RHR: Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) as a Treatment for Autoimmune Disease
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RHR: Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) as a Treatment for Autoimmune Disease

by Chris Kresser

Last updated on

Revolution Health Radio podcast, Chris Kresser

Find out how low-dose naltrexone works, what kind of conditions it’s been studied in, and how you might find a doctor that you can work with to take it.

What conditions is low-dose naltrexone effective for? There are actually two ways to answer this question. The first is what the scientific literature shows, and then the second is what clinical and anecdotal experience of clinicians that are working with LDN shows.

In this episode, we cover:

3:36  How LDN works
10:50  The effectiveness of LDN
17:25  Finding a doctor to work with

Play

Steve Wright: Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening. You are listening to the Revolution Health Radio Show. I’m your host, Steve Wright, co-author at SCDlifestyle.com. This episode of the RHR podcast is brought to you by 14Four.me. This is a 14-day healthy lifestyle reset program. Chris has put together a really simple, step-by-step, hand-holding program for those of you who are still struggling with sleep issues, weight issues, gut issues — actually basically any health issues — because the 14Four.me program addresses your food, your sleep, your movement, and your stress, all foundational principles for living a long, healthy life and overcoming any sort of chronic conditions you’re still dealing with. If you’re having problems implementing these in your life, please check out 14Four.me. It might be the program for you.

With me is integrative medical practitioner, healthy skeptic, and New York Times bestselling author, Chris Kresser. Chris, how are you doing?

Chris Kresser: Pretty well. How are you, Steve?

Steve Wright: I’m catching up on some sleep, but I’m doing well.

Chris Kresser: All right. Yeah, I heard you’ve been out partying hard at Garth Brooks concerts!

Steve Wright: I can’t say I haven’t been. It’s been good to put on the Stetson, the cowboy boots, and sing some Friends in Low Places.

Chris Kresser: That’s pretty awesome. I have to remember you’re Midwest born and raised, right?

Steve Wright: Yeah, yeah, coming from the rural backwoods of Michigan. Not really that backwoods, but —

Chris Kresser: That’s great.

Steve Wright: — I got the country gene.

Chris Kresser: Good times, good times.

Steve Wright: Yes.

Chris Kresser: All right, so we have a great question this week. It was actually hard for me to believe that I had never covered it. I’ve talked about it on so many different podcasts and in blog articles and stuff, but I realized when we got this question that I had never actually covered this topic in one distinct podcast, so here we go.

Question from Larry: Hi, Chris. My name is Larry Leibowitz. I’m an integrative/functional family physician in Connecticut. I’ve become an avid listener to your podcast, and I find a lot of the material to be extremely useful and very helpful for my practice. As you can imagine, I see a lot of patients with chronic inflammatory conditions. Many of them are autoimmune in nature, and recently I’ve been considering the use of low-dose naltrexone with my patients. I’d be very interested in hearing about your experiences with the medication, some of the successes and/or failures, and in which cases you find it to be the most useful. Thanks. Take care.

Chris Kresser: All right. Yeah, like I said, it’s something we’ve talked about here and there, and it can be really useful for people with autoimmune conditions. I think a lot of folks have heard of it by now, but I want to just take the chance to give a little bit of background, explain how LDN, low-dose naltrexone, works, what kind of conditions it’s been studied in and might be effective for, and we’ll talk about some pros and cons and things to keep in mind if you take it and how you might find a doctor that you can work with to take it.

How LDN Works

As the name implies, low-dose naltrexone is a low dose of a medication called naltrexone that was originally approved back in the ’80s at a higher dose, 50 mg, for the purpose of helping opiate and heroin addicts to get off those drugs, and it works by blocking the reception of opioid hormones. So if you were on a 50 mg dose, you could take any kind of opiate drug and not get high. But the problem was that in addition to not getting high when taking these opiates, people who were taking 50 mg of naltrexone didn’t feel any pleasure at all because the opioid receptors in our brain mediate our experience of pleasure. So at the full dose, naltrexone really reduced that experience of pleasure and, therefore, wasn’t a very sustainable or effective drug.

But around that time in the mid ’80s there was a doctor in New York named Dr. Bihari who was interested in treating cancer and AIDS, which was just becoming something that people were starting to focus on more at that point, of course, and he discovered that a low dose between 3 mg and 4.5 mg of naltrexone had beneficial effects on the immune system. And since then, LDN has been used for autoimmune disease, cancer, and other conditions that involve immune dysregulation. This is important to understand if you’re going to talk to your doctor about LDN because a lot of doctors might be familiar with naltrexone that was used for this purpose and might raise their eyebrows or not be familiar with the fact that a lower dose is used for a completely different purpose. The higher dose is about blocking opioid receptors and detox and getting people off drugs, whereas the low dose is being used now for balancing and regulating the immune system, so it’s important to make that distinction.

Without getting too geeky here, I want to tell you a little bit about how LDN works because it’s interesting, and it, of course, helps to understand how it might benefit you if you have an immune-related condition. And this is ongoing. There are new papers published about the mechanisms of LDN each year, and we’re still learning about this, but so far, there are two main mechanisms that have been identified. One is that, as I said, it regulates the immune system, and it does this primarily by promoting T regulatory cell function. The T regulatory cells, or Tregs, they keep the immune system in balance, and they turn inflammation on and off, depending on what’s needed, and they prevent the immune system from getting stuck in patients with overactive immune systems, like people with allergies or asthma or autoimmune conditions. The way this works is LDN, as I mentioned, it temporarily blockades the opioid receptors in the brain, and when the receptors are blocked, the body thinks more opioids are needed, and so it produces more, and by the time more opioids are produced, LDN is out of the system, the receptors are unblocked and receive those, and that leads to essentially a net increase in opioid production.

So if you’re wondering now, like, what does this have to do with the immune system, we now know that people with autoimmune disease often have low levels of these opioids and that white blood cells, which, of course, are what are driving the immune response, have receptors for these opioids, which, of course, suggests that they play a really important role in the immune system.

So that’s number one, this immune-regulating, balancing mechanism.

Steve Wright: Does the increase in opioids actually then cause a corresponding increase in Treg cells? Is that the point you were making there?

Chris Kresser: Yeah, exactly. And then the Treg cells are the ones that — I mean, they’ve been referred to as the police force of the immune system. I’m not sure that’s the best analogy these days, given what’s been happening, but the idea is that they balance and regulate the immune system and keep both sides in check.

