Treating Fibromyalgia Pain with Ketamine

Medical Reviewer: Nima A. Fahimian, MD


Ben Spielberg, M.S., Ph.D. Candidate


Are you suffering from fibromyalgia pain and looking for relief? Ketamine treatment could be your answer. When given in low doses, in a clinical environment, ketamine improves pain control for fibromyalgia patients, especially for those whose pain is not sufficiently controlled using other pain medications.

Patients who receive a diagnosis for fibromyalgia are experiencing a disorder involving musculoskeletal pain throughout their body. A host of other symptoms often accompany these symptoms, including fatigue, memory issues, mood disorders, and sleep disturbances. Recent studies suggest a combination of factors including abnormal pain messages, genetic predisposition, and psychological stress may be some of the root  causes of fibromyalgia.

The National Fibromyalgia Association states that this disorder is currently affecting approximately 10 million citizens across the United States. These statistics further indicate that, across the globe, an estimated 3-6% of the population has received a fibromyalgia diagnosis, and the majority of those who suffer from it are women.

How Ketamine Works to Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain

Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist that modulates glutamate in the brain. Glutamate is the brain’s primary excitatory neurotransmitter and is located in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is the main reason is that ketamine appears to help cause since the drug appears to enhance  dopamine activity.  For example, 24 female fibromyalgia patients were studied regarding their dopamine receptors. The results concluded, “disruption of dopaminergic neurotransmission in FMS, implicate DA as important neurochemical moderator of differences in pain perception in FMS patients with and without co-morbid depression.”

Ketamine providers like Bespoke Treatment are using IV (infusion) ketamine for treating OCD, depression, migraine, chronic daily headache (CDH), chronic neuropathic pain, and now fibromyalgia, with success.

A treatment plan is where patients receive 6 infusions over 2-3 weeks, with each treatment lasting for 1-4 hours depending on the severity of the pain.

Physicians are continually researching whether or not fibromyalgia is a central or peripheral pain disorder as well. However, ketamine seems to be able to help address a variety of symptoms inside and outside of the brain while addressing the root cause of fibromyalgia. Intravenous ketamine therapy is a promising treatment for patients to find the relief they desperately need.

Anesthesiologists use ketamine to effectively block pain during surgeries. They’ve found that the same blocking properties will help treat fibromyalgia. When used in lower dosages, and treated over a long period, patients can experience results for up to three months.

When patients are receiving IV ketamine treatments for fibromyalgia, their nervous system is experiencing a reboot regarding its pain response. To maintain the same level of relief, patients must repeat the process. Physicians typically reserve these treatments for patients who have been unresponsive to other forms of therapy.

Research Supporting Treating Fibromyalgia Pain Using Ketamine

The introduction of ketamine as a treatment for fibromyalgia began with a study in 1995, where eleven subjects received significant changes in the intensity of their pain. Another study was conducted in 1997, where eighteen respondents with fibromyalgia received IV ketamine, where thirteen responded favorably to one or several of the drugs involved in the test. Later, in 2000, another study revealed that the use of ketamine helps reduce muscular pain, referred pain, and temporal summation experienced by fibromyalgia sufferers.

A case report published by the Journal of Medical Cases in 2018 cites a 49-year-old woman suffering from RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and FM (fibromyalgia). She arrived at a clinic describing symptoms of extreme pain with a 10 rating on the pain scale. The patient was non-responsive to other pain medications, so the clinic began administering IV ketamine. She received a total of 10 consecutive treatments, with an increase in dosage during each infusion. Following the tenth infusion, the patient’s pain was nearly gone. The report concluded the patient’s pain later returned to 20-40%, which resulted in a 2-day booster.

Finding The Relief That Works

One of the most significant benefits of using ketamine infusion therapy to treat fibromyalgia is there are minimal side effects, tolerable by the majority of patients who receive treatments. Specialists carefully monitor the low dosages they’re administering not only for effectiveness but also for safety and comfort.

Your first step in the treatment process is discussing your past medical history during your initial consultation. Once you go over these details and have a discussion regarding the use of ketamine, a treatment plan with goals will be outlined. During this process, all of your questions will be addressed. You’ll learn how many infusions you’ll receive, how long it will take, and what else you can expect during the treatment process, including any potential side effects you may experience.

For more information, contact us at Bespoke Treatment today and call us at 833-867-2329.


As someone who has struggled with depression for years, I was skeptical about trying alternative treatment options. However, the team at Bespoke Treatment made me feel comfortable and supported throughout the entire process. Not only did their TMS therapy provide significant relief for my depression symptoms, but I also had a positive experience with their ketamine therapy. The staff was incredibly knowledgeable and took the time to answer all of my questions and address any concerns I had.

I can't recommend this place enough. I had an incredible experience with the treatment I received here. From the administrative staff to the medical team, I really appreciated the outstanding care and attention I received and always felt listened to. There was never any sense of rushing or a "one size fits all" approach, which is sadly very much the norm elsewhere. I highly recommend coming here for the excellent quality of services, professionalism, and warmth that are so important when you're needing mental health treatment.

TMS was amazing for me . I loved my treatments , the doctors, the staff as well as the office itself. Its an amazing place to go for your wellbeing . Everyone is super nice, kind and extremely professional. The place is very easy to get to with available parking. Basically no stress. I felt very comfortable with my technician and all his knowledge about TMS . I also loved Dr. Fahimian . He is extremely educated and knowable in his field. His patience in taking his time to answer all my questions and concerns were highly appreciated.

I was severely depressed when starting treatment. I could not handle meds and had big hopes that TMS would work. It absolutely did wonders for lifting my depression. I have my life back. I have motivation to do things and energy to achieve goals. I really wasn’t sure if the TMS method would work, but it did and I am forever grateful. It even helped with my ruminating thoughts. I’m able to be in the moment and get back into doing things I enjoy. I highly recommend TMS to anyone who needs it.

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