What is Pain Infusion Therapy?


Infusion therapy involves infusing the body either intravenously or subcutaneously with a medication such as Ketamine or Lidocaine. 

CHANGEpain is the first and currently only community pain clinic in BC accredited to deliver Infusion Therapy for chronic pain. CHANGEpain is accredited under the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC Non-Hospital Medical and Surgical Facilities Program. 

If you have a serious pain syndrome and other conventional treatment options have failed or have made little progress, our Pain Infusion Therapy may help.

We offer the following Infusion Therapy options:

  • Intravenous Ketamine

  • Intravenous Lidocaine

  • Subcutaneous Lidocaine

How Does it Work?

Ketamine or Lidocaine can block certain receptors in the nerves in your body, altering painful sensations. 

Research has shown the infusions of Lidocaine and Ketamine can reduce or eliminate pain for people with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or conditions such as neuralgia, post herpetic pain, chronic diabetic neuropathy, vascular headaches, centralized pain, or widespread pain.

For intravenous ketamine or lidocaine infusions: 

This treatment is done in-clinic under the constant monitor of nurses and doctors. The infusion is delivered via a catheter in a vein in the arm or hand.

For subcutaneous lidocaine infusions: This treatment is started in-clinic, but you do not have to stay in the clinic after it is started. The infusion is delivered via a catheter in the abdomen just under the skin.

What does treatment involve?

Infusion Therapy is not covered by MSP, the provincial health insurance plan.    

Prices are based on the following: 

$2700   IV ketamine infusion 

$1900    IV lidocaine infusion 

$650     First SC Lidocaine Infusion (price fluctuates with medication dose)

$475     Repeat SC Lidocaine Infusion (price fluctuates with medication dose)

Some extended health plans and other insurers cover the cost of treatment or part of the cost.  Please check with your insurer to find out if you are covered.

Note that some hospitals may provide forms of infusion therapy within their budgets that are funded by Health Authorities.

How much does it cost?

Possible Side Effects?

Risks depend on what type of infusion you are having. Your infusion doctor will discuss these risks with you.

Mild-side effects may include:
Slight drowsiness, hypertension, headache, light-headedness, nausea, slight metallic taste, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, tingling around the mouth.

Moderate side effects may include:
Marked sleepiness, nightmares, dizziness, confusion, restlessness, vomiting
Very Rare: dissociate symptoms.

Severe risks include may:
Allergic reaction. Very Rare: Seizure and heart rhythm disturbances.  

Rarely, patients can get an infection at the catheter site. Symptoms might include bleeding, redness, swelling or pain at the site. 

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