Low Dose Naltrexone - a wonder drug?
At a very low dose this opioid antagonist can be used for about 180 different conditions ranging from autoimmune disorders to autism spectrum disorder and Chronic Fatigue
As an Isomer (chemical with 2 forms) LDN has two different avenues of action.
Low Dose Naltrexone affects both the nervous system and the immune system. That is how it can be effective for both stress and Multiple Sclerosis.
At 300mg Naltrexone occupies opioid receptor sites and counters opioid action. Unfortunately, it can throw someone immediately into withdrawal, so it is not used for overdoses, but rather, after someone has decreased their usage of opioids. At a low dose (1.5-4.5 mg) LDN can block opioid receptors for the short term and cause an increase in the production of endorphins (the body's own opioids), which can correct immune system malfunction. In addition, a sub-type of endorphins can suppress cell growth, which has applications for certain cancers.
Much more research needs to be done on Low Dose Naltrexone, but currently, the good news is that it's side effects are minor for most people, and disappear within 2 weeks. A very small number of people are unable to take it at all. In addition, it is relatively inexpensive (about $65/month) and easy to take. At the moment it is unknown how long it need be taken - it might end of being for a lifetime, and there is no insurance coverage for it.
Because it is used in the medical world at a 300 mg. dosage, that is how it is available in a pharmacy. In order to get to a low dose capsule (1.5-4.5 mg.), a compounding pharmacist needs to reduce the dose and add fillers to the cap to make up the difference in volume. I use Koshland Pharmacy in San Francisco.
A partial list of the conditions LDN may positively affect includes:
Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, Thyroid disorders, Restless legs Syndrome, Depression, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Stress and Insomnia. It can be totally ineffective ranging to so effective the symptoms of the condition disappear. These (and many other) conditions respond differently to LDN, with MS being one of the best responders.
The author of The LDN Book, Linda Elsegood, reverted to her normal self again after taking LDN. Her MS has not progressed and although she still has it, she has more energy and strength, and her head is clear. That is why she started the LDN Research Trust and has held several conferences about it.. The book is well worth reading; each chapter is written by a different author, often an MD. It is very well researched, with 42 pages of references. Without a doubt, LDN is worth a trial if you have any of these devastating conditions.