Infusion Therapy For Nerve Pain – Are There Any Side Effects?
Are you desperately looking for a solution for that stabbing nerve pain? Then Ketamine infusion therapy, proven to be the best remedy for decades, offers you much-needed relief. It’s quite effective for a multitude of health issues such as neuropathy, headaches, fibromyalgia, pelvic pain, facial pain, pudendal neuralgia, or even complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Before getting into the details of ketamine infusion therapy, first, let’s try to understand what infusion therapy is and how it works.
How Infusion Therapy Helps In Easing Nerve Pain?
Infusion therapy is a procedure by which medications are infused directly into your bloodstream. Here the medicines are delivered using a needle or catheter. There are mainly four types of infusion therapy.
- Intravenous (IV)
What is Intravenous (IV) Infusion Therapy?
Back in the 1960s, Intravenous (IV) Infusion Therapy was reportedly used by doctors to treat post-operative pain. With the advancement in modern medicine, IV infusion therapy has grown to be an effective solution for the treatment of several pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia to small fiber neuropathy and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) to reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). By supplying special medicines intravenously through the human body, doctors can significantly reduce pain at its source.
How does it work?
It’s a simple procedure where an IV line is placed in your arm and the medication is infused. Some of the medications used are
- Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG)
Several studies have been conducted regarding the medications to be used in intravenous infusion therapy. It has been found that ketamine and magnesium are the most effective for neuropathic pain whereas IV therapy works out better for many other pain syndromes.
What is ketamine?
Ketamine is a schedule III controlled drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). It is approved for use in animals as well as human beings for procedures where sedation or general anesthesia is required. Ketamine is used in pain management, as an anesthetic, and also as an amnestic. It falls in the category of dissociative drugs, with the potential for abuse. These drugs come with properties such as distorting one’s appreciation for sound and sight and may cause dissociation (examples are detachment and out-of-body-like experiences) from a person’s surroundings.
How ketamine aids in pain management?
Ketamine works in such a way that it blocks specific pain receptors in your brain. In addition to that, it resets certain nerve cells inside your spine and brain. This interaction has proven to be quite effective in pain reduction, unlike other pain management techniques.
Ketamine infusion can be used in treating various types of pains such as
- Neuropathic pain
- Traumatic spinal injuries
- Back pain associated with cancer
- Certain types of nerve and back pain
- Complex pain syndrome in certain areas
In the case of patients for whom ketamine infusions work, the pain relief may last much longer when compared to other treatments. They may experience relief from pain for days, weeks, or sometimes months, though it also depends on the pain and condition.
Ketamine infusions – How does it work?
The procedure of ketamine infusion is performed intravenously at a medical facility. Depending on your condition, it can take anywhere between 45 minutes to around five hours for the ketamine infusion to get over.
When compared to surgical anesthesia, ketamine infusions use a much lower dose for pain management. Depending on the treatment plan followed by your doctor, you may also be given some other medications that aid in relieving your pain and reducing any potential side effects.
As in the case of anesthesia, you will not fall asleep during the ketamine infusion. However, you may feel relaxed and there might be a tendency to close your eyes. Some of the patients find ketamine infusion quite relaxing.
However, while the infusion process is going on, you may experience a tingling or floating sensation. There are also chances of a few mild hallucinations. Hence, once the ketamine infusion is over, you may have to remain at the medical facility for at least an hour for the purpose of observation.
Advantages of infusion therapy
- Quick relief, especially in emergency situations such as post an allergic reaction or during childbirth.
- A better option for those who cannot take pills orally.
- Supplying larger and/or controlled amounts of medication.
- Intramuscular and subcutaneous injections help drugs remain in your body for a longer time.
- The success rate is high for several health conditions.
Side effects of Infusion Therapy
People who undergo IV therapy may experience complications such as
- If IV solution leaks onto your skin in the area near the injection site, you may suffer from burning, stinging, or redness
- If infected, it may lead to pus leaking from the injection.
- Pulmonary edema or excess lung fluid causes shortness of breath and coughing up of a frothy substance. A quick medical intervention is required in such cases.
- Air embolism or when air enters your vein – In this case, you may experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, shoulder pain, increased heart rate, light-headedness, and confusion.
Who should stay away from infusion therapy?
- Children below 12 years of age
- Some older adults
- In certain cases, patients with high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Patients having a history of heart problems
- Those who suffer from heavy bleeding, including during childbirth
- People who have had blood clots in the past
- Those giving birth and suffering from low blood pressure
Thus before you undergo infusion therapy, make sure that you share your medical history and concerns with your healthcare provider.
Hope the article provides valuable insights into how infusion therapy helps in treating nerve pain. Infusion therapy comes into the picture when there is no comparable oral therapy or when you are not in a position to take oral medication.
In the case of some drugs, they cannot be consumed orally as they lose their effectiveness when exposed to the human digestive system. Infusion therapy is not only effective in treating nerve pain, but also other medical conditions such as depression.
Dr. Edward Zelman
Dr. Edward Zelman works as a Neurologist with the expertise of over 15 years, helping more than thousands to get back in complete health through his research-proven treatments. He earned his Masters from Harvard University and completed his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Edward Zelman is one of the notable names in the medical industry for his work in pain management, chronic disorder, and so on. He is also a former faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At present, Dr. Edward Zelman is researching safe and effective natural remedies that can restore as well as maintain the youthful functioning of the body.
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