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Ketamine: An Effective Therapy For Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Ketamine is a medication that has been around for about half-century and has been used as an anesthetic medication in the operating room. The biggest drawback of ketamine in the operating room in the early days is that patients had hallucinations from using the drug. So it became less popular even though it was very effective in the operating room for pain relief. At Advanced Pain Solutions, Dr. Adam Camp provides ketamine infusions to patients to eliminate chronic pain and depression.

Ketamine is called a dissociative anesthetic. It is a medication that dissociates the mind from the body; at the proper dose of ketamine, one can actually be somewhat awake and yet become disassociated from the body’s experience. So the patient will not feel the pain at hand, even though the patient knows that something is going on there.

Ketamine has undergone a resurgence in its use and effects in treating complex regional pain syndrome. 

Ketamine is a drug that can produce hallucinations and can even be toxic to the nervous system. Using the medication Clonidine, there can be prophylaxis or prevention of the negative nervous system effect of ketamine.

The advantage of ketamine over other anesthetics when used in a traditional sense is it does not suppress respiration in the operating room. Ketamine also does not lower blood pressure, and as a result, its administration can be safer than that of intravenous narcotics.

There is a big potential for ketamine on the battlefield because when a soldier loses a limb or has a major injury, you want to give that soldier the best pain relief possible. Still, you do not want to compromise their breathing, and you do not want to compromise their blood pressure. So ketamine can play a role here.

The development of an intra-nasal meter of ketamine will be an alternative to establishing an intravenous line in a very acute situation; meaning that you can give ketamine safely in a metered-dose through the nose, right through the mucosa of the nose, before the intravenous line is even established in an emergency.


It is imperative that the physician who is administering the drug has experience in anesthesia and airway management and that the patient is fully monitored with a minimum of three and possibly four of the following: an automated blood pressure cuff, pulse oximetry, which measures oxygen in the blood in real time, electrocardiography and possibly even the amount of CO2 a patient is breathing out with each breath. 

Schedule an appointment with Advanced Pain Solutions to get more information and receive state-of-the-art ketamine infusion therapy.