Ketamine and Fibromyalgia
In the National Pain Report, Florida MD Ginevra Liptan writes that a number of her fibromyalgia patients over the years had reported unexpected pain relief after undergoing surgeries unrelated to their musculoskeletal pain, and the relief had lasted for a few weeks. The only thing she found they had in common was that Ketamine had been used as anaesthetic in their procedures. Inspired, she turned to treating fibromyalgia with IV Ketamine infusions. One of her patients says her pain has been virtually eliminated by this treatment. “It seems to trigger a more long-lasting cool-down of pain signals, allowing for a period of pain relief without further medication,” she said. [i]
Stories like this offer hope to the estimated two per cent of Americans who suffer from Fibromyalgia, a chronic and not well understood musculoskeletal pain that can be experienced at specific musculoskeletal junctions in the lower, upper and both sides of the body, affects individuals’ ability to function, and that often coexists with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, depression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and chronic headaches.
A number of randomized trials, using single low-dose Ketamine infusions administered over 30 minutes, have cut subjective pain levels in half for about 50 per cent of patients studied, compared with a placebo group.[ii] And a case study published by suggests those results could be greatly improved by increasing the number and size of Ketamine doses. A 61-year-old female Fibromyalgia patient underwent a lumbar medical branch block resulting in a 50 per cent reduction in her back pain. After undergoing radiofrequency ablation of the left lumbar region, then a bilateral lumbar radiofrequency ablation, she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. She then took five days of intravenous (IV) Ketamine; four hour sessions with a base dose of 200 mg Ketamine. After the first treatment, she reported a decrease in pain levels from 7/10 to 5-6/10. She then reported a pain level of 0/10 after the third treatment, which persisted until at least one year after her fifth treatment, aided by a two-week booster and a five month booster.[iii]
While a recently-developed blood test is now available for Fibromyalgia diagnosis, researchers remain uncertain about the cause of the condition. The thalamus, a centralized portion of the brain and a prime pain receptor, is highly populated by NMDA receptors, which are known to bind glutamate, an important link in the perception of pain. Ketamine is known to block these receptors, at least temporarily preventing the glutamate hyperexcitability that is associated with Fibromyalgia, as well as with depression, Multiple Sclerosis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Decreased blood circulation has also been associated with Fibromyalgia, and Ketamine has been shown to increase blood flow in the parts of the brain associated with pain regulation in Fibromyalgia patients. Ketamine also appears to activate opiate receptors, meaning that opiate doses can be lowered without losing analgesic benefit.
Medically-supervised Ketamine infusion therapy is currently available in Arizona. Ketamine Infusion for Pain Relief Institute (KIPRI) offers hope to patients who are suffering from chronic pain by providing a simple, effective, and time-tested therapy. If you suffer from Fibromyalgia, KIPRI can help you regain control in your life. Call today.
“These patients are really suffering, and many have lost hope. We are able to reduce pain levels dramatically for many patients. Just seeing Kathryn’s remarkable recovery is a blessing for us all,”
Dr. Ashraf Hanna, Florida Spine Institute, Clearwater, Florida