Another more recently discovered mechanism is that LDN reduces inflammation in the central nervous system, and the significance of this is that inflammation in the central nervous system is thought to play a role in a number of different conditions that LDN has been shown to be effective for, like fibromyalgia and chronic pain and depression. In addition to blocking the opioid receptors, LDN blocks something called toll-like receptor 4 that’s found on white blood cells that are called microglia, and the microglia are central nervous system immune cells that produce inflammation, pain sensitivity, fatigue, sleeplessness, mood disorders, and cognitive problems. When those microglia are chronically activated, as they are fibromyalgia and other pain disorders, it results in neurotoxicity and then this whole wide cascade of symptoms that are associated with all these conditions, and LDN essentially blocks that cascade by blocking the receptors on those microglial cells. This probably explains why in some of the studies so far LDN has been shown to reduce something called erythrocyte sedimentation rate, or ESR, which is an inflammatory marker that’s elevated in conditions like fibromyalgia.

Again, to recap, there are two basic mechanisms: balancing and regulating the immune system and then reducing central nervous system inflammation. There probably are other mechanisms, but those are the ones that have been the most clearly defined so far.

Steve Wright: Chris, is there any way for people to test their opiate levels to know if they might be low and LDN would be an ideal —

Chris Kresser: Not that I’m aware of. There are some tests that can look at various kinds of immune cells and the balance between those immune cells, but they’re not widely available and they’re a little bit difficult to interpret, so it’s not something that I think is that useful for the average person or ready for primetime. I think with LDN the best way to determine if you’ll benefit from it is whether you have the conditions that it’s shown to be useful for or any other kind of immune-related condition and then just doing a therapeutic trial, but we’ll talk a little bit more about that in a second.

The Effectiveness of LDN

OK, so what conditions is LDN effective for? There are actually two ways to answer this question. The first is what the scientific literature shows, and then the second is what clinical and anecdotal experience of clinicians that are working with LDN shows. There’s definitely research out there on LDN, but it’s still somewhat limited, and I think clinical and anecdotal experience is further ahead in terms of the breadth of conditions that LDN is being used for and the experience of how effective it can be for those conditions. The studies are also still usually relatively small sample size, not always randomized, not always double-blinded. Part of the reason for this is they’re probably not that well-funded because low-dose naltrexone is off patent, and that means that drug companies don’t stand to make a killing on selling LDN, and it’s unlikely that a whole lot of money is going to be put into it for that reason.

Having said that, the results so far of the studies on LDN have been really encouraging, and they’ve been primarily on cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, and autism. It’s especially effective for Crohn’s with over a 70% remission rate and even complete mucosal healing as evidenced by colonoscopy in some cases. If you know about Crohn’s disease and how nasty it can be and how difficult to treat and how poor the success rates are of the typical treatments, that’s a pretty remarkable statistic, over 70% remission rate with mucosal healing, especially when you consider the fact that there were not documented side effects of LDN in that study compared to placebo.

So that’s what’s in the scientific literature, but anecdotally clinicians are using it for a whole wide range of conditions involving inflammation and immune dysregulation, autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s and Graves’, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, chronic fatigue syndrome, neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It’s being extensively used for infertility. There’s a clinic in the United Kingdom that is basically almost entirely focused on using LDN for fertility to treat patients who are struggling with that. And the reason it’s effective for such a broad range of conditions is because of the mechanism of action. As I said, it regulates and balances the immune system and reduces inflammation, and of course, we know that inflammation and immune dysregulation are at the root of many diseases and certainly at the root of autoimmune conditions. Even though there aren’t any studies of LDN on Hashimoto’s, for example, it makes sense that it would work for Hashimoto’s if it’s working for multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease because the underlying mechanism of all those conditions is immune dysregulation, autoimmunity. That’s why a lot of clinicians out there feel justified and safe in using LDN for conditions that it hasn’t directly been studied on because, A, the mechanism makes sense and, B, it’s safe and well tolerated and doesn’t have any significant complications or risks or even side effects in many of these studies.

One of the advantages of LDN as a therapy is that it’s low cost. It’s off patent, as I said, which means typically you can get it for about 40 bucks a month, 35 or 40 bucks a month from a compounding pharmacy.

The side effects are pretty minimal, in that in some of the double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, as I said, there was no difference in side effect between placebo and the treatment group, but I will say that in our experience, what we’ve seen in our clinic and other clinicians I know that work with it, there are some side effects that are fairly common, which are temporary sleep disturbance when a patient first starts taking it or vivid dreams and a mild headache, but these usually pass pretty quickly and can often be mitigated by starting with a lower dose, so if 3 mg or 4.5 mg is the ultimate dose that they end up on, starting at, like, 1 mg or 1.25 mg or something and then building up more slowly.

LDN does not have any known abuse potential. It’s not an addictive medication. One of my hesitations or criticisms of a lot of drugs is that they just primarily work by suppressing symptoms and they don’t necessarily improve the function of the body, but LDN is a little different in that respect, in that it works by improving the function, it increases the production of T regulatory cells, which then have that immune-balancing effect and, I think, makes it a little bit safer to use over the long term. Now, of course, if you can achieve results and address your autoimmune condition without using a medication, even one as safe as LDN, then that’s great, but my rubric for a treatment, you know, whether a treatment makes sense, has always been whatever is the most effective and causes the least amount of harm. In many cases, that’s not a drug, but LDN is actually one medication that I think passes that test.

One of the disadvantages of LDN is that there’s still not standardized dose, and really the patient and the prescribing physician just kind of have to figure it out through trial and error. From our experience, we’ve seen most people end up around 2.5 mg to 3 mg; 4.5 mg tends to be too much for people. I’ve seen some patients settle on as little as 1.25 mg or 1.5 mg, but anywhere in the 1 mg or 1.25 mg to 4.5 mg range could be the optimal dose for a given person.

We still need more research. I mentioned that the research we have already is somewhat limited, so we need more research.

Finding a Doctor to Work With

It’s not always easy to get a prescription. A lot of primary care doctors aren’t familiar with it. It’s not covered by insurance. It’s completely off label, but fortunately it’s pretty cheap. Even if people are paying out of pocket, it’s only about 35 or 40 bucks a month.

And although all the studies we have so far show that it’s safe, we don’t have any hard data on really long-term safety, you know, people who have been taking LDN for 10 years or something like that. Of course, that’s true for a lot of drugs, but I’m just pointing that out.

