What is LDN?
LDN stands for “low dose Naltrexone.” Naltrexone is a drug that has been traditionally used in opioid/alcohol dependence because of its effects in blocking opioid receptors in the brain. At low doses, typically 0.5-4.5 mg, Naltrexone regulates immune function by increasing endorphin/enkephalin production and decreasing inflammation via blockage of inflammatory messengers.
What is LDN used for?
Physicians have used LDN to treat a myriad of conditions, including autoimmune diseases, pain disorders, cancer, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s, and anxiety/depression. Currently, LDN is being studied and clinically used to manage multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease, to improve gut motility in gastroparesis and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), to improve hypothyroidism, and in the treatment of certain types of cancer.
How do I take LDN?
LDN is commonly prescribed at 1.5mg at bedtime for 14 days, and adjusted to patient tolerance after this trial period.
When can I expect improvement of my symptoms?
While some people find relief within 2-3 weeks of starting LDN, the maximum effect is typically found after 2 months of treatment.
What are the precautionary warnings/side effects of LDN?
Although Naltrexone is a well-tolerated medication, some people may experience headaches, insomnia, or very vivid dreams. These usually subside during the 14 day initial dosing period.
Is LDN FDA-approved?
Dosages between 50mg-300mg were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1984. LDN has passed animal toxicity studies, but this practice is still considered off-label.