Cancer Pain Treatment
Ketamine Infusion Therapy
Ketamine for Cancer Pain Management
Chronic refractory pain is one of the most prevalent complications of cancer and cancer treatments, affecting up to 90 percent of patients, according to a study published by the National Center For Biotechnology Information.
Despite the high incidence, cancer pain is often undertreated due to a lack of effective pain therapies. Between the low efficacy and the potential dangers posed by prolonged use of traditional chronic pain medications like opioids, many cancer patients endure ongoing pain with no hope for relief.
Fortunately, research into alternative remedies seems to be making progress, with ketamine therapy showing great promise in alleviating severe and treatment-resistant chronic pain.
There is Hope, We Can Help!
Ketamine therapy for chronic pain management involves the use of low-dose ketamine infusions administered in a controlled medical setting.
The effects of ketamine are not always immediate, and most patients require multiple infusions to achieve optimal pain relief.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine was originally developed as an anesthetic for use during invasive procedures. The medication gained widespread popularity as a battlefield sedative during the Vietnam War, and its unique properties have since been investigated for a variety of clinical applications, including the treatment of severe mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations.
In recent years, ketamine has shown great promise as a treatment for long-term pain, particularly in patients who have not found relief from traditional pain medications. In lower doses, ketamine can be used as a non-opioid analgesic medication, providing rapid relief from moderate to severe chronic pain without the risks associated with traditional pain medications.
Ketamine Can Help Manage Your Cancer Pain
Cancer pain is notoriously difficult to manage, and a majority of patients don’t receive adequate pain treatment. Unfortunately, most cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can also cause severe ongoing pain – further exacerbating the situation.
And it doesn’t help that most conventional pain treatments like opioids are often ineffective in treating cancer pain and can actually make the pain worse over time. Luckily, studies show that ketamine is a safe and effective treatment for neuropathic cancer pain that may provide rapid and sustained pain relief when other treatments have failed.
The ability to work rapidly with little-to-no side effects means ketamine can significantly reduce the need for opioids and other pain medications, allowing many cancer patients to reduce or discontinue their use of these potentially addictive drugs.
How Does Ketamine for Pain Treatment Work?
Although the popularity of ketamine therapy can be tied back to its ability to rapidly alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations, ketamine is also proving to be an effective treatment for a variety of chronic pain conditions, especially those with a neuropathic component.
The mechanism underlying ketamine’s pain-relieving effects is not fully understood, but it’s thought to involve a unique interaction between ketamine and the NMDA receptors in the brain. NMDA receptors play an important role in pain processing and are responsible for the development of chronic pain following injuries.
Ketamine’s interaction with NMDA receptors seems to disrupt the transmission of pain signals from reaching the brain, providing relief from chronic pain. In addition to its analgesic effects, ketamine is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may also contribute to its pain-relieving effects.
The Ketamine Infusion Experience
During treatment, we go above and beyond to make sure all of our patients feel as comfortable as possible in their own private rooms. Infusions typically last 45-60 minutes for mood disorders, while chronic pain conditions require a larger dose and longer duration of infusion.
A number of our patients refer to a “dissociative” effect, and most of our patients respond positively to this sensation. In many cases, this disassociation effect is what aids with your treatment and delivers a positive response to ketamine therapy.
These are all ordinary components of the treatment. You will always remain in a safe atmosphere with our team there to monitor you and be readily available during your infusion.
What Are The Side Effects of Ketamine Treatment?
As a new treatment option for pain, ketamine does have a few minor side effects. These can include a dream-like feeling, disrupted vision, lightheadedness, nausea, or some slight anxious feelings during treatment. Ketamine may also cause a slight elevation in heart rate and blood pressure.
Ketamine is an FDA-approved medication utilized in “off-label” use for infusion therapy. Off-label use indicates that it is a treatment that the FDA did not initially authorize. The FDA approves prescription medications only for specific uses, but most medications at some point develop off-label uses as a result of the clinical experience that develops with time.
When to Consider Ketamine for Chronic Pain
If you have been diagnosed with chronic pain like cancer pain, it’s important to seek a treatment option that will provide long-term relief without significantly impacting your health in the long run. If you’ve tried traditional pain treatments like opioids without success or the side effects are too difficult to manage, ketamine therapy may be an option worth considering.
Ketamine is generally well-tolerated, and the side effects are typically mild and temporary. The most common side effects include dizziness, nausea, and mild hallucinations, which can be managed using medications.