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Ketamine Infusions Specialist

Stephen P. Gibert, MD

Pain Medicine Physician & Addiction Medicine located in West Ashley, Charleston, SC

Ketamine infusion therapy is an innovative treatment that targets the symptoms of chronic pain conditions, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At his office in the West Ashley community of Charleston, South Carolina, Stephen Gibert, MD, offers ketamine infusions to treat a variety of pain conditions and mood disorders. To schedule an appointment with an experienced pain management specialist, call Stephen Gibert, MD, or book a visit online now.

Ketamine Infusions Q & A

What are ketamine infusions?

Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic medication that has also been shown to produce antidepressant properties in individuals with certain mood disorders, such as depression or PTSD. When administered by an experienced pain management specialist like Dr. Gibert, ketamine infusion therapy is an effective alternative to addictive opioids and narcotics.

Which conditions can ketamine infusions treat?

Ketamine infusion therapy can help deliver lasting relief from symptoms of the following chronic conditions:

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia leads to widespread pain in your muscles, joints, and bones. While health experts don’t fully understand what causes the condition, they believe it’s the result of a miscommunication between your nerves and the pain signals they send to your brain and spinal cord.

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

CRPS is a chronic pain condition that typically affects one limb. Experts believe CRPS begins as the result of damage to the nervous system after an injury, stroke, or surgery.

Neuropathic pain

Nerve damage causes neuropathy, a chronic condition that leads to pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hands and feet.

Mood disorders

Many people with chronic mood disorders experience fatigue, muscle aches, brain fog, and suicidal thoughts. Ketamine infusion therapy can help relieve both the physical and emotional symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. 

Severe Depression

Many people with severe, treatment resistant depression respond almost immediately to Ketamine infusion.  Studies have shown Ketamine infusion to be as effective as shock treatment, without cognitive side effects. (ref.)  To be effective long term the infusions must be repeated every three weeks to one month, for several months.

PTSD

Ketamine infusions have been successfully used to treat persistent PTSD symptoms.

CRPS

In some patients Ketamine infusions are effective in treating CRPS, although lidocaine infusions have shown more consistent results. (ref.)

Neuropathic Pain

Chronic Pain from nerve injury or disease has responded to Ketamine infusions when other treatments have failed.

How do ketamine infusions work?

Most people require at least three ketamine infusions to reap the full benefits of this innovative treatment. During each treatment, Dr. Gibert administers low levels of ketamine through an IV, while carefully monitoring vital signs and effects you for safety.

Each ketamine infusion takes 1-3 hours. The infusions are usually done every three to four weeks. You may experience noticeable relief from your symptoms after just one session, but completing the full treatment plan helps promote lasting relief.

Are ketamine infusions safe?

When compared to traditional treatments, such as antidepressants, and shock treatment, ketamine infusions have minor side effects. However.  Some people  experience transient nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or vivid dreams on the day of infusion, but these are generally manageable. 

Cognitive dysfunction, which is common following shock treatment, has not been demonstrated in studies, and in fact some studies show improvement in clarity of thought.

Because ketamine infusions are safe and effective, you can resume your normal activities the day after treatment.  You can expect that.  You should avoid driving and operating heavy machinery until 24 hours after your treatment.

Ketamine infusion therapy delivers sustainable relief from severe depression. Ketamine infusion is also sometimes effective in chronic pain and PTSD as well. To learn more, call Stephen Gibert, MD, or book an appointment online today.