The Low Down on Low Dose Naltrexone

Low dose naltrexone (or LDN) is receiving increasing attention as of late.  Here’s what you ought to know.

 

  1. It has demonstrated promise in reducing symptoms in conditions such as fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, MS and several autoimmune diseases.
  2. It is still in the experimental stages of use.
  3. It is inexpensive and well tolerated.
  4. Currently is often obtained through a compounding pharmacy.
  5. LDN refers to dosages that are typically 1/10 the dose of that used for opioid addiction.
  6. Although the dosage may vary, the common dosage per day is 4.5 mg. (1)
  7. It seems to work by enhancing endogenous opioid production.
  8. Two recent studies demonstrated that LDN was superior to placebo in treatment of fibromyalgia. (2, 3)

 

1. Clin Rheumatol. 2014 Apr;33(4):451-9. doi: 10.1007/s10067-014-2517-2. Epub 2014 Feb 15.  The use of low-dose naltrexone (LDN) as a novel anti-inflammatory treatment for chronic pain.  Younger J1, Parkitny L, McLain D.

2. Arthritis Rheum. 2013 Feb;65(2):529-38. doi: 10.1002/art.37734.
Low-dose naltrexone for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Younger J1, Noor N, McCue R, Mackey S.

3.  Younger J, Mackey S. Fibromyalgia symptoms are reduced by low-dose naltrexone: a pilot study. Pain Med. 2009;10(4):663–672. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2009.00613.x. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

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