So if you’re interested in LDN, keep in mind it has to be prescribed by a physician, or in some states, a naturopath can prescribe it. You can print out some studies from PubMed. You can go into PubMed.org and search for “low-dose naltrexone,” and there are a bunch of studies that will pop out. You can print those out and take them to your doctor to discuss. There’s a website called LDNinfo.org that has kind of a clearinghouse of information on LDN that you can go to. There’s a Yahoo group about LDN that you can join and talk to folks there and try to find a practitioner in your area.

What I don’t recommend is ordering it from overseas pharmacies. You never know what you’re getting that way, and there have been a lot of studies showing that drugs that come from those pharmacies are not often what they claim to be, and that’s just flat out dangerous and not very smart. Hopefully that goes without saying, but I’m just mentioning it anyway.

And particularly with LDN, it should be obtained from a reputable compounding pharmacy that has some experience in compounding LDN. I mean, there are certain pharmacies that know which binders and fillers make the most sense with it and seem to be the best tolerated, and they just a lot more experience working with patients that are taking it, and it’s a good idea to refer your physician to one of those. Skip’s Pharmacy in Florida is the one that comes to mind that’s been doing it for the longest period of time, so you can look them up on the web. There’s also a list of recommended pharmacies on the LDNinfo.org site that you can make your doctor aware of.

Let’s see. Anything else come to mind? What have you got, Steve?

Steve Wright: I got a question. Have you seen in your patient population that, for instance, say someone settles on 3 mg, do they ever need to change that? Does the effect wear down over time, or do life circumstances sometimes mean that you could get more sensitive or less sensitive to it?

Chris Kresser: Great question. My sort of take is usually, like, let’s use any treatment, whether it’s a supplement or medication for a therapeutic purpose, to reach a therapeutic goal, and once we reach that goal, I’m always interested in seeing if we get people off of stuff, maybe once the immune system comes back into balance and the patient is symptom free. Like we’ve talked about before, the concept of tolerance. You’re an engineer, Steve. You’ve told me about it. It’s easier to maintain something within tolerance, that’s already where it should be, than it is to get it back there in the first place. A patient may want to stop taking LDN or titrate off of it after a while to just test to see if they can maintain the improvement that they’ve gained from it.

On the other hand, if somebody has a condition like Graves’ disease where there’s a real risk of going into a hyperthyroid storm and stroking out and that’s been historically an issue for them and LDN is just completely managing it without any other medication, if you’re going to weigh that against taking PTU or methimazole or pretty toxic medications that often needed for Graves’ or even more invasive, like a surgery to remove the thyroid or to radioactively ablate the thyroid gland, and you’re weighing those against just staying on LDN, of course, you have to talk to your doctor about these questions, but my take on that would be if it were me as a patient, I would rather take LDN on an ongoing basis than to face any of those outcomes. So it just depends on the person.

And the dose can fluctuate, depending, of course, on the background level of immune dysregulation. If maybe someone is gluten intolerant and they don’t know it and they’re eating gluten and they’re taking LDN and they need the full 4.5 mg dose because they kind of have their foot on the accelerator and the brake at the same time, but then they take gluten out of their diet and maybe 4.5 mg is unnecessary or even starts causing some side effects, so that’s possible.

Steve Wright: One more question.

Chris Kresser: Yeah.

Steve Wright: In previous shows and potentially in writing — I’m not sure where I remember you mentioning this — but you’ve said to commit to a timeframe for LDN because not everybody shows symptom reduction or lab test reduction at a specific point in time after starting taking it, so what are your current thoughts on that?

Chris Kresser: Yeah, it’s the same. I mean, it’s really interesting. Some people, like, the next day after they start they feel like a different person, and then other people, it can take three months for them to really feel a significant difference. We don’t really understand why that is yet. And interestingly enough, it doesn’t necessarily correspond to how sick they are or how long they’ve been sick. I’ve seen it where people have been really kind of in bad shape and they respond immediately and other people whose condition was a lot more benign or mild and they didn’t have an immediate response. I don’t know about that, but I do know that it’s common. So I would say probably give it three months before you let it go if you’re going to try it.

A couple other things to consider are that because LDN blocks the opioid receptors, some pain narcotic drugs like Percocet or morphine or tramadol, LDN can decrease their effectiveness so that typically they shouldn’t be taken together. And patients with Graves’ or Hashimoto’s that are taking thyroid meds should be careful because one thing we’ve seen happen is if someone takes LDN and their thyroid function improves, then the dose of medication they were on that was maintaining equilibrium before all of a sudden becomes too high, and that person can go into kind of like a hyperthyroid episode or start feeling heat or not sleeping well or all those typical symptoms. Your doctor should mention this to you when they prescribe it, but that’s something to be aware of and to talk about with your doctor if you’re on a thyroid medication, to be ready to reduce the dose if your thyroid function starts to improve.

A question that often comes up is, OK, are there some natural alternatives to LDN that achieve the same purpose of reducing central nervous system inflammation and promoting T regulatory cell function? Definitely, there are things that achieve both of those goals. In some cases, especially when you put them together, they can do just as good of a job as LDN, but in other cases I’ve seen LDN just be more effective even when someone’s done all these other things. But for Treg cell function, vitamin D is a powerful T regulatory cell promoter, as is glutathione, so those should definitely be in the repertoire. Maintaining adequate levels of selenium and zinc and iodine is important for immune function. Probiotics, especially bacillus species like soil-based organisms, promote Treg cell function. Butyrate, which is a short-chain fatty acid that’s produced by beneficial bacteria in the colon, improves Treg cell function, so prebiotics can actually do that indirectly. Vitamin A is important for immune balance, so cod liver oil. And then for inflammation, we have things like curcumin and boswellia — those are COX inhibitors, selective kinase response modulators, fish oil or EPA and DHA from cold-water fish, of course, and then diet obviously. Whether we’re talking about just a general, overall anti-inflammatory paleo-ish type of diet or whether you’re taking the next step and doing an autoimmune protocol type of diet, those can be important as well.

Steve Wright: Awesome. Well, it sounds like a pretty good round-out there. It seems like if people wanted to try those things, I’ve seen a lot of people try those things and not get success and then get on LDN and through LDN and some of those supplements together, like, really have a brand-new life.

