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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.