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Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

Low dose naltrexone (LDN) could be the greatest therapeutic breakthrough in many years. It will provide a safe and relatively inexpensive method of treatment by mobilizing the body’s natural defenses found in its immune system.

Low dose naltrexone has the potential to provide relief for millions of people worldwide who are suffering from disabling conditions. It could allow them the opportunity to continue living their lives while combating deadly diseases.

What Is LDN?

Naltrexone began its use as an opioid antagonist commonly used to treat alcohol or opioid addictions in 1985. Also known as Revia and Depade, addicts are given approximately 50–100 mg doses to combat their dependency. In low doses (about 4.5 mg daily) it can be used to treat conditions with symptoms that include chronic pain.

How LDN Works

LDN works by boosting the immune system and activating the natural defenses of the body. Generally, patients whose diseases are triggered by an endorphin deficiency (including cancer and autoimmune diseases), or whose condition are accelerated by the deficiency of endorphins (such as HIV/AIDS), are able to get relief when the LDN binds to the endorphin receptors of the pituitary gland in the brain.

When the LDN binds to endorphin receptors, the endorphins are then displaced. Because the LDN only binds to receptors for up to four hours, the endorphin primarily responsible for cell growth, opioid growth factor, experiences greater production through the rebound effect.

The additional endorphins will then be metabolized and begin interacting with receptors to rebuild cells and reestablish immunity.

This is similar to how narcotics like morphine or codeine are able to relieve pain. The takeaway here is the restoration of the body’s homeostatic production of endorphins and its significant therapeutic impact through use of LDN.

Conditions Treated By LDN

Both physicians and researchers of low dose naltrexone have seen dramatic benefits through using LDN for treating a number of ailments, including Hashimoto’s disease, Crohn’s disease, Emphysema, systemic inflammation, certain types of cancer, and various autoimmune diseases.

Patients affected by the following cancers have been successfully treated with LDN:

  • Bladder
  • Breast
  • Carcinoid
  • Colon and Rectal
  • Glioblastoma
  • Liver
  • Lung
  • Malignant melanoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Ovarian
  • Prostate
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Throat
  • Uterine

Patients who had previously stopped responding to standard treatment options were given LDN, and approximately half began to see their tumor growth come to a standstill, while 33 percent of those showing progress actually had their tumors shrink. This is an exciting and revolutionary time for cancer sufferers who are unable to tolerate chemotherapy and radiation treatment options.

Of the over 400 patients with autoimmune diseases who were treated with LDN, every single one reported a positive response. Many experienced a stop to their symptoms, and others seemingly went into remission. Autoimmune diseases that have been treated with LDN include the following:

  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) – Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurological disease that affects the nerves that control the movement of the muscles. The nerve cells die, and all voluntary muscle control is lost.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease – Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that gradually worsens. It affects the patient’s ability to form and recall memories, think rationally and reasonably, and perform other cognitive functions.
  • Autism Spectrum – Autism affects people by impairing their social interactions, inhibiting communication, and developing repetitive and obsessive behavior patterns.
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – With MS, the immune system attacks itself by destroying the myelin sheath that covers the nerve fibers of the brain, which will impact the communication between the brain and the body. Symptoms include chronic pain, fatigue, and a reduction in muscle coordination.
  • Parkinson’s Disease – Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that induces stiffness, tremors, and dementia.
  • HIV/AIDS – Human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome attack the white blood cells that fight infection. Not everyone with HIV will develop AIDS, but there is no way to tell until symptoms worsen. They include fatigue and other flu-like symptoms, night sweats, and weight loss.
  • Fibromyalgia – Fibromyalgia is not easily diagnosed, and the disease is characterized by chronic muscle pain and fatigue. It affects the soft tissues of the muscles and is thought to enhance pain signals sent by receptors in the brain.
  • Endometriosis – This occurs when the endometrium that should line the uterus grows outside of the uterus. Severe pain, abnormal menstruation, and difficulty conceiving are common symptoms.
  • Celiac Disease – Celiac disease occurs when a person ingests gluten and it damages the digestive system. While many people don’t experience symptoms, those that do can experience fatigue, anemia, diarrhea, and osteoporosis.
  • Lupus – Lupus is essentially a degenerative condition in which the body attacks itself. Many different organs can be affected, and symptoms include flare-ups of chronic fatigue, chest pain, and swollen joints.
  • Sarcoidosis – This disease occurs when inflamed granulomas grow on one or more of your body’s organs and begin clumping together, lowering the organs’ functionality. Symptoms vary based on which organs are affected.
  • Crohn’s Disease – Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition affecting the gastrointestinal system. It is known to cause abdominal pain, anemia, weight loss, arthritis, and fatigue. It occasionally requires surgical intervention to remove pieces of the intestine.

