Ketamine is a potent analgesic medication that can be used for a variety of purposes including anesthesia, refractory pain, depression, seizures, or asthma. Ketamine works by blocking NMDA receptors. This calms down the central nervous system and resets opioid receptors to help improve chronic pain. The medication is administered intravenously and has been studied in the treatment of the following conditions:
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Spinal Cord Injury
Phantom Limb Pain
Cancer-Induced Neuropathic Pain
After the IV is placed, the infusion is administered over a 4-hour period. We ask that you bring a family member/loved one with you to accompany you during the procedure and suggest that you bring pillows and blankets to make yourself comfortable. Side effects of the medication include unusual thoughts or feelings, dissociation, abdominal pain, nausea, headache, temperature change, increased heart rate, and blood pressure, dizziness, increased muscle tone, and double vision. These are all transient side effects that may be present during the infusion and may persist for up to one week afterward. You will be monitored closely by a nurse. Other medications such as midazolam, promethazine, and Zofran are administered as well to help reduce these side effects and to make you as comfortable as possible.