Chris Kresser: Yeah, it can be pretty dramatic. And of course, I don’t want to create any false hope or unrealistic expectations for people, but for some it has definitely been life changing. I have patients who had been on those thyrotoxic drugs for 20 years or more, 25 years. One patient comes to mind who had Graves’ and had been on PTU for 20 years and was able to get off PTU completely and all other medications and just take LDN and feel better than she ever had felt during that period and maintain completely normal thyroid numbers, so it can be pretty dramatic. I have to say, though, that we have had patients who have taken it and experienced nothing at all. So it’s not a miracle, of course. No treatment is, but it helps a lot of people, and it does it pretty affordably and without causing a lot of side effects or complications or risks, and that’s a pretty good combination.

Steve Wright: Yeah, definitely. Awesome.

Chris Kresser: All right.

Steve Wright: Well, if listeners would like their question answered, make sure to go to ChrisKresser.com/PodcastQuestion to submit your questions. Chris and his team are always taking those in and trying to pull the most relevant topics that haven’t already been covered, so if you have submitted questions and you’re wondering, why, guys, haven’t we talked about my question, make sure you listen to the rest of our episodes because there’s quite a treasure trove of information that we’ve covered over, what, like, four or five years now?

Chris Kresser: Yeah, four or five years, somewhere in there. I should know, but something like that. Yeah.

Steve Wright: Awesome. And in between episodes, if you’re not following Chris on social media, this is where you can get updates on the latest articles he’s reading, different things that he’s pulled from around the web, so go to Facebook.com/ChrisKresserLAc and Twitter.com/ChrisKresser. Thanks for listening.

Chris Kresser: All right. Thanks, everyone. Talk to you next time.

190 Comments

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  1. dextro naltrexone. may be a better bet for people. dextro-naltrexone. (There are at least three forms of naltrexone; the higher dose form used to treat opioid addiction; the lower dose form used in FM, ME/CFS and other diseases to reduce pain and neuroinflammation and dextro-naltrexone – a different form of the drug altogether.

  2. DOSE Side-Effects. Dear Dr. Chris, in your April 9, 2015 LDN podcast you said “4.5 tends to be too much for people.” What did you see that lead you to think “4.5 mg is too much” for most people? What side effects did you see? Thank you. Trish

  3. I’ve been on Ldn for a few months for a variety of symptoms (arthritis, anxiety/depression, and colitis). Although Im working on addressing the root of my colitis and SIBO, this stuff has been a complete miracle for me personally.
    I know people have said it could take awhile to work, but within days I was feeling better. I woke up after maybe the 3rd day in less pain, much less arthritis swelling, and maybe after a week I was feeling functional and felt a joy I have not felt in some time.
    Id say after 8 weeks its just been a complete crazy turnaround. After about 4 years of slowly increasing arthritic symptoms, etc. I really can’t believe I’m getting this much relief. I really hated the idea of taking any pharaceuticals but I have zero regrets for myself. The symptoms of taking it are few if none for me. I would only say that for the first few days I had a very mild insomnia, and I have vivid dreams(not nightmares) on it. The more vivid the dreams, the better I feel in the morning, which it interesting and I’m sure someone could explain why that is. In summary though, after trying lots of natural treatments, this has been the most dramatic.

  4. I have relapsing polychondritis and hashimoto’s am looking for a doctor in Phoenix, Arizona who prescribes LDN. I have been on a rigid autoimmune diet for a couple years which has helped, but I am still experiencing too many flares that are affecting my eyes. Can you recommend a doctor here? Thanks in advance.

    • Dr Petar Novakovic in Chandler AZ does. He is m y PC and I am just starting on it again. Tell him I sent you. I think he also has an office in Cave Creek if that is closer to you.

  5. I am wanting to start LDN for arthritic psoriasis and disc degenerative disease. I have had pain management mostly natural, over 30 years. My problem has been finding a doctor that could be willing to write a script, and then, it means monitoring the dose. I have been grain free, LCHF for over 5 years, and just started NatureThroid, luckily without antibodies. It seems the latest flare of psoriasis started up with the introduction of hypothyroid med, I cannot tolerate much more psoriasis pain without something, hopefully natural first.

  6. Is low-Dose Naltrexone available in Canada? I’m in Mexico until end of March and got the LDN from a doctor here in Puerto Vallarta. I take it for mainly Fibromyalgia and Graves’ disease which I was diagnosed with several years ago but did not continue with any medication.

  7. Thanks, very informative. I have had nerve problems in legs and butt. Relating to circulation both sitting and standing or turning in bed.. It is ongoing. That has been going on for over a yr. I take a capsule containing b vitamins and alphoic acid that seems to tone down a bit more tolerable.
    The last six weeks , lymph has leaked from both big toes, ears and neck, sleep is really erratic. This is an itching, burning at site and nerves. Anti histamine lessens itching, but nothing else. Started the paleo diet yesterday. Have an appointment with a new Dr. This week. Hope she is familiar with LDN. If she tests me and all confirms auto immune.

  8. Ive been on LDN for two months I have one last dose increase next week, I will be at 4.5mg then. I have no more IBS no more Autoimmune flare ups, no pain with Fibro, brain fog etc…… I am a 60 year old woman who has suffered with pain for over 15 years. I am now active happy and pain free. Ohh yeah I was poisoned last February with a prescription of Ciproflaxin to kill an over growth of Citrobacter Fundi I had horrible neuropathy pain of the feet and tendons I couldn’t walk with out help from my husband; LDN took all the pain away.

  9. I have been caught in a cycle of terrible daily migraines. My doc had me start ldn 7 mg to hopefully help relieve them. I’ve been on it a month and not sure I’m seeing much difference. Does anyone have any experience with ldn and migraine? (It works great for my sister @4.5 mg but she also has a mild form of MS)

    • I was started off with 5 mg then worked up 5 mg until I hit 4.5 mg. the small increases are due to the one side effect of sleeplessness which I found taking LDN late at night
      (10 pm and 12 am) helped tremendously.

