Lidocaine and Ketamine Infusions


Infusions of lidocaine and/or ketamine are a viable option to treat pain. Research shows that lidocaine and ketamine infusions can be used as successful alternatives to opioids. Fortunately, a large percentage of patients say they have found some degree of relief with lidocaine and/or ketamine infusions.

Lidocaine is the most commonly used anesthetic for infusions. This liquid medication is inserted via a needle into a vein. Lidocaine infusions provide comfort for many who deal with neuropathic pain and/or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). White the actual infusion is painful for some individuals, acute and chronic pain conditions are often successfully treated with lidocaine infusions. While many individuals report immediate and long-lasting pain relief; others describe the relief as slow and short-lived.

Lidocaine infusions have side effects including but not limited to, bruising, swelling or pain at the infusion site, itchy skin, redness of the skin, small red dots on the skin, and unusual warmth of the skin. Lidocaine has more anti-inflammatory properties than other anti-inflammatory medications. These infusions are administered in a wide variety of doses depending on each individual.

Ketamine was created in 1962 and is a potent anesthetic. It blocks pain by acting as a receptor antagonist and resting glial nerve cells. Ketamine infusions have been known to put some individuals with CRPS into remission. In order for the nervous system to reboot, it is best for an individual to be completely off opioids before starting ketamine infusions. Ketamine typically acts swiftly,and pain relief can sometimes last up to three months, after prolonged ketamine infusions (4-14 days).

Ketamine infusions can have few side effects if given at a low dose and administered properly. Side effects include,but are not limited to: memory problems, panic attacks, nausea, vomiting, and hallucinations. Benzodiazepines are often prescribed to minimize these side effects. Individual receiving this type infusion should be monitored closely, as it is a powerful anesthetic and can possibly cause bladder and renal complications when abused. Opioid-tolerant patients may be able to receive ketamine as an alternative after surgery.

More research is being done on both types of infusions, but the prognosis is promising. Lidocaine and ketamine infusions are becoming a regular treatment option for individuals living with chronic pain.

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