Severe and chronic pain can be debilitating. One in three people will be affected by chronic pain in their lifetime. If you have chronic pain, you already know that nothing completely takes it away and few things help. Many people suffering with pain have lost friends, jobs and family relationships. Few people understand how you feel and they can’t appreciate what you experience daily.
You have probably tried everything to get some pain relief, including physical therapy, pain medications, injections, and spinal cord stimulators but still can’t get the relief you need. While some of these things may help, the best you can expect is only a 30% improvement in symptoms
The most appropriate ketamine infusion option to treat pain conditions can vary significantly. Generally, you should be able to tell if the treatments will be beneficial after the first infusion. Once established that ketamine infusions are effective for your pain, we will carefully titrate your dose for optimal results.
The most appropriate infusion option to treat fibromyalgia, is typically a one-hour low-dose infusion. This includes 40 minutes of active infusion and a 20 minute active recovery before being released to go home. In total, patients spend about an hour and a half with us at each visit. The low-dose infusions typically start around 0.5mg/kg/hr and may be adjusted to the response of the patient.
For other chronic pain conditions, a two-hour low-dose infusion is the best treatment plan. This includes 120 minutes of active infusion and a 60 minute active recovery before being released to go home. In total, patients spend about three hours with us at each visit. The low-dose infusions typically start around 0.75mg/kg/hr and may be adjusted to the response of the patient.
For more complex chronic pain conditions, a four-hour infusion is required for relief of symptoms. This includes 240 minutes of active infusion and a 120 minute active recovery before being released to go home. In total, patients spend about 6 hours with us at each visit. The infusions typically start around 1.0mg/kg/hr and may be adjusted to the response of the patient.
Patients frequently describe the experience of a low-dose infusion as floating or “floaty” and may experience mild visual hallucinations and other similar mild side effects that wear off quickly after the infusion. We work hard to avoid any uncomfortable experiences. Although serious side effects are unlikely, we provide physician administration, continuous monitoring, safety equipment, and protocols consistent with best practices for the procedure and with the Alabama Medical Board Codes for office-based anesthesia.
A series of infusions followed by maintenance treatments provide greater and longer-lasting relief – with each subsequent infusion in a series building upon the last. We often start with a series of 6 infusions, administered once or twice a week, over several weeks. The initial series is followed by maintenance treatments as needed. Maintenance treatments often start about every 3 to 5 weeks. Over time we work with patients to extend the length of time between these infusions.
Ultimately, the number and frequency of treatments is variable from patient to patient depending on such factors as the severity of the symptoms, the other medications a patient may be taking, and the patient’s response to the treatments.