Ketamine infusions use therapeutic doses of an anesthetic to relieve uncomfortable symptoms caused by neuropathic pain, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other conditions. At Philadelphia Smart Pain & Wellness, with offices in Northeast Philadelphia, Bala Cynwyd, and Allentown, Pennsylvania, pain management specialist Samuel Grodofsky, MD, offers ketamine infusions on an outpatient basis. Book an appointment online, or call the nearest office today.
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic that causes a trancelike state. It was designed as a safe anesthetic for humans in the 1960s.
During the last decade, researchers discovered that ketamine provides a safe and effective way to ease chronic pain. A growing body of evidence suggests that it can relieve the symptoms of some mental illnesses, including depression, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A ketamine infusion delivers ketamine into your bloodstream through an intravenous (IV) drip. Once the ketamine enters your body, it blocks a receptor in your brain called the NMDA receptor, which provides a therapeutic effect.
Ketamine infusions provide near-instant pain relief. The medication bypasses your digestive system, allowing a greater amount of it to get into your nervous system. The beneficial effects last days, even weeks, making it easier to work, spend time with your family, and do other necessary tasks.
To see if you can benefit from a ketamine infusion, Dr. Grodofsky reviews your medical history, asks about your lifestyle and symptoms, and does a physical exam and/or a psychological evaluation.
Ketamine infusions aren’t a first-line treatment for pain or mental illness. Dr. Grodofsky typically recommends conservative treatments like rest, physical therapy, and/or counseling first. If your symptoms stay the same or get worse, you could benefit from ketamine infusions.
The number of ketamine infusions you’ll need will depend on your health history and how severe your symptoms are. Dr. Grodofsky usually recommends a series of six appointments spaced one week apart as an introduction. If the infusions work and your symptoms ease, you’ll continue treatment, visiting the nearest office every four to eight weeks for maintenance as needed.
Ketamine infusions are safe and usually tolerated well. But with any medication, there’s a risk of side-effects.
Following an infusion appointment, you could experience:
If you develop any of these symptoms, let Dr. Grodofsky know right away. He can adjust the amount of medication you receive during treatment to ensure that you don’t experience these side-effects.
Ketamine infusions usually aren’t covered by insurance because it’s considered an “off-label” treatment, meaning the FDA hasn’t approved ketamine for this use. But every insurance company is different. If you have questions about your coverage, call your insurance provider before scheduling a consultation with Dr. Grodofsky.
To get more information on ketamine infusions, request a consultation at Philadelphia Smart Pain & Wellness. Book an appointment online, or call the nearest office today.