By: James Pegler
Anyone with fibromyalgia knows that there are hundreds of treatments that address the varied symptoms of fibro. It is because there are so many different ways that the disorder manifests itself, with so many different symptoms. Addressing each symptom can lead to a plethora of treatments. There is a newer treatment that seems to help several fibro symptoms, as well as addressing the causes of the disorder. This treatment is intravenous (IV) ketamine infusion therapy. Here is a closer look at how IV ketamine infusion works, and what is promising about using it to treat fibromyalgia.
Ketamine has been used in medicine for around fifty years now. The drug is often used as an anesthetic for surgery, because at that dose it causes a person to become unconscious and blocks the body’s ability to feel pain. This happens because the drug blocks the nerve receptors that transfer pain signals. The same substance has also been used to help psychiatric issues, including depression, which many fibro patients deal with.
IV ketamine infusion therapy helps to treat fibromyalgia by using the same neurological blocking properties that make it so useful to anesthesiologists. The IV ketamine infusion uses a far lower dose, and it is injected over a long period of time. Studies show that, when applied in this way, patients can have significant relief of pain symptoms for up to 3 months. The process is repeated several times in a few days or weeks. The end result is that the nervous system gets a pain response reboot. This process must be repeated to maintain the same level of relief. IV ketamine infusion therapy is generally reserved for patients that have been resistant to all other forms of treatment, and that suffer severe neurological pain. Many who suffer with fibromyalgia definitely meet that standard. To get ketamine treatments for your fibro symptoms, you need to talk to your doctor. If the doctor thinks that it would be beneficial for your case, then he/she will give you a referral to a clinic that performs the procedure.
The IV ketamine infusion process is relaxing. When undergoing the infusion you basically go into a chemically induced sleep for several hours. Certain motor functions are still left intact with this medicine, so if you have to use the restroom in the middle of the treatment you may wake up. For anyone who suffers from lack of restful sleep due to their fibro, the idea of a chemically induced slumber does not sound too bad.
Ketamine also agitates the receptors that regulate glutamate (a mood modulator), that has a role in depression. Because of this, it provides quick results as an antidepressant. Many fibro patients suffer from depression. The combined ability of ketamine to treat both depression and chronic neurological pain make it a great option for treatment of fibromyalgia.