Naltrexone (Compounded Low Dose)
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What is Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)?
LDN is a safe, non-toxic and inexpensive drug that helps regulate a dysfunctional immune system.
It reduces pain, and fights inflammation. It is used to treat cancers, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain and mental health issues, to name a few. Treatment is constantly evolving, with new conditions and methods of treatment being shared regularly.
LDN is a competitive opioid receptor antagonist. At the standard dose, naltrexone blocks the effects of both the endogenous opioids, which are in endorphins and pharmaceutical opioids. LDN is a pure antagonist, which is vital to know as a lot of people think it is a controlled medicine, narcotic or an opioid.
LDN is a pure inhibitor, so there is no narcotic effect. The chemical structure is almost identical to endorphins that we make naturally called met-enkephalin, also known as OGF or Opioid Growth Factor.
LDN is an antagonist at the OGF receptors and there are OGF receptors on a wide range of cells in the body. When we talk about low dose naltrexone we mean doses that are a 10th or less of the standard dose of Naltrexone. Most of the research studies have used 4.5mg per day. Doses range from 0.001mg – 16mg in clinical practice.
Low Dose Naltrexone binds to the endorphin receptors for about 1 – 1/2 hours, and the blockade lasts about 4 – 6 hours. The effects of LDN are analgesia and anti-inflammatory. One of the other effects is that it increases the production of your own endorphins.
Research into the effects of LDN began in the 1980s by Dr. Ian Zagon and Dr. Patricia McLachlan at Penn State. Dr. Bernard Bihari, in New York was the pioneer of using LDN in clinical practice. In the mid-1980s he was using it to treat HIV in his patients. His patients were taking Naltrexone for their opioid addictions and as he weaned them off it he noticed positive side effects with other conditions and symptoms. He was a Harvard trained physician who was a specialist in neurology. He was running the New York State health department, and he was aware of the research that was going on and tried it out for clinical use.
Information on this medication quoted from LDN Research Trust