Last weekend I was lucky to attend a conference with pharmacists, physicians, naturopaths and holistic practitioners literally from around the world. Several speakers were from Europe and the UK. There was also a gastroenterologists, neurologist and several general practitioners practicing holistic medicine like myself. This was the first time I have been to an entire conference on one treatment, low dose naltrexone or LDN.
I started using LDN several years ago or so when I came back from an integrative conference at Scripps Institute. The chronic pain specialist spoke on alternatives to narcotics for chronic pain. He mentioned things I had heard about like Tai Chi and something new, LDN. Around that time an initial study came out using it for patients with fibromyalgia who often have chronic pain and sleep that is not restorative. The first time I used it, I had an adventurous and insightful patient that noted better sleep, improved mood and decreased pain.
The compounding pharmacist that was making the medication for this patient and I became friends over this novel therapeutic and she asked if I had ever used it for Hashimoto’s or autoimmune thyroiditis. I said I had not. The pharmacist, Wendy Medved PharmD, sent articles my way about its mechanisms and how it worked in auto-immune disease. It was from there that I learned how many applications this new option could offer my patients. It has served many of my hypothyroid patients since.
LDN is made from an old generic drug naltrexone. Naltrexone has long been used for its opioid antagonist effects. If you overdosed on opiates or heroin your life would depend on this medicine or its cousin naloxone, 100 mg would be the dose. If you suffer from alcoholism, we can use it at 50 mg to help curb the urge to drink. When we start LDN we start at 0.5 to 1.5 mg and work up slowly to 4.5 mg. That is why is it compounded. And because it is compounded it adds a bit on the monthly budget ($45-60 depending on where you get it and getting to the right dose). The other problem with compounded medications is that industry isn’t motivated to study them because they can’t be “blockbuster” drugs lining their pocket books.
I went to the conference last weekend put on by a consortium of pharmacists, doctors and others that have been looking to collect research and data on the many applications of this new treatment. I went primarily to find out:
And guess what? I learned!
I am excited to share with exploration of the wonderful world of medicine with those of you that follow these blogs and articles. Like all medications, if you don’t work with me, talk to your doctor before trying something new like this. Do your research on why it might (or might not) be good for you.
Read the book: https://ldnresearchtrust.org/ldn-book
Check out the research: https://ldnresearchtrust.org/ldn-clinical-trials
Never stop learning.