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
- 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