Los Angeles’ Premier Pain Management Specialists located in Santa Monica, CA.

Ketamine Pain Management


Manage Chronic Pain and Prevent Damage to Nerve Fibers

Ketamine Pain Management

Ketamine is a safe medication, but nevertheless, it should be monitored for possible symptoms of toxicity or addiction. In order to ensure stabilized patients, long distance patients should be monitored by a psychiatrist or psychologist regularly while on ketamine. The medication is short acting and most patients prefer it to be delivered through the nasal area. For IV ketamine, smaller doses are recommended over larger ones.

Ketamine Pain Management

Neuropathic pain is known to be unresponsive to opioid medications. Some success has been observed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, but some conditions may be too severe to respond to even these medications.

Recent research has shown that ketamine can help alleviate the pain caused by neuropathic conditions.  But this is also a popular recreational hallucinogenic drug, which means its use has some risks. Ketamine is generally administered as a topical gel.  The anesthetic dulls the nervous response and nerves associated with pain.

The effects of ketamine can include hallucinations and psychotic episodes, it is a low-safety option for treating ongoing pain management.  Ketamine infusions have increased in availability for patients experiencing chronic pain.  The drug is administered in a monitored hospital setting. Additional boosters are required after the initial dose to ensure the medication provides the complete effect.

Those suffering from neuropathic pain have limited options for treatment.  Neuropathic pain can include damage to nerve fibers or tissues, characterized as a burning sensation.  There is no definite overall cause for neuropathic pain, but it is associated with several conditions such as chemotherapy, diabetes, and shingles.

Ketamine is a controversial treatment and cannot be taken without prior knowledge and discussion.  Call today to meet with Dr. Joshua Prager and Dr. Marilyn Jacobs about whether ketamine is recommended for you.

I. Side Effects

Ketamine produces common side effects such as a dream-like state, jerky muscle movements, drowsiness, vomiting, double vision, loss of appetite, or insomnia.  Ketamine should be administered under close supervision.  The medication can react to barbiturates or narcotics.  It is important to inform your doctor of all the medications you use.  Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you abruptly cease taking ketamine.

If you have serious side effects such as slow heart rate, shallow breathing, pain when urinating, or muscle movements that look like convulsions, please contact your doctor immediatel

II. Ketamine for Acute Pain Management

For acute management, ketamine should be administered in lower doses to improve the quality of pain relief.  Lower disease will also reduce the amount of opioid required and decrease side effects such as nausea and vomiting.

III. Candidacy for Treatment

Candidates for low-dose ketamine administration should be evaluated by a qualified physician. Those with cardiorespiratory disorders make the best candidates for ketamine anesthesia.  Patients with limited right ventricular functional reserve and increased pulmonary vascular experience may experience harmful reactions to the medication.


California Pain Medicine Center
2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 1280W
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: 310-264-7246
Fax: 310-882-7005

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