Low Dose Naltrexone – A Novel Use For An Old Drug
Dr. Bonlie uses Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) for many of his patients to improve immune function and pain levels. His experience has been that it is a safe and effective therapy for many different disorders.
Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is used to help treat the immune system. The original medication naltrexone is used to block the effects of narcotics such are heroin or pain killers. It was discovered that very small doses of naltrexone used once daily help to cause an increase in the bodies natural endorphins. Many chronic diseases cause decreases in the bodies endorphins. Endorphins are natural substances made by the body to reduce pain, improve mood and and enhance immune function. Bringing low endorphin levels back up has been shown to have a beneficial effect on many diseases.
There have been several clinical trials with published results showing positive benefit for:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Crohn’s Disease
There have been many patients who personally report benefit for:
- Ankolysing Spondilitis – a type of rheumatoid spinal arthritis
- Epstein-Barr Syndrome
- Hepatitis C
- Several kinds of cancer
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD)
- Myasthenia Gravis (MG
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
Please note that patients reporting positive results only means that it worked for that person, not that it works for all persons with that disease. The FDA has not approved naltrexone for use in any of these diseases, although it is legal to prescribe LDN for what is known as “off-label use”, which means to use a drug for another purpose than for what is was originally designed and approved for.
Regular naltrexone comes in 50 mg tablets. The doses used to achieve the effects on the immune system range between 1.5 and 4.5 mg. In order to obtain accurate dosing of such small amounts LDN must be mixed by a compounding pharmacist.
With the very low doses used in LDN treatment 1.5 – 4.5 mg per day – no toxic effects have been reported. Side effects of any sort have been mild and rare, with the most common being sleep disturbances.
Here are two excellent websites that give in depth information about LDN:
Here is a short paper written by Pradeeep Chopra MD about use of LDN for pain management: LDN Newsletter 2014 – Chopra