Ketamine Therapy
Mar 18, 2024

Ketamine Therapy for Migraines

Learn how IV Ketamine can relieve debilitating migraines that have failed other treatments

Ketamine Therapy for Migraines

Migraines affect 17% of women. Unfortunately, many traditional migraine treatments have limited effectiveness and carry risks. Learn how IV Ketamine therapy can be a powerful treatment for those suffering with debilitating migraines.

First Line Treatments for Migraines

Acute migraines start with conservative treatment:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • NSAIDs (ibuprofen/Advil/Motrin, naproxen).
  • Triptans (Imitrex, etc.)

When migraines are severe, Triptans can be administered by nasal spray or injected into the skin to avoid taking them by mouth. Unfortunately, Triptans constrict blood vessels and therefore some patients may not be eligibile to take Triptans, including those with a history of

  • Stroke
  • Coronary artery disease, or peripheral artery disease
  • Other risk factors for cardiovascular disease

Unfortunately, medication overuse headaches can occur when these anti-migraine medications are overused.

Medication overuse headaches occur in half of patients with serious headaches disorders

Advanced Migraine Treatments: Gepants and Ditans

In patients who cannot take Triptans, or if 2 or more Triptan medications don't work, a new class of migraine treatments called Gepants and Ditans are used. Additionally, calcitonin gene-related peptide antagonists are also used to prevent migraines. Unfortunately, most insurance companies don't cover these expensive treatments.

IV Ketamine for Migraines: A New Treatment Paradigm

IV Ketamine has long been known to be effective in patients with acute, severe headaches, including those with medication overuse headaches. In fact, IV Ketamine can be used in hospitals for long term infusions to reduce headache pain. More studies are showing its effectiveness, though infusion durations are longer than Ketamine infusions for mental health.

IV Ketamine infusion therapy is ideal for patients with migraines because IV lidocaine, IV magnesium, and IV NAD+ are also included to further reduce pain.

We believe this may be because of the role of the neurotransmitter glutamate. Glutamate floods the extracellular space during the electrical activity called "cortical spreading depolarization" or (CSD). CSD is believed to play a key role in migraines with aura, Ketamine blocks the activity of glutamate, notably at NMDA receptors, possibly explaining its effectiveness in some patients with migraine. Research still shows variability of response to IV Ketamine in patients with migraine, and your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of IV Ketamine for your migraines.

Migraines Are Rarely Isolated from Psychological Pain

Stress and anxiety are higher in patients with migraine compared to other patients. Patients with migraines are prone to depression, possibly through behavioral traits that develop in response to debilitating pain.

IV Ketamine is a powerful tool to address these other conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other chronic pain conditions.

We cannot expect to treat physical pain without treating emotional pain, and vice versa

Find Relief From Your Migraines

Migraines can seriously affect your health and wellbeing. You deserve to find relief and take back control of your healing. Schedule a free consultation with Clarus Health to learn if IV Ketamine Therapy may be effective in treating your migraines.

Anthony Kaveh MD

Anthony Kaveh MD

Dr. Kaveh is a Stanford and Harvard-trained anesthesiologist and integrative medicine specialist. He has over 800,000 followers on social media and has guided hundreds of patients throughout transformative healing experiences. He is an authority on Ketamine, NAD, and SGB therapies. He is a registered continuing education lecturer in the Bay Area.