How Long Does Ketamine Pain Relief Last

Ketamine therapy has arisen as a suitable treatment option for chronic pain.
Chronic pain is defined as pain that remains unrelieved for longer than three months through ineffective pain management strategies.
Ketamine would not usually be the initial approach. Eventually, it may be considered if relief is not found.
The treatment involves administering ketamine, which is widely being studied as a pain reliever.
As with any medical method, there are potential risks to weigh, such as side effects like dissociation and changes in mood.
However, for chronic pain patients who have tried all other treatment options, ketamine therapy offers a possibility that may help reduce distressing long-term discomfort.
Let’s get into more detail on what ketamine is and how it can help with pain relief.

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine works by blocking a specific brain receptor called the NMDA receptor.
By doing this, it makes it harder for certain signals in the brain to work properly.
This is why it’s been used as an anesthetic—it helps to reduce awareness and induces a sleepy state.
It’s been around for a long time, approved by the FDA as an anesthetic since 1970.
A version of ketamine called Esketamine, available as Spravato as a nasal spray, got approval by the FDA to treat depression that doesn’t respond to other treatments.
People are also looking into using ketamine for managing pain and treating other mental health conditions.
But because it can have side effects and potential for misuse, it’s important for it to be used under close supervision by doctors.
If you ever think that you need treatment for issues that include depression and anxiety, feel free to contact us for help.

How Ketamine Therapy Might Help with Pain

The possible ways of ketamine therapy for chronic pain are given as follows;

  • Through blocking NMDA receptors, ketamine inhibits the transfer of pain signals in the central nervous system, decreasing pain perception.
  • Ketamine could suppress the activity of glial cells involved in chronic pain states through anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • The drug may activate inhibitory pain pathways or increase naturally occurring pain-fighting neurotransmitters like serotonin and endorphins.
  • Neuroplastic effects: Ketamine may stimulate the growth of neural connections associated with reduced sensitivity and hypersensitivity to stimuli.
  • As a rapid-acting antidepressant, ketamine for pain dose could help reduce comorbid symptoms like depression that exacerbate chronic pain experiences.

How Long Do Ketamine Infusions Last?

Several factors influence how long a ketamine infusion runs:

  • Higher amounts or more frequent administrations may lengthen infusion time.
  • Some patients’ nervous systems are more sensitive, impacting the duration needed.
  • Treatment objectives include goals like acute versus chronic condition management impact desired infusion length.

Durations range from as brief as 30 minutes to multiple hours.
Common ketamine treatments involve 6 sessions of 45 minutes to 1 hour each.
In certain situations, though, practitioners prolong the infusion to fully achieve the therapeutic goal for ketamine back pain relief or other targeted outcomes.
Ketamine dose for chronic pain varies depending on the severity of the pain and the target area.

Side Effects of Ketamine Infusion for Pain

Some potential side effects of ketamine infusion therapy for pain management:


Feelings of being detached from one’s thoughts or body. This is common and usually transient.

Visual or Auditory Hallucinations

Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. Typically, they are mild if they occur.

Nausea or Vomiting

It may happen but is often prevented or managed with anti-nausea medicines.


A possible effect stemming from ketamine’s impacts on the brain and nervous system.

Blood Pressure Changes

Increases or decreases are possible but usually return to baseline after infusion.


Feeling very tired or sleepy during or shortly after treatment. Light-headedness is also seen in that situation.
Thankfully, side effects are short-lived, and discontinuation is usually unnecessary.
Risks are no worse than aesthetic administration and are monitored carefully by a medical practitioner.

Previous Statistics on  Ketamine

Researchers are conducting comprehensive reviews synthesizing multiple studies to understand better if ketamine can effectively treat chronic pain.
Some findings include:

  • A 2019 meta-analysis found intravenous ketamine administration provided significant pain relief to chronic pain patients, with effects persisting around 2 weeks.
  • A 2021 review found ketamine may help decrease opioid-induced hyperalgesia, a condition where opioids paradoxically sensitize one to more pain.
  • A 2022 study observed ketamine relieving chronic pain more powerfully at higher doses. Those with mild fibromyalgia pain experienced greater long-term relief up to a year later compared to participants with severe pain.

Thus, larger dosing may offer enhanced effectiveness, and certain chronic pain populations may benefit more than others.

To Wrap Up

Ketamine treatment is an advanced technique that has been used for chronic pain.
If you are facing depression, anxiety, or trauma, you can get help, and you may consider ketamine treatment therapy.
You should let your doctor know if you are taking any medications prior to receiving any mental aid.
To get information related to mental health, you can contact us at GOODNESS PSYCHIATRY.
Let us listen to your concerns and help you.


How often do you get ketamine infusions for pain?

The standard protocol is 6 infusions over 2 weeks, 1 every 2-3 days, to provide initial relief.
Additional “booster” sessions may then be recommended every 1-2 months as needed to maintain pain control.

Is insurance used for the ketamine infusion for chronic pain?

Insurance for ketamine infusions varies – some plans may reimburse for FDA-approved uses like anesthesia.
However, evidence is still emerging for off-label chronic pain.
Out-of-pocket costs can be high without coverage.

How long does ketamine work for depression?

Ketamine has rapid antidepressant effects within hours, but relief typically lasts 1-2 weeks.
Repeated infusions may be needed for sustained results in treatment-resistant depression.

How does ketamine work for pain?

Ketamine provides pain relief by blocking NMDA receptors, disrupting pain signal transmission.
It may also have anti-inflammatory and neuroplasticity effects that help rewire pain processing in the brain.

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