Chronic fatigue, depression, migraine headaches – they’re all symptoms that have challenged pain sufferers and their health care providers for ages.
Now, however, there is a growing body of medical evidence showing that with proper screening and administration, all three conditions can be effectively addressed with the infusion of the prescription drug ketamine.
How Does Ketamine Work?
Discovered in the 1960s and approved for use in the United States in 1970, ketamine is a medication that is mainly used as an anesthetic and for sedation in intensive care. However, it has also been proven to work wonderfully for chronic pain.
Let’s examine how ketamine can help alleviate the effects of depression, chronic fatigue, and migraines:
DepressionAccording to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are almost 14 million Americans diagnosed with depression every year. Symptoms of depression include:
- Loss of interest in normal activities and relationships for up to several weeks
- Impaired concentration
- Excessive sleep
- Major weight loss (more than 5 percent of body weight in a month)
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
Research indicates that a series of carefully administered ketamine infusions can help alleviate depression. Better yet, ketamine provides faster relief than most common antidepressants (such as Prozac and Zoloft) which can take weeks, if not months, to produce results.
In a hospital setting, ketamine has been known to quickly curb suicidal thoughts, thus potentially saving lives.
Medical researchers aren’t sure why ketamine has this effect, but in recent studies, the medication appears to enhance synaptic (the junction between cells) plasticity in several brain regions that are implicated in depression. Further study is underway focusing on its chemical properties.
Nevertheless, ketamine infusions (which are generally done six times over the course of 12 days) should only be conducted after a patient has undergone psychiatric counseling and has tried different kinds of antidepressants without success. It is also important to note that ketamine is not FDA-approved to treat depression, and it is considered an off-label (investigational) treatment.
Ketamine infusion has been found to reduce the central nervous system sensitization associated with increased pain in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). It also appears to reduce the activity of glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain linked to CFS, while also enhancing circulatory functioning – which is another issue associated with CFS.
Migraine Headache Pain
Recent studies have shown that in small, properly calculated doses, ketamine can relieve migraine pain for up to several weeks. It can also reduce the severity of migraine auras in patients for whom other treatment options have failed.
Pain Doctors in Texas
Ketamine can be delivered in a carefully controlled setting via intravenous infusion at Balcones Pain Consultants. To learn more about this alternative treatment for depression, chronic fatigue, and migraine headache pain, contact us to schedule an appointment at the Balcones location nearest to you.