Naltrexone is a drug introduced in 1984 to reverse the effects of opioid drug overdose. 50-100mg dosages were used to rescue patients in an overdose or drug abuse situation. In the 1990’s, doctors began using much lower doses (1.5-4.5mg) for the purposes of normalizing immune System, inflammatory, and neurological disorders.
What conditions are normally treated with Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)?
Doctors from all over the world have been reporting extremely positive responses for patients with a variety of medical problems. This list represents just a few of the most commonly treated conditions:
Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia
Irritable Bowel, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis
Hashimoto’s and Graves Auto-immune Thyroiditis
Restless Leg Syndrome
Chronic Pain Syndromes
How does Low Dose Naltrexone work?
LDN Therapy has several mechanisms of action which work together to produce benefits for patients. Most experts are seeing significant improvement in over 80% of treated patients.
LDN increases the secretion of naturally occurring Endorphins (“feel good, runner’s high”). Endorphins relieve pain, give a happy feeling and reduce inflammation.
LDN increases the release of Opioid Growth Factor which works powerfully to reduce inflammation, auto-immune responses and tumor cell growth.
LDN reduces inflammatory immune cell signaling (Toll like Receptor-4). When these immune “look out cells” get excited, they signal the immune system to get overly busy, which can cause or worsen auto-immune and inflammatory responses. These “look out cells” are located all over the body, including the gut and the brain.
LDN calms glial cells in the nervous system. Glial cells make up over 70% of the immune system and can either protect nerve pathways or cause inflammation of nerves. We want our glial cells to remain in a calm and protective mode!
LDN increases dopamine levels. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy and rewarded, gives us energy and helps our brain solve problems. When dopamine is low, we feel depressed.
What are the side effects of Low Dose Naltrexone?
We expect very few side effects with this therapy. Some patients will experience vivid dreams the first few days of LDN. A few patients have reported a single day episode of headaches or body aches, but these are not expected.
LDN therapy frequently causes thyroid medication to work more effectively in the body. Therefore, we have our thyroid patients watch for development of symptoms of high thyroid. Then, they work with their providers to reduce their daily dosage to a more appropriate level.
If a patient is on opioid medications for chronic pain, options will need to be discussed. Parkinson’s patients may require a medication dosage adjustment after a few months of LDN.
How long does it take to see desired effects?
The response time of patients on LDN therapy varies by individual and type of medical condition. Most of our patients see significant improvement within the first two months however, experts agree eight months of therapy is required to see maximum benefit.
What else can I do to help LDN therapy work better?
Many factors are known to contribute to the development of auto-immune and inflammatory diseases. The pharmacists of Las Colinas Pharmacy are prepared to help our LDN patients with advice on the most beneficial supplements, nutritional choices and lifestyle changes to improve therapy success.
Ask us if Low Dose Naltrexone Therapy is right for you!