Everyone claims to have suffered from a migraine before. Unfortunately, due to such widespread abuse of the term, the general public doesn&rsquo t understand the intense pain and debilitating symptoms true migraines often cause. Holding the title of perhaps the most debilitating condition in the world in terms of lost dollars, every migraine sufferer knows the difference between a migraine and a headache.
Luckily, doctors have recently come out with a therapy specifically targeted to migraines&mdash the results are good, but not good enough. Chronic migraine sufferers usually try everything under the sun from tricyclics, to triptans, the new anti-CGRP&rsquo s, and even to some narcotics. Imagine being able to rid yourself of a migraine within minutes of taking medication. A new and exciting treatment unknown to many migraine sufferers is ketamine infusion therapy.
Touted by many as a wonderful addition to their medical regime, a recent study out of Boston demonstrated, &ldquo almost 75 percent experienced an improvement in their migraine intensity.&rdquo [i] With such inspiring results, you may be wondering why you have never heard of this before.
The answer is a little complicated, but ultimately it comes down to the large amount of time clinical trials take to be given approval for specific conditions. Only recently, ketamine, a therapeutic typically used in the induction and maintenance of anesthesia in hospitals and operating rooms, has begun to show improvements in migraine, chronic pain, and even depressed patients. Used off-label as a treatment for migraines, ketamine may be the answer to turning your life around and ridding yourself of chronic migraines.
How Does It Work?
The leading answer is the action of low-dose ketamine on the NMDA receptor in the brain. By blocking this receptor, somehow blood vessel dilation and migraine symptoms are relieved. The actual answer is, we don&rsquo t know. Studies are ongoing to figure out why ketamine is having such a dramatic effect. As a patient of chronic migraine, we know ketamine is safe, convenient, and can greatly reduce your migraine symptoms, and that&rsquo s good enough for us.
How is it Administered?
Ketamine can be administered for migraine relief in the form of IV infusions or nasal sprays. Our clinic is staffed with knowledgeable professionals to provide you with a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere, so you can relax as you are given the infusion over the course of an hour. Most of the studies have used IV ketamine to demonstrate its migraine relief effects. The spray has been shown to be effective in a few studies, though it has not been researched as thoroughly.
What are the Side Effects?
Ketamine is known to be a very safe drug. Infusion patients should stay away from narcotics for 24 hours following an infusion session, but otherwise the side effects are very minimal. Some patients report to have an out-of-body experience during or following an infusion. For the vast majority of patients, this effect is gone by the time they leave our office following their infusion.
There Are Even More Treatments!
Sometimes, migraines can be especially tricky to manage, or you may feel ketamine is not right for you. We offer a variety of infusion treatments each shown to reduce pain and frequency of chronic and non-chronic headache.
Nutritional Infusions. We include a range of vitamins, minerals in our IV nutrition infusion. By replenishing the building blocks your brain needs for health, our nutritional infusion allows your body to fight migraines all on it own, the natural way.
Lidocaine Infusions. Do you sometimes get an occasional migraine that knocks you out of work and into bed? Our IV lidocaine infusions may be right for you. Lidocaine is an affective analgesic used in clinics all over the world. Many studies have proven its safety and effectiveness in immediately providing relief for an acute migraine attack and also in helping prolong the time between migraines.
Sphenopalatine Blocks. The sphenopalatine nerve ganglion is closely associated with the trigeminal nerve, the primary nerve involved with headache. During the course of a migraine, it is thought that pain signals traveling through the parasympathetic system pass through the sphenopalatine ganglion when causing us pain. By blocking this nerve with an anesthetic, we can stop acute migraines and even help prevent the symptoms of nausea, facial pain, and congestion often accompanying migraines.
If you are experiencing chronic or non-chronic migraines, give us a call at (563) 231-4691 so we can together decide the best treatment for you.