Ketamine Could Potentially Help To Treat Migraines

Why the drug has potential to treat what can be an agonising headache pain

Ketamine To Treat Migraines

by Lauren Rice |

A recent report by the NHS shows that 20% of women in the UK are affected by migraines occurring several times a week. Symptoms include severe headaches, feelings of nausea and sickness and throbbing pains on one side of the head which clearly makes it difficult to attend work. Almost 1 in 5 have lost their job through suffering from migraines according to The Migraine Trust.

Migraines are usually treated by lying in a pitch-black room and taking ibuprofen but recent reports state that migraine sufferers could now be given a potential dose of ketamine in order to help their pain relief. This is due to a 75% success rate in the USA of experimental trials.

Ketamine is a powerful general anaesthetic which stops you feeling pain and is used for operations on humans and animals and the effects soon wear off, states Talk to Frank. However, the team in the USA have been testing lower doses of ketamine as a way of stopping the agonizing headache pains as it’s important to find a successful treatment for those who haven’t had success with the usual treatments.

The study at the Anesthesiology annual meeting 2017 took 61 patients who have not yet found an effective solution for their migraine suffering and put them in an inpatient infusion centre for a three to seven-day experiment.

The side effects of the ketamine were reportedly mild but the average migraine pain rating was 7.5 at admission and then dropped to 3.4 on discharge.

The director of orthopaedic anesthesia, Erin Schwenk, at Thomas Jefferson University hospital, said: 'Our work provided basis for future, prospective studies that involve larger numbers of patients, our study focused only on short-term relief, but it is encouraging that this treatment might have the potential to help patients long-term.'

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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