What Can You Use Low Dose Naltrexone For?
- 28 September 2020
Low dose Naltrexone is gaining traction as a safe, non-toxic and inexpensive drug that helps regulate a dysfunctional immune system potentially offering benefits to those suffering from a huge swath of illnesses and diseases.
Naltrexone was first approved by the FDA in 1984 for the treatment of opioid addiction, with a standard dose running 50mg to 100mg per day. At this “standard” dosage, Naltrexone acts as an opiate blocker. In short, it dampens a biological response from your body to external opioids by binding to and blocking receptors. The reason it works for addiction is that it prevents the body from realizing the “high” of opioid abuse. Patients then have less of a want or need to pursue that high.
However, low dose Naltrexone (LDN) is simply a sliver of the “standard” dose. A common practice with LDN is to start with a once-per-day dose of just 1.5mg, typically at bedtime, with top-end doses usually capping at just 4.5mg or 5mg.
It should be noted that Naltrexone, no matter the dose, is not an opiate and not a controlled substance. And though long-term, large sample-size studies are still being developed, there have been indications that LDN can help patients with anti-inflammatory effects, particularly in dealing with the brain and around nerves.
LDN is a cheap, generic drug, and thus usually not the center of the kind of large studies used to push new medicines coming to market. LDN is also a compounded medication, which means it’s typically not prescribed by doctors. A compounded medication is a customized dosage of a medication — or mixture of medicines — made by a specialty pharmacy called a compounding pharmacy.
Lakeview Pharmacy is a compounding pharmacy and has a long history of working with its customers, and their health care providers, to craft such treatments.
How Does LDN Work?
Low dose naltrexone works by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain and in all types of immune cells. This blocks endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers, from reaching those cells and signals the body to increase endorphin production.
This increased endorphin production then helps spur on the activity of your body’s stem cells, natural killer cells, T and B cells, macrophages and other immune cells. It also helps prevent the immune system from over-activity, which is a central part of autoimmune disorders and curbs the release of neurotoxic and inflammatory chemicals in the brain.
LDN erects a blockade on your body’s cells, which causes your body to make more endorphins. Once the blockade ends, as LDN typically clears from your system in a few hours, your body benefits from a ‘rebound effect’ of the increased endorphins.
You Can Use Low Dose Naltrexone for a Myriad of Issues
Long-term and wide-spread research into the potential benefits of LDN is still in its infant stage. But there have been promising results when using low dose Naltrexone for treatment against a number of vexing medical problems.
There have been small studies, and lots of anecdotal evidence to the effect, of LDN successfully addressing patients who suffer from chronic pain and/or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
The list of diseases in which LDN is growing as a treatment option is long and varied. Low dose Naltrexone has been found to be beneficial to patients suffering from ALS, Alzheimer’s Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, nerve pain, several kinds of cancer, anxiety and depression, and even Lyme Disease and Type 1 Diabetes.
A full list of the conditions and diseases that LDN can help with can be found here.
There have been benefits found in some studies with other ailments as well. For instance, in one clinical trial 76 percent of patients suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) said LDN provided reduced pain and overall symptom relief after four weeks.
Another study, conducted by Stanford University, found that LDN reduced the pain, fatigue, inflammation and stress in people with fibromyalgia.
There are more potential applications for LDN cropping up. Given how low dose Naltrexone works, it could potentially help offer relief to anyone suffering from chronic pain, autoimmune diseases and mental maladies.
Side Effects of LDN are Low, and Mild
One of the primary benefits of using low dose Naltrexone as an augmented treatment is that it is a relatively safe choice.
LDN is a relatively well-tolerated treatment, but some patients have reported headaches, insomnia and vivid dreams that could impact sleep patterns. Most usually improve in a few weeks, though if insomnia remains a consistent issue the dosage could be changed to the morning.
Among the rarer side effects are stomach cramps and/or diarrhea, and flu-like symptoms that usually resolve with a reduction in dosage.
Contact Us for All Your Pharmaceutical Needs
Lakeview Pharmacy has been proud to serve Racine, Wis. and the surrounding area for nearly five decades as the region’s most well-established compounding pharmacy. Whether you’re looking to improve your medication packaging, or are interested in prescription delivery, or curious about incorporating LDN into your treatment plan, Lakeview Pharmacy has the experience to find the solution that works for you.
Contact us to find out more about these and other pharmaceutical trends and how we can help you today.