What is low-dose naltrexone (LDN) and why is it important?
Naltrexone was approved by the FDA in 1984 in a 50mg dose for the purpose of helping heroin or opium addicts, by blocking the effect of such drugs. In technical terms, it is an opioid antagonist. Naltrexone blocks reception of the opioid hormones (endorphins) that our brain and adrenal glands produce – beta-endorphin and metenkephalin And blocks opioid receptors,
In 1985, Dr. Bernard Bihari discovered the effects of a much smaller dose of naltrexone (approximately 3mg once a day) on the body’s immune system. He found that this low dose, taken at bedtime, was able to enhance a patient’s response to infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Subsequently, Dr. Bihari found that patients in his practice with cancer (such as lymphoma or pancreatic cancer) could benefit from LDN. In addition, people who had autoimmune disease (such as lupus) often showed prompt control of disease activity while taking LDN.
What diseases has it been useful for? Some diseases for which LDN has been used:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Celiac disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ulcerative colitis
- Practically ANY CONDITION that may in any way be associated with inflammation
Are there any side effects or cautionary warnings? Naltrexone in these low doses (LDN) has virtually no side effects. Occasionally, during the first week’s use, patients may complain of some difficulty sleeping. This rarely persists after the first week. Should it do so, dosage can be reduced to 1.5mg nightly.
Cautionary warnings: Because naltrexone blocks opioid receptors throughout the body for several hours, people using narcotic medication (such as codeine or morphine) should not take naltrexone simultaneously. It should probably not be taken during pregnancy.
Full-dose naltrexone (50mg) carries a caution against its use in those with liver disease. This warning was placed because of adverse liver effects that were found in experiments involving 300mg daily. The 50mg dose does not apparently produce impairment of liver function nor, of course, does the much smaller 3mg dose
We compound commonly 1.5mg- 3.5mg capsules inclusive . Lactose free fillers in vegetable capsules.