Low-Dose Naltrexone Therapy (LDN)
Low-Dose Naltrexone Therapy is gaining popularity as it continues to show promising results in helping patients suffering from a wide range of conditions. This medication has a low side effect profile and it can be prescribed to patients suffering from Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and even some cancers.
In this article we’ll go over what Low-Dose Naltrexone Therapy is, who it can help, and what treatment plans can look like. If you’re interested in learning more about Low-Dose Naltrexone Therapy in San Diego, the clinicians at Aspire Regenerative can help.
What Is Low-Dose Naltrexone Therapy?
Low-Dose Naltrexone Therapy, or LDN, refers to the off-label use of the FDA-approved drug naltrexone. The clinical effects of LDN were discovered in the 1980’s by Dr. Bernard Bihari, M.D., who found that LDN could help patients with HIV/AIDS whose immune systems had been compromised by the disease.
How Is LDN Different from a Typical Naltrexone Prescription?
Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, which means that it blocks the effects of narcotics or opiates. It is often prescribed under the brand name ReVia® to assist patients recovering from drug dependency. It is typically administered in the form of pills containing 50mg of naltrexone hydrochloride.
On the other hand, therapy involving Low-Dose Naltrexone uses a small fraction of the standard dose to help patients suffering from a range of conditions. The dosage used in LDN can range from 0.5mg to 4.5mg, just 1 to 9% of the lowest amount used to treat opiate dependency. Doctors may recommend Low-Dose Naltrexone for pain management and to counter the symptoms of several disorders and diseases.
Instead of blocking the body’s narcotic/opioid receptors for the entire day as higher doses of Naltrexone does, LDN only blocks them for a few hours, just long enough to cause an increase in endorphin production within the body. This helps to normalize a patient’s immune system, which has an array of benefits. The Low-Dose Naltrexone autoimmune implications have garnered increasing attention for this therapy and has sparked more research into its potential uses.
Who Can Benefit from Low-Dose Naltrexone Therapy?
While research into the benefits and potential Low-Dose Naltrexone uses continues, positive results have been noted in the use of LDN for patients suffering from the following conditions:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Crohn’s disease
- Chronic pain conditions
- Childhood autism
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Neurodegenerative conditions
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Motor neuron diseases
- Hailey-Hailey Disease
- Some cancers
Whether you are considering low-dose naltrexone for fibromyalgia, an autoimmune disorder, or other condition, there are a few important drug interactions to be aware of. LDN therapy should not be used by anyone taking narcotics or opioid pain medications. LDN may also pose a risk to anyone that has received an organ transplant because it strengthens the immune system and can counteract immunosuppressant medications typically prescribed to those who have had a transplant.
There are also some mild side effects associated with Low-Dose Naltrexone therapy, including insomnia, nausea, headaches, and vivid dreams. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to you doctor right away so that they can make any necessary adjustments to your dosage.
What Does Low-Dose Naltrexone Therapy Entail?
LDN is a prescription medication taken orally. Your doctor will start you on a low dose and gradually increase your dosage to achieve the desired effects at the lowest dose possible based on your symptoms. Your exact treatment and dosage will depend on whether your doctor has prescribed low-dose naltrexone for anxiety, fibromyalgia, an autoimmune disease, or other condition.
For example, patients taking LDN for autoimmune diseases are typically started at a dose of 1mg while patients taking low-dose naltrexone for fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may be started at a dosage of 0.5mg. From there your doctor will slowly increase your dosage if necessary, over a period of several weeks. Follow-up appointments will be required for the duration of time a patient is on LDN therapy.
Interested in learning more about Low-Dose Naltrexone therapy or curious about innovative treatments that could help you? Book a consultation at Aspire Regenerative. Our clinicians will analyze your unique medical history and health goals in order to develop a personalized care plan.