Your doctor has recommended a Ketamine Infusion as part of your treatment whilst in hospital.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a medication used for treatment of chronic pain. By treating pain it can be used for the withdrawal
of medications such as MS Contin, Oxycontin and other opioids.. This is not an opioid based drug. The aim of
ketamine is to reduce your pain level while at the same time increasing your sensitivity to analgesia – thus
reducing the amount of medications needed for pain management.
How is it administered?
Ketamine infusions can be delivered either intravenously (IV) or subcutaneously (S/C) – (preference).
The intravenous cannula can be either a normal IV or a PICC Line, are inserted by Radiologist at a hospital
based radiology site. This is generally done on the day of your admission on your way to the hospital for your
Ketamine. You will be allocated a certain time to be at either of these hospitals to have the PICC Line inserted
and then you will be ready for admission to the Victorian Rehabilitation Hospital for your Ketamine infusion.
If you do not have a PICC Line a normal IV will need to be replaced at intervals, because the Ketamine can be
irritating to veins and subcutaneous tissue. This is usually 24 hours for the subcutaneous infusion (S/C) and
whenever the IV insertion site begins to look red (24-96 hours depending on the size of the vein).
Are there any side effects?
The common side-effects that you may experience are
“feeling weird”
Numb, tingling lip
Increase in blood pressure and/or pulse
Heightened emotional response
Increased Liver Function Tests (LFTs) – 5%
Your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse etc) will be monitored many times a day. Your infusion and pain level
will be monitored hourly.
If you experience any of the above signs or are concerned about how you feel – report this to your nurse.
Your infusion can be turned down or off at anytime – side effects usually subside within a short period of time.
Do not “play” with your pump – if it is alarming, call for your nurse. Tampering with the equipment may
result in treatment being ceased.
How long will I be in hospital?
The average length of stay in hospital is approximately 7 days. Presently the infusions performed by Dr C H
Thomas are only been performed at the Victorian Rehabilitation Hospital, 499 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley.
What do I bring?
Please bring the following:
Loose casual clothing and comfortable footwear,
Current medications,
Personal toiletries and night clothes,
Your Medicare card, DVA Card, Health Insurance Card/Pension card (whichever is applicable)
Or details of any WorkCover or TAC Claims
Books, magazines, hobbies
What facilities are there at The Victorian Rehabilitation Centre?
We will endeavour to ensure you have a private room allocated if possible, however that does depend on the
occupancy of the hospital at the time of admission.
All rooms have a TV and phone in it as well as a private and/or shared bathroom.
Also at the hospital is a Café which provides all sorts of meals, snacks and coffees, as well as another area to
sit and talk and/or read.
There are gardens for you to walk around and a designated smoking area, although it must be noted that the
Hospital itself is a non-smoking environment.
You may be told not to go outside if it is felt you would be unsafe to do so whilst under a Ketamine infusion.
What are the visiting hours?
The visiting hours at The Victorian Rehabilitation Centre are 10.00 am – 8.00 pm.
Further Queries?
If you have any other queries please contact Melbourne Pain Group on (03) 9566 2733.