What is Ketamine?
Ketamine as an anesthetic has been around for 50+ years, and is FDA approved as an anesthetic agent, it is used in operating rooms around the world, and is deemed an essential medicine in healthcare today, backed by the World Heath Organization. While low dose Ketamine has not been FDA approved for the treatment of Chronic Pain, Depression, Anxiety, Neuropathy (nerve pain), Inflammatory Pain, Fibromyalgia, Bipolar Disorder or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); and other diseases, when given this medication through an IV, it can help rapidly decrease many of the symptoms, in an off-label setting. Studies confirming benefits have been done at the Cleveland Clinic, National Institute of Health, Harvard University, and even UT Southwestern here in Dallas, Tx.
How Does Ketamine Work?
Ketamine works with your brain chemistry by inhibiting the NMDA (N-methyl- D- aspartate) receptors These receptors are responsible for multiple pathways and studies have shown that antagonists of these receptors also help with mental health. Ketamine infusions work differently from other medications because it targets these receptors straight through the bloodstream. Pain medication, Anti-anxiety and anti-depression medication all work by trying to "block" certain pathways, but again, these don't directly correct the problem. After the Ketamine targets these receptors, it resets them and builds new long term connections )termed neural plasticity) and helps decrease firing of the receptors as well. Studies are still being done to ensure the exact mechanism of action, but results include over 80% of patients receiving some sort of relief after their first infusion. Treatment plans can be tailored to precisely match the patient's goals and help with increased benefit.