Fibromyalgia Doctor Touts Ketamine for Pain and Depression

Discussion in 'Relieving Pain' started by Cort, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Wonder Drug?

    Health Rising has done several reports on how surprisingly effective Ketamine can be with pain and depression. The drug has a couple of strikes against it for sure; it's an anesthesia drug which can produce hallucinations (!) in high doses and has been used as a date rape drug to boot.

    Ketamine has also, though, been successful in the difficult to treat chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS). It achieved remission in about half the patients in a small CRPS trial. It works so quickly in depression that it may become the first anti-suicide drug. For some people who had about reached the end of their rope ketamine has proved to be a life-saver.


    Stephanie had severe degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and depression. As a young woman she had the spine of an 80 year old. She had undergone multiple surgeries and had tried almost everything without success yet ketamine infusions sent her from an 8/9 on the pain scale to a 2/3.

    Recently Fibromyalgia News Today reported on another woman who was bedridden with severe fibromyalgia who's pain virtually disappeared while using ketamine.

    In April, Dr. Ginerva Liptan, author and FM patient, touted ketamine's effects on The National Pain Report. Liptan first found out about ketamine when several of her patients experienced significant pain relief for weeks after undergoing surgery. When she looked further she found they had all received ketamine IV's.

    She suggested that ketamine maybe causing the "massively overstimulated" NMDA receptors in FM to "cool down" or reset for weeks at a time.

    Ketamine can also be very effective at treating depression. The really intriguing thing about the ketamine depression studies thus far is that they tend to focus on the most difficult patients of all; people with treatment-resistant depression.

    Thomas Insell, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at the NIH felt ketamine might be the biggest breakthrough in depression ever:
    A nasal ketamine spray for depression, became, in fact, the first drug outside of cancer or an epidemic to be awarded a "breakthrough therapy" designation by the FDA. One case study referred to a man who's inconsolable grief was rapidly ameliorated by ketamine. The young man was so grief-stricken by the death of his wife that he was referred to the hospital. He had refused food, spoke in a tiny voice and broke out in crying spells. The doctors described him as having catatonic symptoms.

    Upon receiving ketamine the patient briefly hallucinated (!) but after that began to communicate, was cheerful and started taking food orally. Three months later he was continuing to do well.

    Dozens of studies are currently exploring ketamine's effectiveness in depression. Just this week a study found that ketamine rapidly improved fatigue in depression as well.

    (Several academic centers (Yale University, University of California at San Diego, the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic) are now offering ketamine for severe depression.).

    Other studies are exploring ketamine's use in neuropathic pain, autism, post-cancer pain, migraine and others. One interesting study is determining whether ketamine IV's can reduce cancer fatigue.


    Neither fibromyalgia nor ME/CFS, of course, is depression but antidepressants are not simply antidepressants anymore; they're also pain drugs or even microglial inhibitors. Similarly depression is not simply "depression" anymore. Immune activation or inflammation probably contributes to or even causes about thirty percent of the depression found.

    The fact that people using interferon who suffer from similar symptoms and brain abnormalities as ME/CFS patients suggests that the depression found in ME/CFS could very well result from immune activation.

    Ketamine, it turns out, also appears to be an anti-inflammatory. It was recently found to reduce the levels of inflammation following hypoxia (low oxygen levels) - a condition of great interest in ME/CFS and FM. Could ketamine relieve the inflammation associated with low oxygen levels (and the fatigue, pain and mood issues) in ME/CFS and/or FM?

    The point is that fatigue, pain and depression can probably be produced in many ways and any drug that powerfully affects pain or depression in another disease might be able to affect fatigue as well. We can't judge a drug by its name anymore.

    The Future

    Ketamine is not easy to find, is expensive and is not covered by insurance if you have FM or ME/CFS but it is becoming more available. One Portland provider charges $3,800 for six infusions over twelve days. The effects last anywhere from two to twelve weeks.

    Ketamine's possibilities for ME/CFS and FM surely lie in future drugs that do not require infusions and have few side effects. Drug manufacturers realize that the potential for a blockbuster drug is present. Thus far they've found three molecular targets to aim future ketamine-derived drugs at. At least one ketamine derivative is reportedly in clinical trials for depression now.

    Time will tell but the future of this anesthesia drug/antidepressant/pain reliever/anti-inflammatory looks to be bright.
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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
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  2. MontanaNAR

    MontanaNAR New Member

    I took 45 mg oral Ketamine at bedtime for about two years. It was compounded in a local pharmacy, and 90 capsules cost me $61.65. It was prescribed by my LLMD (Lyme literate doctor).

    When I first took it, to relieve pain during the night which kept me from sleeping, I believe it worked for a while. I was not pain free, but the pain may have been reduced for 6-12 months. I stopped taking Ketamine three months ago, and did not notice an increase in nightly pain. Pain still wakes me up.

    One of the side-effects of Ketamine is it can cause a feeling of dissociation, of being in a dream-like state, of detachment from one's body. My doctor said when it is used as a "recreational drug" (street name "Special K"), it is used at higher doses, 200 mg, and that the dissociative qualities are what recreational users want to experience.