  10. I have cluster migraines every year for extended periods of time. This is day 30 with the same painful, nauseating headache. My doc has started me on 7mg of LDN, I started taking it 4 days ago. I don’t think I’ve seen any dramatic changes yet. Does anyone here have any experience with LDN and migraines? (He started me on 7mg because he has a patient that is doing fantastic with it at that dose for migraine)

  11. Hi Chris I need help I have fibromyalgia for the last. 23 years and with last 3 years feeling worse.I am seeing a doctor next week who prescribes ldn for fibromyalgia.
    I also have another few issues which I am treating low b12 and low vitamin d and possible thyroid issue.would you mind looking at recent blood results. A fellow sufferer on a health website mentioned I need to add T3 to my system as I should be well with the ranges i am in.will Ldn help this issue or do i need to add T3.Thank you for all the amazing work you do helping where other doctors do not. I live in Ireland so ranges are in European format
    Regards Linda
    >> CRP 2.10 <3.0 mg/L

    Ferritin 76.9 20 – 150 ug/L

    Thyroid Function

    Free T4 L 11.34 12 – 22 pmol/L

    Free T3 6.02 3.1 – 6.8 pmol/L

    TSH 2.19 0.27 – 4.20 IU/L

    Reverse T3* 16.0 10 – 24 ug/L

    T4 Total 80.7 64.5 – 142.0 nmol/L

    Immunology

    Anti-Thyroidperoxidase abs 10.9 <34 kIU/L

    Anti-Thyroglobulin Abs 20.8 <115 kU/L

    Vitamins

    Vitamin D (25 OH) L 44 Deficient 175

    Vitamin B12 L 185 Deficient 725

    Serum Folate 12.27 10.4 – 42.4 nmol/L

    • I am on 3mg after working up to 4.5mg and it being to much! I feel great at 3mg. I used to be on T3 but as soon as I got my t4 levels sorted and got all grains out of my diet including the maize starch in my thyroid tablets I did not need any T3 (ironically that contained maize starch too so it definitely felt like I had the foot on the gas and brakes at the same time. Doing my genetics has also been a big piece of the puzzle as I do have homozygous snp’s on the MTHFR gene and it turns out I was deficient in a few of the B vitamins because I had low stomach acid (perhaps vicious circle due to low thyroid) but also turns out I tested positive for Pyroluria which cleaves my body of B6 and Zinc. After working to support my gene SNP’s and being on LDN now for over 6 months I am feeling fantastic with unbelievable brain and memory function. I am just about to get my Thyroid labs repeated as I am feeling a bit hyperactive and think I may need to reduce my thyroxine despite only being on 25mg any way. I take liquid thyroxine as it contains no grains as fillers ( I believe the fillers kept my sick for years until i finally figured out that even tiny traces of maize start caused an autoimmune reaction in me). I think you can get Tyrosint in the US which is also grain free. Hope this helps

  12. Hello, sorry to be joining this conversation so late. I am 44 years old I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Fibro, Chronic Fatigue, Degen disc disease , Narcolepsy, Spondylitis all over, and a host of other things. Most of these were not diagnosed until after I was 40. Even with Nucynta and Percocet in my daily pain regimine I am still dealing with Chronic and Severe acute pain every minute of everyday. So I haven’t given up I found a doc 2 hours from my home a Rhuemetologist who came highly recommend by a Naturopath. He has found Spondyloarthritis and fungus/mold disease very high in my body. So this doc just prescribed me Naltrexone 0.125 and a couple anti fungal things for the “mold disease” … I saw my primary care doc who I have been seeing for over 20 years yesterday and he said you can’t take that it will put you in withdrawal from your other meds. So I’m not sure what to do. After reading all your posts I feel like I am on such a low dose that maybe it would be ok…but I’m afraid now to start any of this as I can’t be in even a small amount more pain than I am already…it’s horribly debilitating and I am pretty much home bound so yea. I was a high school guidance advisor for almost 20 years before I was unable to work any longer due to all this. I have had a cervical and lumbar surgery, my shoulders and knees have multiple bone spurs and tears in them so I can (if I choose to accept) have more orthopedic surgeries any time. I am sero-negative for most autoimmune things though this doc believes I have Sjogrens most likely and SpA… Anyhow my question is can I take .0125 Naltrexone and my 200mg Nucynta, and 7.5/325 Oxycodone/Acetaminophen (Generic Percocet)?

    • Hi Lisa,

      Your PCP gave you accurate and verifiable information: Naltrexone will induce opioid withdrawal and you will also experience whatever pain the Nucynta and Percocet have been mitigating.

      The discomfort of withdrawal will be proportionate to the dosage and duration of your use of the opioids in question. If you’ve ever missed a day or two of your pain meds, you probably have some idea of what that feels like. There are alternative therapies of pain management which do not involve addictive meds. If you’re so inclined, *Full Catastrophe Living (Revised Edition): Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness* by Jon Kabat-Zinn is my recommendation. I suspect that both your naturopath and rheumetologist are familiar with this work.

      Once you’ve safely withdrawn from the opioids you may choose, with medical supervision, to “field test” the low-dose naltrexone. There is no way to predict which, if any, of your specific medical issues will be ameliorated by the LDN. (As a side note, if you haven’t already eliminated from your diet foods from the nightshade family you may want to discuss this with your docs.)

      I hope this has been helpful and that you find peace of mind and body.

    • your pain med wont work if you take LDN. give up your pain med’s for awhile LDN saved me from a life of pain.
      Nothing like it.

    • LDN in ultra low doses .5 mg to 1 mg have been shown to actually enhance Opioids so they work better but take them 6 hours apart from each other.

  13. What I’d like to know is: Is LDN good to take “preventatively”? My blood results show I’m quite positive (and increasing over time) for Sjorgen’s syndrome, but I have little to no symptoms. Doesn’t mean I won’t GET symptoms one day, though.

    So, should I wait to see if that ever happens (symptoms), or is LDN safe enough to begin taking proactively, just for good immune-regulatory health?

    Thank you!

    • Take the LDN.. as it Optimized your Immunity. However, you do not have to take it every day to benefit, if you are healthy. You could take it 3-5 days a week if you wanted.

      I’ve been on it 5 years and it immediately stopped severe hives I had for 8 years, plus I have not had any colds.

      • David K,
        Have you maintained a steady dosage or gone up and down at times. And if so what dosages have you had the best luck with?

      • David K – I also have hives.
        What type of hives were you diagnosed with before you started taking low dose LDN?
        How long before you saw your hives go away and have you every tried to not take LDN and then have your hives come back? Thank you!

  14. Hi

    I have Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and have been using LDN over 12 years with great success, I’m also the founder of the LDN Research Trust. Here is my story should anyone wants to hear how LDN saved me.

    I was so sick and life wasn’t worth living at this point I was told nothing could be done for me!

