Low-dose Naltrexone (LDN)
Information on Low-dose Naltrexone (LDN)
The following information is taken from the LDN Research Trust website https://www.ldnresearchtrust.org
LDN is normally used in treating addiction to opiate drugs such as heroin or morphine. The daily dose used for this purpose is usually between 50 and 300 mg per day. Naltrexone is in a class of drug known as an opiate antagonist.
Low-dose Naltrexone (LDN) has been used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases in the United States since 1985, but is relatively new in the United Kingdom and Europe. Despite the fact that the drug is used at a very low dose, the occurrence of significant introductory or long-term side effects cannot be excluded.
This method was devised and subsequently developed by the late Dr. Bernard Bihari, M.D., a physician from New York, USA who passed away May 16, 2010. Dr. Bihari was qualified in Internal Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology – a true Pioneer.
How Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Works
The mechanism of action of Naltrexone, in autoimmune diseases, is poorly understood. The benefits of the drug are possibly due to the temporary inhibition of endorphins. This results in a reactive increase in the production of endorphins, which should result in a reduction of painful symptoms and an increased sense of well-being.
Increased levels of endorphins should be expected to stimulate the immune system, promoting an increase in the number of T lymphocytes. This effect was observed in Dr. Bihari’s research. This increase in T-cell numbers apparently restores a more normal balance of the T-cells such that the effects of the disease progression are significantly reduced.
It may also act directly on these immune cells to stimulate or restore normal function. There is research currently underway, to prove the hypothesis that Naltrexone improves or modulates the immune system by acting on a receptor called TLR4. Several published papers have shown that Naltrexone binds to the TLR4 receptor and has a clinically measurable effect. This is evident in Chron’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
Hay Fever / Severe Allergy:
Many patients who experience severe hay fever have noticed that their hay fever symptoms resolve after LDN treatment is given for another autoimmune disease. This has led to many patients with severe allergies trying LDN as an adjunct to their existing treatments, such as antihistamines. The mechanism of action is likely via TLR-4, but no research has specifically been published on this.
Patients with thyroid disease often have a strong autoimmune component.
Using LDN to dampen the immune system often leads to a reduction in hypothyroidism and an
improvement in symptoms. Patients with Thyroid disease must always be very careful when starting LDN as the results can be very fast and rapidly cause hyperthyroidism if they do not reduce their levothyroxine intake.
The mechanism is also quite vague but is most likely central, via modification of opioid growth factor (OGF) / Endorphin pathways.
In layman terms, nobody is really sure how LDN works. There are multiple possible pathways being investigated. Due to the number of biological systems affected by inhibition of receptors that LDN binds to, this is not surprising, and research is ongoing in many areas. The most exciting is its apparent ability to block many autoimmune diseases, and even more excitingly being able to stop
the growth or spread of some tumor types in animals.
For more info please download
Low-dose Naltrexone (LDN) Fact Sheet PDF provided by LDN Research Trust https://www.ldnresearchtrust.org
Suggested Method of Therapy:
Your medical doctor or nurse practitioner will usually start treatment at an ultra-low dose and increase the LDN gradually over a period of weeks until you are stable and side effect free. The starting dose can vary from 0.5mg to 1.5mg and is usually increased over 4 8 weeks to 4.5mg or higher. Some doctors increase this dose to twice daily, for certain medical conditions.
For Autoimmune Diseases, patients typically start at 1mg and increase to 4.5mg daily over a period of 4 weeks. However, for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia, the starting dose is usually 0.5mg and is increased by 0.5mg a week until a daily dose of 4.5mg is reached.