Naltrexone has been commonly used at daily doses of 50-300mg since it was first licensed in 1984. Naltrexone has been used in lower doses to treat multiple diseases since 1988. Naltrexone is considered low dose (LDN) when the daily dose is less than or equal to 4.5mg. When prescribed in standard dose, Naltrexone acts primarily to block opiate receptors and as such is used mainly in addictions. When used in a lower dose has immunomodulatory, opiate blocking, and anti-tumor effects, and multiple Phase I and II trials have shown efficacy.
LDN Improves Immune System Responses
LDN creates an increase in the production of endorphins, which should result in a reduction of painful symptoms and an increased sense of well being. LDN increases levels of endorphins which should stimulate the immune system, promoting an increase in the number of T lymphocytes. This increase in T-cell numbers apparently restores a more normal balance of the T-cells significantly reducing the effects of the disease process. LDN may also act directly on these immune cells to stimulate or restore normal immune function.
LDN Used in Cancer Treatment
Intermittent dosing with LDN can cause increased cell death in certain cancers and increased cell sensitivity to chemotherapy agents. Certain tumor cells pre-treated with intermittent LDN dosing are far more likely to be killed by chemotherapy drugs.
Diseases Treated with LDN
There are many diseases already being treated with LDN:
Renal Cell Cancer
Non-Small Cell Cancer
This list is not exhaustive. Please visit www.LDNResearchTrust.org/conditions for a complete list.
LDN Side Effects
LDN is well tolerated in most patients. However, care should be taken to titrate the dose up slowly to avoid side effects. The most common side effects are sleep disturbances, headaches, mild agitation, and nausea/GI effects. These side effects are usually only present in the initial phase and can be stopped by adjusting the titration.
For more information on LDN, please stop by the pharmacy and ask for a patient handout. We also have information you can take to your practitioner when asking for a prescription for LDN.