  15. I was diagnosed 26 years ago with CFS and recently with Fibromyalgia. I have spent unknown amounts of money on just trying to cope with everyday life over years of pain, cognitive problems and devastating weakness.
    I finally gave up trying every new therapy that was supposed to help my condition. Only by accident did I find out about LDN, through a conversation my sister had with an associate, who’s friend was taking LDN for fibromyalfia.
    It took 2 months to find a doctor who would prescribe LDN. My GP knew nothing about it. I called a compounding pharmacist who deals with LDN and miraculously I was informed that they knew of only a couple of doctors in Toronto, Canada who prescribed it. Well one of them turned out to be my Arthritic specialist. She prescribed it immediately and started me out with drops so that I could control my dosage to start with. CFS and Fibromyalgia sufferers have many sensitive reactions to so many meds that every new med is a challenge.
    I even let it sit in my refrigerator for a week before I started it because I was afraid I might go into a downward spiral again.
    I started at the lowest possible dose because I felt if i was going to have a reaction I would know immediately.
    From all that I have read such a low dose would have no effect. HOWEVER every one is different in their reactions.
    I started at .25ml and over the last three weeks I have upped it to .35ml. YES this low a dose has had an effect.
    My energy has improved at least 50% and the weakness and pain is improving daily. For me this is unbelievable. I can finally walk without shuffling through the pain. The biggest effect is, with the brain fog-It has cleared drastically.
    My goal is to get up to 1mg daily by the new year. I am taking it very slow and with great caution, because after 26 years of this devastating condition, I am finding the effects of LDN amazing and almost (dare I say it) miraculous.
    WHY do so few doctors know about this? So much suffering could be alleviated.
    I will keep updating on my progress with LDN.
    If I have to take it for Life, then I will.

    • awesome isnt it? I too am on LDN and amazingly I feel cured but know I will probably always have to take it to keep from sliding back into hell and pain.

  16. I too have been wondering about LDN and pregnancy. I called and left a message for the podcast months ago as well. Hoping to hear soon if it’s safe as I am taking it now and just found out I’m pregnant.

  17. I have been recently diagnosed with chronic as well as acute Lyme disease by a functional medicine Dr. She started me on Doxycyclene 100mg twice a day and Naltrexone 4.5mg at bedtime. She said I should see a specialist in Indianapolis but there is a 6 month wait. I have probably had these symptoms for 15 – 20 years. I was recently bit by a tick 3 months ago. Should I wait to see the Dr. In Indy that could be 6 months away or do you know of a Lyme literate Dr. in Indiana or Illinois that deals with chronic Lyme. I didn’t see much on this site on Lyme and Naltrexone. Is there anything more I should be doing? I am also on a Pobiotic (100,000 live cfu 2x’s a day) , 10,000 D3, CoQ10, Lipoic Acid.

    • Hi Dionn,

      I was also recently diagnosed with Lyme from my alternative health practitioner. To find a regular, lyme literate doctor, I found this link.
      http://ilads.org/ilads_media/physician-referral/

      If you go there and fill out the online form, they will email you 3 lyme literate doctors in your area. They take a few days to respond.

      Once I had my list, I had to do a Google search to find the doctors, as their phone numbers had changed. Sometimes they had joined a new office, too.
      I then recommend researching them to see if they will be a good fit for you. Of the 3 recos that I received, one just had reviews that he was a “nice guy”, but no mention of lyme treatment. Another, the doctor was treating lyme patients, but about half the reviews were really negative– strong complaints about the bureaucracy of the office and fees. I went with the 3rd doctor. He had a 4 month wait, also. But, the above URL might help, and at least you can keep taking the antibiotics until you see someone.

      Here is who I went with (in the northern suburbs of Chicago):
      Dr. Keith Berndtson
      Park Ridge, IL
      847 232-9800
      http://parkridgemultimed.com/

      Good luck!!!

      • Heather & Dionn,
        If you have Lyme you may want to check this device out :. http://www.spooky2.com. It is a Rife machine that is affordable [software is FREE] and has detailed protocols for Lyme + hundreds of other things. They are legally sold as frequency generators & kill pathogens without drugs. Also makes colloidal silver & has many other features. I am not affiliated; but am very happy with mine [ about $400 with shipping compared to 4-8K for most Rife products]. I have CFS/FM/MCS for 25 years & gastritis for 12. I am using this machine, LDN and Kratom at age 63 to get my life back.

  18. Hi there,
    Has anyone ever been prescribed LDN for high levels of bio toxins, most likely mold related? I also have lymes and hashimoto’s which is controlled with a low dose of WP thyroid. My doctor is considering having me take LDN and I just wanted to know if anyone out there has had any success in using LDN to combat high levels of biotoxins? Any input would be appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Erin

    • I have been told I have a mold related disease. I was so brain fogged at the time. I am getting a bit better. I did start ldn 2 weeks ago and am beginning to sleep better.

  19. Hi Chris-
    I, too, am interested in what you know about LDN during pregnancy. It’s been very difficult to find reliable information about this and I am pregnant and am taking LDN currently but am not entirely reassured by either my doctor’s information or the information I have found regarding the effect this can have on the baby. Thank you in advance for any information.

  20. I had a major fall (without going into it) in 1982 & without treatment for at least 15 years pain seems to have generalized throughout my body & am now diagnosed with FM, Chronic Pain & several others. Meds I take are: Duragesic Patch 75 mcgm/hour, clonazepam .5X2 2 qhs, mirtazapine 30 mg qhs, buproprion XL 300 mg qam, & ibuprofen 400 mg q4h. My pain level has not really been helped at all but I do get brain fog, ressless leg syndrome & other probs.
    If I was to start LDN it looks like I must stop at least the Duragesic (fentanyl) patches as it looks like they would fight each other. How do I make the switch with as little ‘upset’ as possible so I may experience the positive effects as described?

    • Simple answer: you need a doctor who is LDN savvy to help you. You can’t take opioids and LDN at the same time. SOme people can take Tramadol at different times of the day. Go to the LDN Trust website and their group on Facebook for support in finding a doc and compounding pharmacy.

  21. I have Fibro. I been taking LDN for 3 weeks my pain has reduced from 7 to 3 . I could not work out or even walk for more than 20 min because my feet were in pain . Now I can walk for an hour with less pain. I have some vivid dreams and I wake up several times but I fall sleep fast and I wake up with energy my mood is much better. I feel like a I m having my life back. THE SIDE EFFECTS ARE VERY MILD like crazy dreams and headache but goes away fast. I am grateful with god to put me this doctor in my way. I feel that I am having a break.. I am so happy. my doses is 4.5 mg and I start with the same dose.

