LDN – Low Dose Naltrexone – wonder drug or fad

Naltrexone at regular dosing, 50mg, is an antidote to opiate drug overdose. But years ago a Dr Bihari discovered at very low dose, 1-5-4.5 mg once a day, it had significant effects on the immune system in AIDS patients. This spawned a multitude of studies and research so today it seems there is nothing ‘low dose naltrexone’ cant treat at this very low and very safe dose.

So what is LDN?

At high dose it blocks opioid receptors from the onslaught of overdose opioid drugs, but at low dose it has a reverse effect and will result in increasing the body’s natural opioids. Remember we make our own stimulatory morphine like chemicals called endorphins. In many illnesses we are endorphin depleted. So you see how it links.
By taking the LDN last thing at night – it has a quick burst effect, leading to a longer 300% surge in endorphins over the next 20 hours. Note, aerobic exercise also increases endorphins which has a positive effect on mood and health too. Same thing.
LDN appears to modulate (so may increase or decrease immune reactivity as appropriate). Can increase natural killer cells, NK, and also macrophages, white cells.
So a hyper-immune state is calmed, and a low immune state can be enhanced. Like we see with medical Ozone (refer to ozone pages)
Its not a quick fix, so patients should be on this as a trial for 2-3 months.

Usually none, a few may have temporary insomnia, vivid dreams but that settles.
May also get a ‘die-off’ effect especially if infection involved.

Conditions that may be helped by LDN as an off-label use, as an additional treatment, rarely as a sole treatment are:

  • Gut motility disorders as IBS and SIBO induced – where low endorphins lower motility
  • MS
  • FMS and pain syndromes like CRPS
  • Restless Legs RLS
  • Glandular Fever EB virus, Hep B,C and other chronic viral, bacterial infections
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Cancers like ovarian, lung
  • AID -auto immune disorders

For an informative interview see this Vimeo video


Commenting area

  1. Hi Where can I purchase LDN in New Zealand

    • wjr@wave.co.nz December 18, 2016 at 8:33 pm · · Reply

      Hi, actually LDN is a prescription med in New Zealand so cannot be privately purchased unless through a registered medical practitioner.

  2. Hi there,

    Is LDN at a position where it can be prescribed for Hashimoto’s in New Zealand?

    Thank you

  3. Hi Dr Bill,
    Do you know where I can get a prescription for Naltrexone in Auckland? I have moved from the states where I had good results from it and need to find a doctor here.

  4. Angela Mangnall July 21, 2017 at 4:12 pm · · Reply

    Hi Dr Bill

    I suffer from ankylosing Spondylitis. I try to mange the symptoms by exercise, diet and supplements however I still have significant pain. I cannot tolerate NSAIDs and am really reluctant to go onto DMARD medication. I’ve been reading about LDN and wondering if it could help me – is this something my doctor could prescribe?


  5. Casey-lee Tuck July 28, 2017 at 10:06 pm · · Reply


    I have heard of a new treatment in the U.S. using LDN for fibromylgia,
    just wondering if LDN is prescibed in NZ for this condition, as I have tried most things with no success.

  6. Lisa Pearce August 30, 2017 at 2:26 pm · · Reply

    Do you do consults via phone?

  7. Hi, I have heard of someone in NZ using LDN for chronic pain. I live in chronic pain from having had a reversed Total Shoulder Replacement with dreadful ulnar nerve damage and brachial plexus. I live 24-7 in massive pain. Could LDN be of help for this,

    • wjr@wave.co.nz October 22, 2017 at 9:10 am · · Reply

      It would be well worth a trial as it is a very safe and low dose medication. There is a contra-indication, and that is it must not be taken if you are any form of OPIOID meds – i.e. morphine, pethidine, codeine, tramadol oxycodon etc etc. Panadol and NSAIDS ok. If in doubt check with your GP. Best luck

  8. I have just been prescribed Naltexone 4.5mg, I suffer from an underactive thyroid and hashimotos, is this proven to help?

    • wjr@wave.co.nz November 6, 2017 at 5:07 pm · · Reply

      Whilst I cant comment too much as each case is different and requires a knowledgable doctor to assist supervise, I can say, as you must already have discovered, that LDN can be very effective in Hashimoto’s thyroid autoimmune disorder. Pending no adverse reactions, and good monitoring, I would say go for it for 6-12 months.
      Wish you the best
      Dr Bill

  9. Janine Money January 5, 2018 at 1:38 pm · · Reply

    Hi Dr Bill. I have several autoimmune conditions and am very interested in LDN. Do you know if any pharmacies in Christchurch dispense this?

    • wjr@wave.co.nz January 7, 2018 at 5:15 pm · · Reply

      Hello Janine
      LDN must be prescribed by a medical dr as it classed as a prescription med. Dr Sue Leven in ChCh is an IM doctor – she would be ideal for you to contact. Drs will need to see you for consult – not allowed to prescribe without proper care.
      Dr Bill

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