Most notably, patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis have successfully avoided exacerbations with a continued nightly regime of LDN. The use of low dose naltrexone, however, did not replace the patient’s regular treatments and was instead used as a supplement intended to reduce pain symptoms.

The reason why such a wide range of conditions are able to experience positive results after being treated with LDN is because in each of these disorders, the immune system is severely depleted of the endorphins it needs.

LDN Potential Side Effects and Associated Risks

It is important that patients receiving LDN do not receive their prescription as a slow-release form, which could have a negative impact on the therapeutic effects of the LDN.

LDN is normally taken in the evening, around the time the patient will go to bed due to the body’s natural production and release of hormones. As such, many patients beginning LDN treatments have reported interrupted sleep patterns during their first week of treatment. In addition to vivid dreams, side effects are limited but can include weight loss and priapism.

There are other minimal risks and warnings that should be considered before beginning treatment with LDN. To begin, it is not advised that people with liver disease use LDN due to unfavorable effects to the liver in high doses of naltrexone.

Other patients who should not take LDN include patients who have undergone organ transplants, as their immunosuppressants can be counteracted by low dose naltrexone. Furthermore, patients who are using narcotics or who are dependent on narcotics should not begin using LDN until the narcotics are completely cleared from their system.

While still fairly new to use in treating debilitating conditions, LDN poses very little risk and has next to no side effects, making it a valuable treatment option where other medications have failed.

Recent Research

LDNscience, who serves as an information center with the MedInsight Research Institute, considers themselves to be pioneers in the use of LDN as a viable treatment option. They have now published over one hundred research projects with a focus on low dose naltrexone as a source of treatment.

A single-blind clinical trial conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham on the effects of LDN on symptoms of fibromyalgia reported a significant reduction in proinflammatory cytokines after being treated with LDN for only eight weeks.

Another fibromyalgia-based review conducted by the University of Kansas School of Medicine at Wichita reported an evidence-based opinion that LDN is able to reduce pain moderately when used as the primary treatment.

In the treatment of a chemoresistant carcinoma, the Ecole Polytechnique Institute conducted a retrospective study of patients who had failed to respond to chemotherapy and whose last treatment options were palliative care.

These patients were given an IV dose of a combination of low dose naltrexone and other medications that comprise lipoic acid. Their results showed a decrease in the rate of progression for their cancers.

The most successful research, however, has to be in the use of LDN as a treatment option for multiple sclerosis. Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine reviewed the treatment of clinically isolated syndrome, a condition that is a precursor to multiple sclerosis, with LDN.

Contact a Low Dose Naltrexone Pharmacy in NYC

Low dose naltrexone is quickly becoming an excellent option for patients who are unresponsive to treatments for their associated conditions. With little to no side effects or risks and with new research being published regularly, LDN is paving the way to becoming a drug that can revolutionize the way we treat chronic conditions.

Call now and speak with a qualified pharmacist at the Healthy Choice If you are a patient or physician considering the use of low dose naltrexone as a treatment option. We can be reached at 914-238-1700 or via email through our contact form.