Ketamine: An Unlikely and Effective Remedy for Migraines

For more information on finding relief from chronic migraines with Ketamine, call Pain Solvers in San Francisco or

More than 38 million Americans experience migraines — pulsing, throbbing headaches that cause moderate to severe pain. About 3%-5% percent of those who get migraines experience them 15 times or more a month, which is diagnosed as chronic migraines. More and more people who experience migraines develop chronic migraines each year. 

Migraines can be severe and debilitating and last days. Because these headaches can be so traumatic and challenging, people who experience them are in great need of treatment and relief. The team at Painsolvers is trained to help. 

One effective treatment that may surprise you is Ketamine. Most commonly known as a powerful anesthetic, it has been shown to effectively reduce the number of episodes of chronic headaches. 

What is Ketamine? 

Ketamine is on the World Health Organization List of Essential Medicines, one of the most effective and safest medicines in our health system. Developed in 1963 and approved in 1970 as an anesthetic, Ketamine rapidly became one of the most trusted medications on the battlefield and in the ICU. Over the years, many groundbreaking uses of Ketamine have been discovered. Until today, it’s been used as surgical anesthesia. It’s also used to help treat depression, OCD, PTSD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts, acute and chronic pain, as well as a myriad of other physical and psychiatric ailments. 

It works by changing cranial nerve signals and relieving stressful suffering. Ketamine, to treat mental suffering, is injected into the bloodstream for an infusion of about 45 minutes. During this period of dissociative brain activity, the cranial nervous system is revitalized. New neurotransmitters are developed and previous debilitating thought patterns are watered down into manageable levels. 

Many victims of painful headaches and suicidal behavior have reported their symptoms decreased after the first treatment. 

How can Ketamine treat chronic migraines? 

The clinical reports of those suffering migraines who felt better after their first Ketamine treatment led to further clinical studies. Researchers found that regular Ketamine injections, over a two-week period, depleted episodes of chronic migraines. It did not, however, become medically recognized until the last decade of trials.  

Recently in 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Ketamine to treat chronic depression. Before this, Ketamine was already proven through clinical trials to eliminate the debilitating effects of chronic migraines. Ketamine is still, according to the FDA, considered a preventive treatment. They recommend it should be used as part of an overall migraine management plan that includes avoiding migraine triggers and taking pain relief medication for migraine episodes. The Ketamine treatment for migraines consists of several injections directly into the bloodstream through an IV.  

How many treatments will I need?

It will typically require up to six treatments for Ketamine to fully take effect, although most people begin to see results in two to three infusions. For some, only one infusion is required. Many report the 6-infusion therapy lasts up to 12 months and a booster should be repeated every nine months for maximum and continued effectiveness. 

Side effects may include mild soreness at the injection site as well as temporary confusion and trouble walking or communicating for a few hours after the infusion. Studies show on average 85% of people who receive Ketamine treatment for chronic migraines report an improved quality of life with fewer migraine episodes and only mild side effects during the actual treatment.  

For more information on finding relief from chronic migraines with FDA-approved Ketamine, call Painsolvers in San Francisco or Pleasant Hill, California, or request an appointment online


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