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The Miracle Drug: Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

For many years, naltrexone dosed at higher strengths of 50 mg per day has been used to treat opioid, heroin and alcohol addictions; however, over 20 years ago, a new development arose with a low dose form of naltrexone. In very low strengths of 1.5 mg to 4.5 mg, naltrexone has been proven to relieve chronic pain and control the body’s reactive immune response present in countless autoimmune diseases. Low dose naltrexone (LDN) has shown to be an effective medication in reducing inflammation associated with so many chronic disease states. This fact alone is advantageous for our overall health.

Disorders LDN Benefits (NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list.)

  • Certain Cancers

  • Celiac Disease

  • Crohn’s Disease

  • Parkinson’s Disease

  • Lyme Disease

  • Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia

  • Autism

  • Diabetic Neuropathy

  • Psoriasis

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  • Colitis

  • Hepatitis C

  • ALS

  • Autoimmune Diseases

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Lupus

  • Fibromyalgia

  • HIV/AIDS

Endorphins are opiate-like substances produced naturally in the body. Endorphins are commonly known for their effect in eliciting a high or elated feeling and reducing pain. Low dose naltrexone works by increasing the levels of endorphins produced by our bodies. It accomplishes this by binding to opioid receptors. When naltrexone binds to the opioid receptor, it dislodges our body’s natural endorphins. As a consequence of this increased displacement and receptor sensitivity, receptor production is increased in an effort to capture more endorphins. In turn, an increased production of natural endorphins occurs to compensate for the increased production and sensitivity of receptors. When the naltrexone’s short-lived receptor blockade wears off, the endorphins that were produced bind to receptors in stem cells and immune cells to stimulate their development, differentiation and function. This is why low dose naltrexone has proven so revolutionary in providing symptom relief and delaying progression of a variety of disease states, including HIV, cancers, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, Lyme disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis and psoriasis. Low dose naltrexone is proving to be a therapeutic breakthrough in diseases in which there is an immune component.

LDN is typically prescribed to be taken at bedtime. The reason behind this time sensitive dosing is due to the fact that 90% of the body’s endorphins are made in the middle of the night between the hours of 2 and 4 in the morning. When taken at bedtime, low dose naltrexone can increase endorphin production by as much as 300%! Unlike the 50 mg dose given for addiction therapy, low dose naltrexone is concise in occupying opioid receptors for only long enough to jumpstart our bodies into producing more endorphins naturally.

Any physician can prescribe low dose naltrexone to a patient that is suffering from any of the above-mentioned conditions; however, not just any pharmacy can dispense the medication. Because low dose naltrexone is not commercially available, it will need to be compounded by a compounding pharmacist. Based on the doctor’s specific dosing requirements, the compounding pharmacist will compound the medication into a convenient capsule. Along with personalized dosing, there are numerous benefits to having your prescriptions tailored to your specific needs and compounded by a compounding pharmacist, cost savings being one of the biggest perks. As if LDN could get any better, a one month supply costs only $35, making it a very affordable option for patients suffering from immune related conditions.

It is important to choose a reputable compounding pharmacy when having any medication compounded, including low dose naltrexone. Custom Meds has achieved PCAB accreditation. The Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) only grants accreditation to those pharmacies that pass a set of rigorous standards, including using only high quality pharmaceutical grade chemicals, frequently testing finished products to ensure potency and purity, passing a thorough on-site inspection and continually training and educating its pharmacists and technicians.

If you have further questions regarding the miracle drug, low dose naltrexone, be sure to reach out to Custom Meds’ compounding pharmacist, Jessica DiLeo. She has the answers!

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