About Low-dose Naltrexone

Posted on Posted in Science & Research, Treatments

Low-dose Naltrexone is the use of Naltrexone in low doses to block endorphin receptors for a few hours, usually while sleeping. This causes a chain reaction in which the body produces extra endorphins to make up for the block.

This extra production of endorphins appears to be important in improving immune function and stimulating repair of the mucosa layer in the intestines [1].

LDN is quickly becoming popular among empowered patients for the treatment of their inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Benefits

LDN has been reported to help with:

  • Increased energy
  • Decrease in pain/diarrhea
  • Prevention of colds and the flu
  • Improved healing of the intestines confirmed via colonoscopy

Side-Effects

It has a low risk and minimal side effect profile, which tend to be vivid/nightmarish dreams or if the person takes too much, feeling emotionally down because it’s blocking too much of their endorphins, the feel good hormone.

Cost

Because it is not patented by a pharmaceutical company, very cheap compared to the other conventional drug treatments.

Delivery and Dose

LDN can be taken in liquid, powder capsule, or transdermal cream. Typical doses are between 3 to 4.5 mg, taken once just before bedtime.

How to Get It

Because it is not FDA approved for treatment of IBD, nor is it backed by a large pharmaceutical company, gastroenterologists are highly skeptical or completely unaware of LDN.

It is not uncommon for patients to have to educate their gastroenterologists before obtaining a prescription. Failing that, patients may have better luck seeing a naturopathic doctor (ND), who tend to be more open minded in treatment options.

Patient Experiences

I have tried transdermal cream and capsule powder in doses ranging from 1 – 5 mg.

I have had better luck with the transdermal cream, I felt like I didn’t get any colds, despite poor sleep, and did not experience sleep disturbances.

With the powder capsules, I am battling back a cold that won’t fully develop nor go away completely, some nights my sleep is restless. I am still experimenting however. The best health improvement has been that my acne is controlled much better now. Something I have struggled to do since a teenager. I am absolutely thrilled at this unintended benefit.

Here are a couple Facebook LDN groups where you can ask patients using LDN about their experiences with it:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/IBDLDN/

http://www.facebook.com/groups/162953643802938/

SOURCES
[1] http://live.psu.edu/story/53494