    Because I have experienced a feeling of "non-reality" and detachment from my body since I age 16, and I absolutely hate this feeling, this side effect was not something I desired. My head cleared a bit when I stopped using this drug.

    As to depression, mine was totally alleviated in 1984 at age 30 by taking Tri-Phasil birth control pills, which balanced my hormones and cleared up my polycystic ovaries and endometriosis, along with Thyrolar thyroid medication, which provided both T3 and T4. (Thyrolar, sadly, is no longer available.) Today I take compounded progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone, along with 3 grains of natural desiccated thyroid, and I do not get "clinical depression," when one suffers from out-of-control, overwhelming and ugly desolation.

    My response to the Tri-Phasil was so profound, I wrote to the pharmaceutical manufacturer to tell them how it totally cured my depression. They were not interested in the positive effects of the drug, only in my negative side effects. Needless to say, I was so angered by their response, I refused to tell them any details about my negative "side effects," and ceased contact.

    For accurate and up-to-date information about thyroid testing, please look at the information at National Academy of Hypothyroidism, How Accurate is TSH testing?

    I had one good day in October 2010, when my brain totally cleared and my energy was high. I hadn't felt that good or clear-headed in ten or more years. That day, an adequate amount of T3 must have been able to get into my cells. It was a miracle. Unfortunately, it only lasted one day. But for one day, the relief from this miserable disease was instantaneous.
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  3. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    What an amazing story MontanaNAR - thanks for sharing that.
  4. Justin

    Justin Active Member

    Dr Jay Goldstein used this drug with great success.

    A couple things:
    Chenney used klonopin to calm the NMDA receptor. For me this drug is the only thing thing that helps for overstimulation and mild siezures.

    Dr. Golstein used Ketamine for calming down NMDA receptors as well.

    What I wonder is that can Ketamine be used for the overstimulation, neuroexitability and siezure activity seen in ME?

    This would prove great if studied....We need a well designed trail for use on ICC/CCC Criteria ME patients to see what effects it has on them.
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  5. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Thanks Justin, If we can get the researcher doing the ketamine study on post cancer to include some ME/CFS patients using the NIH's recent announcement we might find out something. ..I think getting the patients will be the big hurdle.
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  6. Merry

    Merry Well-Known Member

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  7. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

  8. Stephen Bullock

    Stephen Bullock New Member

    I was prescribed Ketamine nasal inhalant by Dr. Jay Goldstein in 1998-1999. I found it reduced my CFS symptoms noticeably for a couple weeks but then slowly lost effectiveness.
  9. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    Thanks Stephen....Hopefully the next generation of ketamine drugs - when they arrive - will be better.
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  10. jhaque

    jhaque New Member

    Hey guys,

    Thank you for your up to date discussion about pan and depression. Actually depression is much more severe than pain I think. Because if you didn't get any better proof or solution for depression you can't get rid of it. On the other hand pain is possible to remove using better treatment. However, I always like to follow dynamic static to remove pain. If you need to know more about dynamic static to relieve pain.

    Hope this will help you anyways. Thank you!
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
  11. ShyestofFlies

    ShyestofFlies Well-Known Member

    I have read there is some debates as to whether oral or nasal ketamine have the theraputic benefits that iv ketamine does. I am skeptical, I will admit.

    People say: Ketamine has no money in it as a drug by itself, and the money you fork over at those clinics are to be monitored and infused. Infusions are not cheap, even at outpatient they are pretty expensive for insurances and depending on your copays... and any that insurances label experimental are usually not covered well or at all. They say during the infusions most people have very mild reactions, depending on the dosage.

    Despite the anecdotal evidence that it is helping- pain, depression, and other mental health issues... it will struggle to be funded for clinical trials as it is now, it is similar in history to LDN (having a long standing medical benefit, but not viewed as profitable).

    The ketamine coma stuff is scary, I definately do not think that is worth even considering. With that said- the possible side effects of ketamine are looking preferable over my other alternatives (who wants to be electricuted? Not. Me.) All medications have to be weighed over benefits and rewards. I do tell people about it when they are investigating pain alternatives to opioids - I think we should all be following to see if they are able to make a better effective drug from ketamine as a base.

    I do not tell them to take it however, there are risks, and it needs to be weighed. The thing is it does need to be prescribed- so chances are if your doc isn't a total malpractice bug you will end up somewhere pretty safe. I personally would only want to do it in a hospital outpatient (CRPS infusions for it are done in such setting) or in a clinic under a real and respectable doctor.

    With that said there are some trials going on/recruiting around the country (USA), pretty small but at very respectable places... if you are interested definately look into them. Some of the nice things about ketamine is because it is infusion at office only, you won't be getting arrested or denied a supply as long as it isn't banned from being used, you have a prescription, and where you get it is legit! Unlike that southeast asian leaf people are using... Two big supply seizes in the last couple weeks and the FDA pulling it from shelves. :mooning: