Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)
By Jeffery Roy, RPA-C
Naltrexone is a drug that has been used safely for years for the treatment of opioid addiction. Naltrexone binds to the opioid receptor preventing the opioids from binding to the receptor, but it does not activate the receptor. Low dose Naltrexone or LDN, is a compounded drug given at less than a tenth of the dose used for opioid addiction. It binds to the opioid receptor for approximately 1.5 hours and causes a blockade of the receptors that last approximately 4 - 6 hours. During this time, it triggers a cascade that increases the production of the body’s natural endorphins and anti-inflammatories.
Endorphins are produced by many cells within your body that help regulate multiple systems, including your immune cells. This then helps decrease many symptoms seen in Autoimmune Disease.
Inflammation has been shown to be a contributing factor in numerous chronic conditions. Studies have shown that one mechanism of action of LDN is working on decreasing glial cell activation. Glial cells release pro-inflammatory modulators, that cause systemic inflammation. By decreasing these modulators, we decrease the body's overall inflammation.
It has been and continues to be studied in the treatment of numerous chronic diseases to include but not limited to Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s Disease, and Crohn’s disease.
At IM of CNY, we often use LDN to help treat the pain and other symptoms associated with Lyme and other chronic illnesses. If you are a patient at our office and interested in learning more LDN, please discuss this at your next office visit.