The American Migraine Foundation estimates that at least 39 million Americans suffer from migraines. This neurological condition can be disabling, lowering your quality of life and interfering with everyday tasks.
Migraine pain is difficult to treat, but one option that has shown excellent results is ketamine infusion therapy. Learn more about using ketamine for migraines and the benefits it can offer.
What Is a Migraine?
A migraine is an intense headache that can cause severe pain and throbbing. It often affects only one side of the head.
There are two main types of headaches: primary and secondary. A migraine is a primary headache, which means that no other medical condition causes it. It will likely get worse with movement, as well as with bright lights, loud sounds, and even smells. Migraines can cause vomiting and nausea and can last for hours or even days.
Before a migraine attack, some people experience an aura, which typically presents as visual disturbances like blind spots or flashes of light. Others experience tingling on their face or difficulty speaking.
Some other symptoms leading up to a migraine can include:
- Neck stiffness
- Mood changes
- Increased urination
- Frequent yawning
- Fluid retention
There are various risk factors that can increase your likelihood of developing migraines. Genetics play a big role — 80% of people with a first-degree relative who has migraines also develop the condition, according to the Migraine Trust.
In addition, women are more likely than men to suffer from migraines because hormonal changes can trigger them. High levels of stress also play a role, as well as smoking.
What Is Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic that doctors traditionally use to induce general anesthesia but is now widely used for treating depression, anxiety, and migraines.
We offer ketamine infusion therapy as a migraine treatment. Ketamine infusion therapy involves administering low doses of the drug through a slow, constant intravenous drip.
Ketamine works by blocking neurotransmitters in your brain, preventing them from reaching the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. You have these receptors along your spinal cord and brain, and they are vital in the process of pain development.
Because ketamine prevents these transmitters from binding, your brain can’t send pain signals and consequently, the severity of the migraine decreases.
The best candidates for this migraine treatment option are those who have pain that no other type of treatment can relieve. If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart disease, uncontrolled thyroid disease, bipolar disorder, or have an active substance use disorder, ketamine infusion therapy may not be right for you.
Benefits of Ketamine for Migraines
Ketamine infusion therapy is an excellent option for people who have tried other migraine treatments without success. It’s a fast-acting treatment option that blocks pain transmitters and teaches your brain to create new pathways and synapses, promoting healing. This can help with preventing migraines in the future.
Ketamine also reduces the body’s inflammation signals.
Ketamine is non-addictive when used in the low doses we offer during our ketamine infusion therapy.
Preparing for Ketamine Infusion Therapy
If you want to try using ketamine for migraines, the first step is to schedule a consultation with us. We will get your full medical history and a list of medications and supplements you take.
We recommend you try to get a good night’s sleep before your treatment session. Make sure to arrange for someone else to drive you home, because you will not be able to do so yourself.
Unless we tell you otherwise, take your regular medications on the day of the procedure. You can also eat a light breakfast as long as you do it at least four hours before your appointment. You can continue to drink clear liquids up to two hours before your infusion therapy.
The Ketamine Infusion Therapy Procedure
On the day of your treatment, wear loose clothing to the appointment. Make sure that your sleeves allow us access above your elbow so we can insert an IV catheter. We will connect that catheter to a machine that provides low doses of ketamine.
We will take your vital signs and perform a physical exam before each procedure. We will also prepare the room for you so that you can have a positive experience. The infusion therapy can last anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes.
After the infusion, we ask our patients to remain in the chair for up to half an hour so we can monitor them. You shouldn’t drive or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours after the infusion.
We recommend hydrating yourself with water and avoiding alcohol for at least a day after the procedure. After 24 hours, you can resume your regular activities.
You may experience the benefits of ketamine for weeks or sometimes even months. Once we finish the treatment sessions, we can arrange maintenance sessions as needed.
Get Migraine Relief with Ketamine
Turning to ketamine for migraines can help improve your quality of life by giving you the relief you need from debilitating pain. Since ketamine works by blocking pain signals, it can be an effective and fast treatment for people who have not found other migraine therapies that work.
At Ahwatukee Ketamine Clinic and Drip Lounge in Phoenix, AZ, and Scottsdale Ketamine Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ, we provide the latest ketamine therapies to help patients with conditions like depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, PTSD, migraines, and more.
With our state-of-the-art facilities and dedicated providers, we can offer a pleasant healing environment to all of our patients. Learn more about ketamine treatments by contacting us today.