Originally created over 50 years ago as a surgical pain reliever and sedative, ketamine has long been regarded as a mysterious and potentially dangerous drug when used outside of these applications. Its unfortunate history as a street drug and the associated risks of its illicit use have yielded a reputation that causes many patients to dread the mere mention of the medication. However, recent developments and discoveries have lead to the use of ketamine for a wide range of treatments – all of which are changing the way doctors and patients perceive this potential wonder drug.
Changing the Way We Treat Pain
There was a time when the only way to relieve intense or long-term pain was through the use of opiate drugs. These medications brought devastating side effects and their use has created an epidemic of addiction around the world. For many years, though, there was no safe alternative to these drugs.
Today, ketamine is being used to help patients who have become tolerant to these medications – or to help those who find them ineffective. This development has improved outcomes for these patients and is helping many to live better, fuller lives. It is also granting more patients the freedom to step down from medications altogether – something most opiate medications work against in the brain. Since ketamine works differently, it has been chosen as an alternative for many patients who are experiencing complications with the use of traditional pain relief medications.
Helping Mental Health Patients Live Better Lives
Ketamine is not only an excellent choice for some chronic pain sufferers. It is also being used with great success to aid in depression treatment and other mental health conditions.
The same way ketamine blocks pain receptors in the brains of those who are experiencing acute or chronic pain, it can also change the way that chemicals in the brain are transmitted to improve mental health. The medication is believed to increase the amount of glutamate – an important neurotransmitter – in spaces between neurons. This allows for better communication of these neurons, which leads to improved mood, cognition, and more.
Ketamine’s uses are still being studied and it is not yet fully understood what the drug is capable of. However, there are several FDA approved drugs containing ketamine that are used today for pain management treatment, depression, and more. To learn more about Phoenix depression treatment, pain relief and more through the use of ketamine, speak to the industry experts at Ketamine Infusion Centers today.