    • this is great news! May I suggest you talk to your doc about trying a slightly reduced dose? Many people on LDN can find the “sweet spot” where the sleep disturbance is reduced but still good effects overall. Good luck!

  22. Hi!

    Finally got to listen to the PodCast on LDN, uninterrupted! You mentioned that LDN is a low cost medicine. My first prescription cost me over $175! It was for 21 capsules of 1.5 mg and 30 capsules of 4.5 mg. Seems out of the range that you quoted on this PodCast!

    My second comment is that I am having some side effects from this med. I started seeing an integrative doctor in Apr. I have Hashimoto’s. She has changed my thyroid meds from Armour to WP Thyroid. I’m also taking selenium, Enlyte, a multi vitamin, Omega 3, i Throid, Vitamin D3, and probiotics. LDN is the latest that has been added to this list. I started at 1.5 mgs for 1 week, then ramped up to 3.0 mgs for 1 week, then 4.5 mgs; which is where I am right now and have been for the last 3.5 weeks. I have not had a full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep for 3 weeks! I might be averaging about 3 hrs of sleep a night! Its taking its toll on me. I’m also having bizarre dreams and nightmares, and hot flashes, major fatigue, and mild headaches. Should I stop taking LDN? Should I reduce my dosage? Will I have to take this for the rest of my life?

    • Shelia,
      Did you shop around for pricing? I get 3 months of 3ml for $56 from Skip’s Pharmacy. I think they ship everywhere. Also wanted to mention I had the same issues with sleep in the beginning, I ended up having to take it first thing in the morning for about 3 months, then I switched back to right as I crawl into bed and no more problesm. And I wanted to mention I also have Hashi’s and barely made it to 3ml after 2 years, so be sure you aren’t going hyper and that is causing your sleep issues.

      • Hi, I get my LDN filled at Akina pharmacy in Chantilly, VA and I paid $140 for 180 4mg pills without fillers. I take one 4mg pill nightly around 9pm to support RA/PsA. It allowed me to go from being unable to lilft my arms due to excruciating pain for over 6 months to being able to lift my arms enough to put on a sweater. Gradually I regained my ability to chew, my throat stopped hurting and inner ear pain went away. This, along with an all vegetarian (raw veg/lightly cooked and NO oil at all of any sort) is bringing me back from a total invalild-like state to a functional individual. Akina is a terrific pharmacy and very responsive. They can make it into a cream, capsules or liquid. Capsules allow me to order several months at a time. Find a doctor who’ll prescribe it, have him/her call it in and since there is no issue with insurance one can fill three months at a time. I find it works best on an empty stomach, not to take it with iron pills and not eat anything afterwards.

    • check out my post above. Ther eis a FB group called “Got Endorphins? LDN…” and another one from the LDN Trust (UK Charity). If you go on there and talk to others you will find much cheaper options for buying LDN. One of the best is Skip’s Pharmacy in Florida which Dr Amy Nett told me about. You will also find that people with Hashi need to start VERY low and go slow, adjusting their thyroid medications as they go. They also can have Sx when they start LDN, which are not “side effects” but rather Symptoms from their disease as their body readjusts. Hang in there! There are many many people with HAshi and other autoimmune disease who call it a miracle drug.

    • Keep in mind that Armour has BOTH T-3 & T4 in it while synthetics have only T-4. If you are full of metals [who isn’t] or grew up on fluoridated water or took fluorinated drugs [go to http://www.slweb.org & click on FTRC link for a LONG list to avoid] these all block thyroid receptors including iodine uptake & deregulate enzymes that convert T-4 to T-3 . This may be your problem not the LDN.

      • I only pay 58.00 for 7mg, ask your doc to prescribe from Skips Pharmacy in Fl…there are not many compounding pharmacies that make ldn. Skips is a well known reliable source. I think you got fleeced..

      • The price of LDN seems to vary from country to country.
        I live in Toronto Canada and am still using the liquid drops which cost approx $55.00 Canadian for 60mls. This lasts me close to 3 months .I only take about .75 ml a day. and I am building at a snail’s pace to 1ml. per day.

        It seems like a ridiculous price for the medication.
        I hope you have found a better resource.

      • hi Barb. I live in spokane too. Do you have a doctor here that knows about LDN? Im willing to go to Seattle to some specialists but of course, would rather stay here. Thank you

    • Hi
      Looking at all the posts maybe the 4.5mg is too strong. inform your doctor and maybe he/she ca lower the dose

      All of the best
      blessings

      • I just filled my prescrip for 3 mos LDN. (For migraines)
        I get it from Skips compounding pharmacy in Florida. It is around 35.00 per mo. for 4.5 mg. Skips is fantastic! They take the time to answer questions and will ship right away.
        Whoever sold you ldn for 175.00 seriously scammed you! There are about 8-10 reputable pharmacies in the USA that are trusted sources.
        Good luck!

  23. hi!
    i have a question- what are the negatives of taking slow release ldn? i feel crappy, moody and tired….and i just realized I am on slow release! (for 12 days) could it be blocking my endorphins for to long of time?

    • Hi Lisa,

      All data says, “no slow release,” that I have seen. Hope that helps!

      “For LDN to work, the full LDN dose must be delivered to the body in one go. Transdermal delivery methods by nature result in slow continuous delivery of a drug. This will result in continuous opiate receptor blockade – quite the opposite of the purpose of LDN which is to deliver a very short term blockade in order to create the beneficial rebound effect”
      –LDNScience.org Q&A

      From http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/:

      “IMPORTANT: Make sure to specify that you do NOT want LDN in a slow-release form.

      Reports have been received from patients that their pharmacies have been supplying a slow-release form of naltrexone. Pharmacies should be instructed NOT to provide LDN in an “SR” or slow-release or timed-release form. Unless the low dose of naltrexone is in an unaltered form, which permits it to reach a prompt “spike” in the blood stream, its therapeutic effects may be inhibited.

      Fillers. Capsules of LDN necessarily contain a substantial percentage of neutral inactive filler. Experiments by the compounding pharmacist, Dr. Skip Lenz, have demonstrated that the use of calcium carbonate as a filler will interfere with absorption of the LDN capsule. Therefore, it is suggested that calcium carbonate filler not be employed in compounding LDN capsules. He recommends either Avicel, lactose (if lactose intolerance is not a problem), or sucrose fillers as useful fast-release fillers.

      > IMPORTANT: Make sure to fill your Rx at a compounding pharmacy that has a reputation for consistent reliability in the quality of the LDN it delivers.”

