Chronic physical and mental conditions can be very difficult to manage, and treatments can be time-consuming and exhausting. If you’ve tried treatment after treatment and failed with each one, you’re probably frustrated and hoping for a miracle. Luckily, there’s a drug out there that can help many conditions. That drug is called ketamine.
At Boston MindCare, our dedicated staff is committed to finding a treatment that will help you deal with whatever condition is plaguing your life. Anaesthesiologists Dr. Jason Yee and Dr. Isabel Legarda specialize in ketamine infusion therapy for a multitude of conditions. They can help get you on the path to feeling back to yourself with this specialized treatment.
How does ketamine work?
Ketamine is a multifunctional drug whose best-known medical use is as a sedative during surgical procedures, but in the past, it was known mostly as a dangerous street drug. When used properly by professionals such as Dr. Yee and Dr. Legarda, though, its positive uses help many patients.
Ketamine works directly on your brain, by blocking the production of a vital neurotransmitter called glutamate. This neurotransmitter is responsible for communication between the brain and other parts of your body. It also assists in processing information and communicating the results to the rest of the body.
Along with blocking the production of glutamate, ketamine also blocks a receptor in the brain called the NMDA receptor. This receptor is responsible for a variety of normal brain functions, so by blocking it, ketamine slows function down, which results in a sedative effect.
Due to its sedative and pain-reducing properties, it’s been used in procedures such as:
- Orthopedic surgeries
- Cardiac catheterizations
- Diagnostic procedures of the eye
- Skin grafting
It’s also been used in minor procedures such as tooth extraction to minimize pain and create a state of amnesia.
Conditions that can be treated with ketamine
In the past, ketamine was solely used as an anesthetic during surgical procedures. However, more recently it has been shown to help treat a variety of physical and mental conditions in small doses. At Boston MindCare, some of the problems we treat with this drug include:
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar disorder
Chronic pain is another condition that can have serious consequences on your body and your mental health. Traditional treatments are often either ineffective, or they stop working after a while. Due to its sedative effects and dissociation between the brain signals and body, ketamine can help you manage chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia or chronic regional pain syndrome.
Dr. Yee and Dr. Legarda have harnessed ketamine’s therapeutic effects in the form of an infusion therapy. In this treatment, they administer small doses of ketamine to you through an intravenous line. During treatment, you’ll be monitored continuously and your vital signs will be taken regularly to make sure you’re safe.
At the end of the procedure, you’ll be able to go home to rest and hopefully reap the benefits of the treatment. Our staff will go over adverse effects to watch for, and give you a timeline of when you should start to feel better. The success rate varies, but according to studies, 40% of people that received IV ketamine therapy for depression and got relief still felt good seven days after treatment.
Not to be taken lightly
Ketamine is a very powerful mind-altering drug, and you should not take it without knowing all the possible effects. Although research has shown promising results in its treatment of depression and pain, it still has side effects just like any other medication on the market. Some of the adverse effects of ketamine include:
- Slurred speech
- Muscle rigidity
This drug can also cause vision problems and uncontrollable movement of your eyes. Although our doctors give you this medication in a controlled environment, you may still experience side effects. It’s important that you know these effects, and report any adverse symptoms right away.
If you want to learn more about ketamine therapy, call our office at 781-207-9841, or schedule a consultation online today.