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LOW-DOSE 

NALTREXONE (LDN)

What is LDN?

Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is a simple yet unique medication that has shown tremendous potential in the treatment of chronic pain, autoimmune diseases, and mental health conditions as well as the associated pain, inflammation, and gastrointestinal, dermatologic, and neurologic issues. 

LDN has demonstrated strong potential as a way to strengthen both brain and bodily resources to promote psychological well-being as well as bodily health.

The drug Naltrexone was FDA-approved in 1984 and was originally used in the treatment of alcoholism and opioid detoxification. However, the typical daily dose of (high-dose) naltrexone is 50 mg or higher. At this dose, naltrexone has shown success, but can be also largely unsuccessful because of the unwanted side effects and poor patient compliance. It wasn't until a New York physician named Dr. Bihari discovered that in lower doses, about 10-100 times the strength of traditional naltrexone, that it has a completely different mechanism of action in the body and therefore produces a different physiological response. 

Collectively autoimmune diseases have been identified in about 24 million people in the US, and only 1/3 are diagnosed. That means about 72 million people have an autoimmune disease. It's not looked for. Our system waits until the signs and symptoms are severe enough with organ failure and irreversible damage before we identify it.

- JEFFREY S. BLAND, PhD

How Does it Work?

Unlike most other medication, LDN works to treat the underlying root causes, rather than the symptoms, which optimizes the immune system and allows the body to work to heal itself. It does this by temporarily blocking our internal opioid receptors, which causes your body to increase its own supply of internal endorphins.

These endorphins possess properties to help regulate, heal and restore the immune system back to normal function, which allows the body to work to heal itself. 

The increased amount of endorphins and the enhanced immune function result in bodily changes that can help to reduce inflammation and stop the progression of rheumatoid, gastrointestinal and neurological autoimmune disorders.

Who can benefit from LDN?

ANY PATIENT WITH A CONDITION THAT FITS INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:

  • Autoimmune Diseases

  • Gastrointestinal Diseases

  • Mental Health Conditions

  • Chronic Pain

  • Thyroid Diseases

  • Dermatological Conditions

  • Cancer

  • Neurological Disorders

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

  • Women's Health

  • Addiction

  • Opioid Withdrawal

  • Periodontal Disease

  • Inflammatory Conditions

How can one medication help so many people with different health conditions?

LDN works by boosting your body's own production of endorphins. This increase in endorphins helps to regulate and normalize your body's immune system to function properly and reduce inflammation levels throughout the body.

 

Immune system dysfunction and chronic inflammation are often the underlying root cause of the pain and other symptoms that come with chronic disease. This is why LDN's mechanism of action is so simple yet so beneficial in the treatment of a wide spectrum of chronic ailments. 

By addressing the root of the problem, rather than the symptoms, LDN is able to bring the body up (or down) to a normal baseline and allow it to take care of the rest by healing from the inside out.

Dosing

With LDN, there is no one-size-fits-all approach - to be effective, it is important to match the dose to the disease or condition and the individual patient.

 

Every patient is unique and has different circumstances and needs when it comes to their health and in order to achieve optimal success with LDN, it is crucial to work with a knowledgable compounding pharmacy to develop a dosing schedule for you to find your perfect dose.

For a long time, 4.5 mg was the only dose of LDN prescribed, but we have now evolved to working with over 20 different doses ranging from 1 mcg to 8 mg, that can all be customized to you and your unique disease.

It is so important to work with a healthcare team that knows how to differentiate you from someone else with your same condition. At Custom Medicine, we will work with you and your physician and if needed, advise them on what is necessary to optimize LDN's ability to help you and bring you a new sense of normal.

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Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) - FAQ

How does LDN work?


LDN has multiple mechanisms of action which is why it is so beneficial in the treatment of such a wide spectrum of diseases. LDN works by: - Blocking the release of inflammatory cytokines (molecules released from immune cells that produce inflammation) from microglia immune cells, which reduces inflammation throughout the body including the brain. - Temporarily blocking the opioid receptors in your body, causing your body to increase it's own supply of internal endorphins (known as endogenous opioids) which can increase dopamine activity and aid in the treatment of many chronic diseases that involve low endorphin levels within the body. - Blocking a particular receptor in the body called the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). When blocked, this receptor cannot trigger the release of inflammatory proteins by other cells (such as astrocytes, macrophasges, and microglia). The lack of these inflammatory proteins (inflammatory cytokines) results in reduced inflammation throughout the whole body. - In the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS), it modulates T & B lymphocyte production, reduces inflammatory cytokines, and suppresses tumor growth factor (NF-kB).




Do I need a prescription for LDN?


Yes. Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is not available over the counter and requires a prescription from a licensed practitioner.




Are there any side effects with LDN?


The side effects, if any, with LDN are very minimal and are temporary. Most patients experience no symptoms at all. However, patients can experience mild symptoms like vivid dreams, headaches, sleep disturbances or mild nausea as your immune system adjusts to the effects of LDN. However, most if not all, symptoms either subside on their own or once the patient's dose is changed to one that is more proper for them. Overall, LDN presents an appealing alternative treatment option for patients due to its efficacy, low-cost and non-toxic qualities.




How long does it take for LDN to start working?


That can vary dramatically by patient and by disease state. For some, the relief of symptoms can start within a couple of days and for others with more severe conditions or conditions that are more difficult to treat, relief from symptoms can take up to a couple of months. It is important to continue to work with your physician and us to give updates on your condition so we can find a dosing schedule that works for you. Often times a patient may think LDN is not working, but what is often the case is that it either needs more time to start working or the patient needs to be switched to a different dose. Sometimes, a difference of 0.5mg in dosing can make a major change for a patient's level of pain and other symptoms. Achieving the proper dose is the most important factor in a successful clinical outcome for any patient with any health condition.




Why is LDN only available as a compounded medication?


The drug Naltrexone, is commercially available at a higher dose of 50 mg. However, Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is typically prescribed at doses ranging from 0.5 mg to 6 mg and each prescription is entirely dependent on the patient and their specific health needs. It is incredibly important to work with a knowledge compounding pharmacy that will work with you to find the correct dose for you and continuously check in to ensure you're experiencing optimal success with LDN therapy. At Custom Medicine Pharmacenter, we use FDA approved Naltrexone powder to formulate individually dosed capsules based on a patient's specific prescription. LDN can also be compounded into various delivery forms to meet the needs of all patients. These include capsules, liquid/sublingual, and topical formulas.




Can LDN be compounded to be taken in forms other than capsules?


Yes! At Custom Medicine Pharmacenter, we use FDA approved Naltrexone powder to formulate individually dosed capsules based on a patient's specific prescription. However, LDN can also be compounded into various delivery forms to meet the needs of all patients. These include capsules, liquid/sublingual, and topical formulas.





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If you are interested in getting started with LDN or want to learn more, reach out to us via phone or email anytime - we're here to help!