Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is emerging as a promising new off-label treatment for management of symptoms from autoimmune diseases, central nervous system disorders, and even certain cancers. Naltrexone 50 MG tablet was approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid addiction by acting as a competitive opioid receptor antagonist and blocking the effects of opioids on the brain.

LDN refers to daily doses of Naltrexone that are within 1to 5 mg–a tenth of the typical FDA-approved treatment dosage.  Studies have shown that naltrexone exhibits paradoxical properties such as analgesia and anti-inflammatory, or antioxidant effects via upregulation of endogenous opioids at low doeses.

What diseases are impacted by LDN? 

  • Autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthrities, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcertive Colitis, and Lupus.
  • Central Nervous System diseases such as Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • CertainCancers

Side Effects

One of the most exciting aspects of LDN is the low reported incidence of adverse side effects.  Studies have shown no withdrawal symptoms when treatment is stopped due to its low dosage.  In some cases, patients may report vivid dreams, nausea, or headaches.  However, these decrease over time or dosage can be decreased if needed.

  • Because LDN blocks opioid receptors, patients should not be on an opioid agonists such as narcotic and controlled pain medications.
  • Allow at least a seven-day washout between an opioid and starting naltrexone to prevent withdrawl.
  • Full-dose naltrexone (50mg) carries a cautionary warning against its use in those with liver disease.  This warning was placed because of adverse liver effects that were found in experiments involving 300mg dose daily.  The smaller doses do not apparently produce impairment of liver function
  • Patients who have recieved organ transplants or are on immunosuppressive medications are cautioned against use of LDN since it may counteract the effect of those medications.

If you would like to meet with the Dr. and talk about your options please give us a call at 503-286-4400

Integrative Medicine Clinic in Portland, OR
Office Hours

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Tuesday: 9:00am-12:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am-5:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am-5:00pm
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Sunday: Closed

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