NMDA receptor antagonist that is normally used in anesthesia to humans and animals. Often delivered as an infusion or intramuscular, or as a cream or gel (often in combination with other analgesics), ketamine is effective, at least in the short term, in the treatment of many chronic pain states including complex regional pain syndrome and fibromyalgia, and difficult to treat cases of depression.
The use of ketamine for fibromyalgia
In a CBS News segment focusing on fibromyalgia and its impact, Dr. Ashraf Hanna, a board-certified physician and director of pain management at Florida Spine Institute, Florida, described using intravenous ketamine for successfully treat the disease.
There has been much debate about what is or how to classify Fibromyalgia actually and because of this, effective treatment options are hard to find. In addition, the fibromyalgia symptoms are subjective and everyone who has fibromyalgia feels different symptoms and pain levels that can vary from one day to another, and people can also react to drugs differently. Some said Fibromyalgia is a muscular disease that seems appropriate for many who suffer from this debilitating disease suffer from moderate to severe pain in their muscles.
It was also ranked as rheumatoid type of condition that is also logical because many suffer from pain in any part or all of their joints. However, most of the information there now seems to indicate that fibromyalgia can be a nervous condition or neuroinflammation in the brain that causes a disturbance in the way the brain processes pain and sensory information.
Some studies have suggested that the brain releases toxic type of chemicals which are collected by neurotransmitters and sent to nerves and other organ systems resulting in increased pain sensations and the type of neuropathy pain, and so some people are diagnosed with a small fiber neuropathy, which can be verified by skin biopsy.
This does not mean that people with fibromyalgia have more pain; is that they feel pain differently and more significantly than others, as well as having greater sensitivity to certain things such as light, sound, or smell. So what does this mean for the treatment of fibromyalgia?
Some doctors now prescribe ketamine infusions to treat pain of fibromyalgia. But what is ketamine and how is this related to the treatment of fibromyalgia? Ketamine is an agonist of the NMDA receptor and also works on the opiate receptors in the brain. Ketamine was once used to start and maintain anesthesia and is classified as a dissociated anesthetic. dissociative anesthesia works so that the pain is not recognized by the brain so to speak. So how this work for patients with fibromyalgia?
ketamine blocks receptors which cause the release of toxic chemicals that cause reactions in nerve cells so that pain signals can not be transmitted to the body thereby substantially blocking the pain to be recognized in the body . Ketamine is used increasingly in the treatment of chronic pain conditions, including fibromyalgia.
This drug is administered to a patient by intravenous infusion over a period of 4 hours and the doses used are much lower than the doses which have been used with the anesthetic. How long does the medication is different for each patient. is as varied as it is with any other treatment available the response to treatment of a patient.
In some of the information available online, some patients who receive these infusions reported a period of 2-3 months time with symptom improvement while others reported more than 6 months relief, and others reported that a shorter period of 2 weeks of relief symptoms of fibromyalgia. Doctors also continue the use of physical therapy, psychotherapy and other drug therapies in addition to ketamine infusions. The available information on ketamine infusions and success varies as well, but as with all currently approved treatment for fibromyalgia, it is different for everyone.
But as everyone who suffers from this condition, and has not had success with other treatment knows, it’s certainly worth a conversation with your doctor about the pro and cons of this therapy. If your doctor does not know the use of ketamine, you can work with them to help you find someone who is better informed about the drug and use for fibromyalgia.