Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)
LDN – Is not immunotherapy, but an immune system adjuvant or rather an immunomodulatory agent with promising rise to its many benefits. It basically improves immune function and quiets an overactive immune system.
Low-dose Naltrexone (LDN) is a medication that was originally used to treat opioid addictions. However, it is now being used off-label to help patients with various conditions such as pain, inflammation, cancer, and autoimmune health issues. LDN is considered safe, non-toxic, and inexpensive, and it has been used in the United States since it was first approved by the FDA in 1984.
Physicians are now prescribing it in lower doses than previously thought standard, typically ranging from 1.5 mg to 4.5 mg per day. This approach is based on the belief that LDN may increase the production of natural pain relievers in the body, potentially providing relief for conditions like chronic pain, autoimmune disorders, and fibromyalgia. Patients who are interested in LDN should consult their physicians to learn more about its potential benefits and whether it is suitable for their condition.
How Does LDN Work?
Low-dose Naltrexone (LDN) works by temporarily blocking opioid receptors in the body, which leads to a temporary increase in the production of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. This process, known as upregulation, helps modulate the immune system and reduce inflammation, which is beneficial for conditions such as autoimmune diseases. LDN also interacts with immune system proteins called toll-like receptors, further contributing to its anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, LDN has been found to have a positive effect on various biological systems in the human body. While it has shown promise in treating conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis, ongoing research is still exploring its exact mechanism of action.
LDN Benefits & Uses
Many research studies have been published about successful uses of LDN, reducing pain, fighting inflammation, and positive treatment for other symptoms of different autoimmune diseases:
- Cancer Therapy
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Low-dose Naltrexone (LDN) is known for its effectiveness in treating painful conditions by increasing endorphin levels. It has also been found to enhance the body’s immune function, reduce the development and symptoms of chronic disease, and improve overall well-being. The use of LDN is generally safe with minimal side effects, although some patients have reported experiencing nausea and vivid dreams. When considering the use of LDN, it's important to weigh the potential side effects against the benefits, as each patient's response may vary. A discussion with a functional medicine provider will involve assessing symptoms, exploring available options, and determining whether this compounded prescription is appropriate. While LDN may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with elevated opioid production, it could be a beneficial treatment option for patients seeking relief from a variety of symptoms.
Learn more about the many benefits of LDN at the LDN Research Trust.