Have you heard about LDN? If not, if you have fibromyalgia (or in fact 174 different auto immune conditions) Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is a medication definitely well worth investigating further, as it is proving to be one of the top treatments out there.
What is LDN?
LDN is the short form for Low Dose Naltrexone.
Naltrexone has been approved by the FDA for many years as a medication used to treat addictions such as heroin and alcohol at 50-60mg. The low dose of naltrexone at a maximum dose of 4.5mg, however, has been found to be extremely effective for helping people with fibromyalgia.
How Does LDN Work?
When used for addiction, naltrexone works by latching onto the body’s opioid receptors and blocking their ability to induce a feeling of being high. However, its effectiveness at low doses with fibromyalgia is not due to its opioid antagonistic effects but is thought to be related to its ability to stifle an immune response which causes inflammatory cytokines to be released.
LDN and Fibromyalgia Study Results
The study on LDN and fibromyalgia was published in the February 2013 by Arthritis and Rheumatism issue and showed very positive results.
There were 31 women with fibromyalgia who participated in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, counterbalanced, crossover study. During the active drug phase of the trial, participants received 4.5 mg of oral naltrexone daily.
Researchers found that:
- When the patients took the low-dose naltrexone, they experienced a 29% reduction in their baseline pain.
- Overall, LDN was associated with improved general satisfaction with life and improved mood
- Furthermore, 32% of participants met the criteria for response (defined as a significant reduction in pain plus a significant reduction in either fatigue or sleep problems).
- LDN was rated equally tolerable as the placebo, and no serious side effects were reported.
The study authors concluded, “The preliminary evidence continues to show that low-dose naltrexone has a specific and clinically beneficial impact on fibromyalgia pain. The medication is widely available, inexpensive, safe, and well-tolerated. Parallel-group randomized controlled trials are needed to fully determine the efficacy of the medication.”
Check This Chart Out!
(And most interestingly how the drugs actually APPROVED by the FDA for fibromyalgia actually are the lowest on the chart for providing any significant improvement at all…ahem…).
As well, there are very few side effects with LDN. For myself, the first few days I had a headache – and extremely vivid dreams (with a soundtrack to boot!).
I also found that I had some muscle spasms from it – but compared to the side effects of the other meds I have taken – and they didn’t help a whole lot – the side effects dissipated within a few days and the benefits have certainly outweighed the side effects.
One thing to note: You cannot take LDN if you are taking opiates such as codeine or morphine. Tramadol/Ultram is tolerated, but you are required to have a 4hr window on either side of taking the LDN (ie you need to take the Tramadol 4 hours before or after taking LDN).
A few years ago at a mini LDN conference in Glasgow, Stephen Dickson of Dickson’s Chemists (the compounding chemist in the UK for LDN) said that he has found that those people who have side effects at the beginning tend to be the ones who benefit the most from LDN.
Since I started LDN 2 years ago, I have not had ONE COLD OR FLU BUG (watch me jinx myself on this comment!). LDN helps to repair the immune system. (Before starting LDN I was ill non-stop with one bug or another. Upon entering our home I had a vat of antibacterial gel sitting in my hallway with a large sign for people to please use it before taking another step into our home…). The antibacterial gel has not resided in our hallway since using LDN.
LDN Isn’t Just for Fibro…
Not only is LDN being used for fibromyalgia, but in fact many auto immune conditions including cancer, Crohn’s, Lupus, MS, alopoecia and many more…in fact 174 conditions are being treated with LDN – even infertility! (In fact, there is a fertility clinic in the UK that uses LDN as one of their primary treatments).
There has been a very exciting recent breakthrough in regards to LDN and cancer – which has shown LDN to kill cancer cells where radio and chemo therapies did not! (Something we ALL need to be aware of and share…).
For more information about this study (and in fact tons of information about LDN) please go to the LDN Research Trust.
What You Need To Know
If you are interested in trying LDN, then it’s important for you to know a few things.
Firstly, there is a very high chance that your doctor doesn’t even know about LDN! Why?! Well…it all has to do with a little thing called Big Pharma.
Big Pharma doesn’t like LDN. Why? Well…
- It doesn’t have a patent – and therefore it is cheap. (Under £20/$25 a month)
- It works!
This means that pharmaceutical reps are NOT introducing LDN to doctors, unfortunately, simply because not only is there no money in this medication, but also the fact that it’s use will severely dent their bottom line. (If you haven’t realised by now that the most important thing to Big Pharma is profits as the priority and not your health, then think again…).
This means that your doctor most likely won’t have heard about it – and as it has not been specifically ‘approved’ for fibromyalgia, they may be reluctant to prescribe it. However – you can of course always ask! And your GP should always be your first port of call before looking elsewhere.
One thing that you can do is print out the study, to bring in to your doctor. I always think going in armed with as much information as possible is imperative in working with our doctors.
Please know that LDN IS available all over the world!
You can get it prescribed in the UK as a private prescription. The best way to go about this is contacting Dickson’s Chemists they can organise a doctor to contact you over the phone, from the comfort of your home. At this appointment they will discuss your condition(s) and current medications and determine as to whether or not LDN is suitable for you.
If you fit the criteria for LDN use, then they will create a prescription and send it into Dickson’s for you, who will in turn send your prescription out via post delivered to your door.
If you are in any other country, then please go to this link to find a list of prescribers.
Check Out These Videos!
Here’s a link for 30 videos on Vimeo with people who are using LDN to treat their fibromyalgia – and over 400 videos in total in regards to LDN and people using it to treat well over 100 different conditions. Well worth checking out.
Bodymap Apps and the LDN Research Trust
At Bodymap Apps we are passionate about LDN. Working together with the LDN Research Trust, we have created the first global remote research study via an app that is tracking 174 different auto immune conditions.
The data from this app will hopefully be used to help get this amazing medication approved for some of the conditions. Our app, myLDN is setting the pace in regards to a whole new way of carrying out research for treatments and medications . Something we are not only excited about, but just a bit proud of, too. 🙂
The use of LDN for fibromyalgia is extremely promising and certainly well worth investigating.
It is important to note that unlike other medications, LDN can take some time to work – and you need to slowly build up the dose. A good 4-6 months is recommended to determine whether or not LDN is making a positive impact for you. A good way to track your progress on LDN – or in fact any medication/supplement as well as tracking pain, mood, fatigue, flare ups, sleep, journal and much more – as well as create reports to download for your doctor is by using our double award winning FibroMapp App – as the best Fibromyalgia App for 2014/2015 (and hopefully 2016, too!).
And of course, if you are getting ready to start LDN, then please, please take part in the research study. Your involvement can help get this amazing medication approved for fibromyalgia and other conditions, too. LDN is well worth investigating!