What is Ketamine? Everything You Need to Know

| Texas Partners Healthcare Group

What is Ketamine? Everything You Need to Know - Texas Partner Healthcare Group

Ketamine has Many Benefits Outside of Its Negative Connotations

Ketamine is a manufactured drug that was first introduced to the market in the early 1960s for anesthesia purposes. Although many people are familiar with it as a “club drug,” it has been proven in recent years as one of the best options for treating chronic pain and depression.

On March 5, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ketamine for treating depression, an act that many viewed as a medical breakthrough. This particular form of the drug is a nasal spray called esketamine that is surprising many with its ability to support those suffering from depression. While ketamine has long been known for its hallucinogenic properties, researchers have found that when used in a therapeutic manner, it can reduce pain and help with many side effects of depression.

As a pain management clinic, we strive to stay on top of the latest industry news. It is our goal to keep you informed and help our patients find pain management treatment options that work for them. 

What is Ketamine? 

Before we take a closer look at how ketamine may help with pain and depression, let’s go over what exactly it is. A class III drug, it was first used as an anesthesia medicine during the Vietnam War. Depending on the dosage taken, it can cause a trance-like state and a sensation of floating.

However, in low doses, it has been known to provide pain relief and work as an antidepressant. It is important that this drug is not misused or abused as it can affect your memory, sense of sight and sound, and overall mental state.

Side Effects of Ketamine

Ketamine in the nasal spray form may be one of the most important medical breakthroughs to date. While the drug has a negative connotation surrounding it, the recent development by Yale Medicine researchers has shown that it can, in fact, be beneficial to many patients suffering from chronic pain and depression. In fact, studies have shown that ketamine actually stimulates the brain, helping it to heal connections that are causing pain and feelings of depression.

Some of the most common side effects of esketamine include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Feelings of detachment 

Is ketamine dangerous?

It is important that this drug is never misused or taken recreationally. It can be dangerous, depending on what form it is taken in and where the drug was sourced from. Ketamine can lead to hallucinations and make you feel as if you are having an out of body experience. It can be difficult to walk or talk when taken in high doses, and unfortunately, it is considered a date rape drug because of these potential side effects.

Can Ketamine Help with Pain or Depression? 

As mentioned, when ketamine is taken at lower doses, it can help ease pain and ensure other sedatives are working properly. It was first considered as an antidepressant in the 1990s, and since then, extensive research has been done to see how the drug can help ease pain and target neurotransmitters in the brain that trigger depression.

Esketamine is an exciting development that may help us treat patients living with chronic pain, depression, and anxiety. To learn more about ketamine or to see if it may be a viable option for you, please contact Texas Partners Healthcare Group today.

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