What Is Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)?
LDN, short for Low Dose Naltrexone, refers to the use of Naltrexone at doses below 10 mg per day. Historically Naltrexone is a drug that was approved by the FDA in 1985 to treat opiate dependencies. Naltrexone, a competitive opioid receptor antagonist, is approved as supportive treatment in alcohol dependence and opioid addiction. The typical dose used in treating this is 50-100 mg daily. The standard dosage used with LDN is 4.5 mg or less per day.
In 1980 Dr. Ian S. Zagon and his team at Hershey Medical Center, Penn State University, discovered that using doses of Naltrexone below 10 mg can be beneficial in treating autoimmune disorders and cancer. Extensive research has been conducted since then to investigate the benefits of Low Dose Naltrexone in treating conditions like MS (multiple sclerosis), Crohn’s disease, and fibromyalgia.
How Does LDN Work?
LDN primarily works by affecting endorphins, which are our body’s natural opioids. These are molecules that decrease pain and make us feel good. Low Dose Naltrexone binds to opioid receptors on the cell, which has the effect of increasing both endorphin release and sensitivity of the cell to create a better response, in turn benefiting cell growth and immunity, which helps in treating autoimmune conditions.
Is Low Dose Naltrexone Safe?
LDN is well researched and is considered safe and is generally very well tolerated. The most common side effect observed is vivid dreams or insomnia and is easily remedied by taking it in the morning rather than at night before bed.
What Conditions Are Treatable with LDN?
- Autoimmune disorders (Rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Lupus)
- Chronic pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Constipation (chronic)
- MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
- Diabetic Neuropathy
- Interstitial cystitis
- Mast cell activation syndrome
Low Dose Naltrexone can help treat a wide variety of conditions, and your naturopathic doctor can help evaluate if this is an appropriate treatment for you.
If you want to learn more about LDN and how it can help you from one of our naturopathic doctors, schedule a free 10-minute consultation here or by calling us at 480-588-6856.