Low Dose Naltrexone for Fibromyalgia and Chronic fatigue syndrome

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Emerging treatment shows promise

Naltrexone is a drug that blocks the effect of opoids at a normal dosage of 50 to 100 mg. Researchers believe that at very low dosage it may b beneficial for people suffering from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases including multiple sclerosis, complex regional pain syndrome and Crohn’s disease and other immune related diseases like HIV/AIDS.

Low dose naltrexone is an inexpensive drug that is easily available in the market which has fueled excitement about its possible uses. Research is moving slowly, though, likely because there is not a big financial incentive.

How does LDN work??

The exact mechanism of action in not known by the researchers up till now, some researchers believe that LDN blocks some receptors in the central nervous system, that causes the symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

There is some evidence that LDN works as an anti-inflammatory in the central and peripheral nervous system, may be they limit the activity of specialized cells known as microglia.

It appears to help people with auto-immunity and other immune related diseases by normalizing the immune system.

For fibromyalgia

Positive results are shown by a series of Stanford university as much as 30 % decline in symptoms compare to placebo. Researchers say that results are best in people with high sedimentation rates which indicate an inflammatory response in the body. A sedimentary rate could indicate an overlapping condition as it is not typically elevated in fibromyalgia.

Results also show that the drug is well tolerated.

These studies are not enough and more studies are needed before knowing how safe and well tolerated this drug is.

With recent evidence pointing to the possibility of neuroinflammation in chronic fatigue syndrome and LDN’S possible impact on inflammation in the nervous system, we may b seeing why this is an effective treatment for some.

LDN is sometimes prescribed off-label for chronic fatigue syndrome as with fibromyalgia.

Dosage

Naltrexone is generally in doses of 3.5 mg or less for treating fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Typically you will start at 1.5mg, work up to 3mg, then increases to 4.5.

The effects attributed to low dose are not seen at high dose.

Side effects

While naltrexone appears to be well-tolerated possible side effects include:

>>dizziness and syncope

>>headache

>>insomnia

>>anxiety and nervousness

>>sleepiness and fatigue

>>nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, decreased appetite

>>injection site pain and swelling

>>joint pain

>>excessive muscle contraction

>>upper respiratory tract infection

>>sore throat

Side effects were reported as rare, mild, and transient in Stanford studies.

To safe take LDN, people with liver and kidney diseases need specific tests and diagnosis; so that they may be avoid the adverse effects of the medication. This drug may be harmful to an unborn baby, so it’s not safe to take it in pregnancy. We don’t know exactly that whether it can pass through the breast milk, or it’s safe for lactating mother.

LDN and opoid pain killers.

In large doses, naltrexone is used to wean people off of opiate painkillers such as Vicodin (hydrocodone acetaminophen) and OxyContin (oxycodone) because it blocks their effect on the brain.

At low dosage its effect on opiate use is not known yet but it is considered a bad idea to combine these drugs. Before starting LDN remember to consult your doctor to know about how long you should be off of opiods.

Is it right for you??
Talk to your doctor about the possible pros and cons if you are interested in trying LDN. While some doctors may prescribe LDN for people with these illness and many others, it is still considered as an emergency treatment so your doctor may b unwilling to consider it.

Low dose naltrexone for the treatment of pain

Recent years have seen an increasing interest in the use of low dose naltrexone for off-label treatment of pain in diseases as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and morbus crohn. The evidence is poor with only few randomized double-blind placebo-controlled studies. LDN could be a potentially useful drug in the future for the treatment of pain in fibromyalgia but more studies are needed to verify that it is superior to placebo and currently it cannot b recommended as first-line therapy.

For reference : By Adrienne Dellwo via Verywell

 

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