What is Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)?

Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is a much smaller dose of naltrexone than what is offered commercially.  You can go to any pharmacy and get naltrexone in a 50mg tablet, but we are working with doses from 1.5-4.5mg. There is a lot of ongoing research into this medication at the micro doses, but we will probably never see this as a commercially produced drug.  It has a low potential to make money with the drug companies because it is long past it’s patent. Compounding pharmacies can compound this for you if your doctor feels this is an appropriate treatment.

Naltrexone is an “opiod receptor agonist” which blocks alcohol and opioids from getting to the receptor.  This is why it is used  as a management tool for alcohol dependence and opioid dependence.  We are not using it for the management of dependence when we use such a low dose.

We use a low dose to help interrupt the body’s immune system.  This is helpful when someone has an autoimmune condition.  Some examples of autoimmune conditions are:  Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease,  and multiple sclerosis.

The mechanism is postulated on the site www.lowdosenaltrexone.org as blocking the opioid receptors between 2am and 4am (when taking the LDN at bedtime) and allowing the body to “produce a prolonged up-regulation of vital elements of the immune system by causing an increase in endorphin and enkephalin production.” Another visual of this is 

. This means the side effect most commonly reported is more vivid dreams, typically at the time of highest activity of the LDN.  This usually goes away and dissipates after the 1st week.

If you think you may benefit from this treatment, please talk to your doctor.  If you need additional help, please contact Mixtures Pharmacy. We are here to help discuss in more detail treatment options with your doctor.

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