Either through your own research or having exhausted other options, you have found your way to Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN). Perhaps, like many conventional healthcare professionals, you have questions about how it works. Here are medical answers to your most pressing questions: Is it safe? Does it work?
How can it help ME?
Safety and Side Effects:
LDN is considered very safe and well-tolerated, after more than three decades of study. Only one known interaction involves opioid medications due to their competing effects. If you have been accustomed to taking opioids for pain relief, LDN may interfere with their efficacy and thus cause withdrawal symptoms of pain, nausea, or vomiting. Side effects of LDN are rare or negligible; the most common being vivid dreams or disturbed sleep because the prescription is usually given at bedtime. This is easily resolved with a morning dose. The latest research shows that LDN is equally effective both morning and night. Other less common side effects include anxiety, headache, or diarrhea. Most of these are dose-dependent. Thus, frequent communication with your doctor in finding the most effective dose for YOU is crucial to your success.
How does LDN work?
LDN gained fame because of its ability to prevent the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) and Crohn’s disease and in some cases, decrease symptoms. Dr. Zagone, one of the original researchers, also found that LDN was able to decrease solid tumor (cancer) size. These findings focused on how LDN caused an intermittent release of endorphins, your naturally produced opioids. This was achieved only with the low dose, rather than the FDA approved dose of 50 mg or more. (This was FDA approved in the USA for opioid-addiction recovery).
More recent research has focused on the action LDN has on brain neurons called “glial cells”. Glial cells are crucial to the inflammation response, which is mediated by molecules on your cells called “TLR4” (highly concentrated in the digestive tract, and also in the brain – interesting correlation to both MS and Crohn’s). In chronic pain cases such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, TLR4 is overproduced creating a constant pain signal and/or hypersensitivity to that signal. Pharmaceutical research is currently focused on TLR4 antagonists to calm this response; however, we already know that LDN is quite good at doing this.
Based on this research plus my own extensive experience with the LDN community, I prescribe LDN for conditions that include chronic pain, inflammation, or have an autoimmune component. Examples of conditions that may benefit from LDN:
· Arthritis associated with Lyme’s
· Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis
· Multiple sclerosis
· Neuropathy – from chemotherapy or diabetes
· Polymyalgia rheumatica
· Rheumatoid arthritis
· Spinal cord injuries
For more information, please call 480-495-0007 for a free 10-minute consultation or to make an appointment.