That can range anywhere from 200mg to 400mg IV infusion over 45 minutes to 4 hours. Typically, most patients need anywhere from 4 to 6 “loading” sessions over a 6 week period, and then a “maintenance” session every few months.
What are the side effects?
Ketamine is a drug that is typically very well tolerated; however can be associated with some side effects such as dizziness or light-headedness, slight increase in blood pressure/heart rate, and sometimes mild altered mentation. Dr. Shaikh prescribes a robust cocktail along with the ketamine infusion to mitigate these side effects. However, a driver will be necessary to bring you home after your appointment.
How much does it cost?
Pricing varies from clinic to clinic, but can cost patients upwards of $1000 per session. However, here at Crescent Pain Relief, we try to make everything as affordable as possible, while providing the most up to date treatments medical science has to offer. Therefore, we charge $500 per session or a bundle payment of $2000 for the loading session.