Naltrexone is commonly known as a drug that was approved by the FDA in the mid-1980s for drug addiction, and a few years later, for alcohol addiction. Naltrexone works by blocking the effects of drugs known as opioids (a class that includes morphine, heroin or codeine). Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is approximately 1/10th of the typical opioid addiction treatment dosage. In most published research, the daily dosage is 4.5 mg, though the dosage can vary a few milligrams below or above that common value.
In the mid-1990's, Dr. Bihari found that patients in his practice with cancer (such as lymphoma or pancreatic cancer) could benefit, in some cases dramatically, from LDN. In addition, people who had an autoimmune disease (such as lupus) often showed prompt control of disease activity while taking LDN.
What does LDN help?
LDN helps reduce inflammation in your nervous system, which is amazing if you suffer from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Lyme, thyroid, and depression. It works by blocking receptors on your cells that allow natural endorphins in.
If you suffer from an autoimmune disorder (Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s, Hashimoto’s, Thyroid, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, etc.), cancer, tumors or HIV/AIDS, you want to speak to your doctor about adding LDN to your treatment plan. Although completed studies are limited, there are long-term studies in progress, as well as plenty of anecdotal evidence that LDN makes a significant difference in peoples lives that suffer from a wide range of disorders.
Here are a few conditions that are helped from LDN:
- Lyme’s Disease
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
- Crohn’s disease
- HIV or AIDS
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Ulcerative Colitis (UC)
- Concussion Syndrome
- ….and more
How does LDN work
LDN is taken in very small doses. which blocks your opioid receptors it is believed to up-regulate vital elements of your immune system by increasing your body’s production of metenkephalin and endorphins (your natural opioids), hence improving immune function.
LDN turns on your ‘T regulatory’ cells. These cells make sure that inflammatory chemicals are secreted appropriately to help you when injured and then to halt your inflammation when you’re healed. Now, if you do not stop the production of inflammatory chemicals (also known as cytokines) then your body starts attacking absolutely everything in sight such as mold, dust, pollen, etc. as well as your joints, adrenals, thyroid, heart or myelin sheath around your nerve endings.
Side Effects of the Medication
Low Dose Naltrexone has proven to have minimal (if any) side effects, but like any other pill or supplement you take, side effects are possible. Some side effects may be anxiety, headaches, insomnia, vivid dreams or difficulty sleeping.
Low Dose Naltrexone and the FDA
LDN is not approved by the FDA for autoimmune conditions, which means it’s not commercially available. For that reason, you need to have a compounding pharmacy fill your prescription.