      Lisa in Alaska

      • LDN should be compounded by a pharmacy given in 5 mg doses slowly until you reach 4.5 mg. My Dr. said every two weeks go up 5 mg, I ended up increasing LDN every week since I had pain come back before two weeks came around.

      • Hi Lisa, Have you tried the compounding pharmacy in Fairbanks? They told me they make LDN regularly and I am wondering about the quality. Thanks

  24. You mentioned this drug for cancer. Im recently diagnosed SCLC and am afraid of chemo and radiation. I have seen some on a support group I am on that are taking this as palliative care, and doing well on it for years!! Can this be true for me and how would I get my doctor to prescribe it for me? thank you

  25. Hey folks, great discussion.

    My wife has MS and we have been fighting this with a Paleo and more recently Auto Immune Paleo diet for a little under five years. It was going great till a year ago when my wife’s father had a terrible accident and after two torturous weeks passed away.

    This was a very stressful and upsetting time. There are family issues as well and things had not always been great between them yet they were very much on the mend. There is lots of sadness over what could have been as I am sure there are always are in these instances.

    We have found a few problems creeping back in: fatigue, some renewals of old symptoms and a few new ones and small relapses. With all of this going on we have been considering looking at the drug options and LDN as a compliment to everything else we do seems like the best place to start.

    My one concern with LDN was that this was it – once you start you have to walk this path for life. With no drugs so far and not even steroids we were not keen to do this but I feel we need a little extra help for a while.

    One thing that I found very interesting was that this does not have to be a forever thing and that if we can use LDN to get this under control then we can try and dial it down and even possibly get off the LDN.

    I will certainly feedback on our progress.

    Regards,
    Marcus

    • My sister (51) has ms, she has been on ldn for at least 5 or 6 yrs, it has saved her from ALL symptoms including debilitating migraines. From what I understand it is considered by many doctors including my own, to be a miracle drug with no side effects. It helps modulate the immune system to work better!
      Hope that helps

  26. Back in April, Renee posted these links. I have joined the LDN one and most of the questions people have posted to Chris here can be put to the group there. There is a wealth of experience there from people who have been on LDN for long and short periods of time and with many different conditions.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/GotEndorphins/ Great group of folks to support and learn about LDN from personal stories and experiences.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/LDN4Hashi/ For Hashi folks who want to learn or help support others on LDN

  27. Hey, so in the Podcast Chris said that LDN has been shown to help Crohn’s and many other autoimmune disease. I have UC and was wondering if its been found that help that? I was diagnosed almost two years ago, after a year no medication had worked for me so i stopped taking all the meds. Started SCD went into complete Remission after 4 months that lasted for 4 months and now ive been in a flare for the past month and a half. Seems to just be getting worse and still stick strictly to the SCD. Im considering the LDN after listening to the podcast. I also live in CT and would be looking for a doctor in the state thats familiar with LDN. Thanks for your support

    • HI Tim,
      scroll down and you will find a link to a Facebok group of people using LDN. Every day someone posts ” I have this condition do others have experience with it and LDN?” It’s quite a good resource and since there really aren’t actual protocols, old timers can offer good advice on dosage and increasing etc. My personal opinion is give it a try. If you are already working with SCD and clearly interested in more than the standard medications can offer, many people report great benefit, sometimes immediately and sometimes over time. Good luck!

  28. Just to add myself to the anecdotes:-)

    I have SLE (lupus) and it was very serious @21yo (1987) (and then Immuran, immune-suppressive nearly killed me). I got kidney involvement at 25 (1 year of cyclophosphamide) and this was a few years into a diet/supplement regime that was quite close to what is now called AIP Paleo. I believe that my diet and lifestyle focus over the years has kept me relatively well for someone with severe lupus. I was on Prednisone for 13 years but have had no drugs for my lupus (not even Plaquenil) since 2000…

    That is, until I started LDN about 18 months ago when I had a lupus flare affecting my kidneys. I declined the immune suppression this time (Mycophenalate and prednisone) and started on 3mg of LDN, took a homeopathic (that I do believe helped) and spent 10 weeks in Tasmania focusing on self care. My kidney disease reversed. I went off the LND for a few months and then had a joint flare early 2015. I’m back on it and have gone up to 4.5mg. Just about to retreat my kidneys and Anti DNA binding antibody to see how I’m going.

    I say to anyone with autoimmune disease: give LDN a try and experiment with different doses. Some people on here have even spoken about experimenting with a daytime dose. I am imagining I will stay on some dose of it for the foreseeable future, maybe forever. I think we have nothing to lose (except all those heavy duty medications) and so much to gain. Grateful for this community to keep up the conversation.

    It’s especially heartening to read the stories of the people with MS and RA with LDN. Thankyou!

  29. I am a research subject that Nova Southeastern University’s Neuro immunology department. I have 4 antibodies present as well as Hashimoto’s, Sjogren’s syndrome, CFS, Fibromyalgia. LDN has been miraculous for me. I am still on 1.5 because I get the rattles with any more. At my team’s request, I also went on 23andme.com and livewello.com to decode my raw genome data. I do have SNP rs1799971 in OPRM1 AG. A complete non-processed, organic plant strong diet coupled with the LDN has been life changing. Still, it’s a constant work in progress. One thing of note. I have not experienced any change in my thyroid condition. have not had to lower my dose…but haven’t had to raise it either.
    Thank you so much for taking interest and sharing this incredible information.

    • Hi Karen: I have Hashcimoto’s Thyroiditis with extremely elevated antibodies. I provided my GP with information about LDN use for this condition. She denied prescribing this for me. Can you or anyone else in the conversation, herein, recommend or direct me to reputable compounding pharmacy in US or in Europe where I can purchase this without a prescription? Or, to a well known. reputable doctor in US who I can work with who will prescribe LDN for me. In help will be appreciated.
      Thank you, Paula Thompson

      • there re no pharmacies in the US that can supply LDN without a prescription. But you can ask a local reputable compounding pharmacy for doctors who prescribe. We do not recommned overseas/internet sources. Take a look at the LDN Trust website and Facebook group and also a Facebook group called Got Endorphins LDN… there are many many people there who will help you. PS HAshimoto is a condition where you want to start low (.5mg and build up slowly. They often have exacerbations and Sx come up and also have to monitor thier thyroid meds carefully as they can quite quickly need less.

    • Karen- You wrote, “. At my team’s request, I also went on 23andme.com and livewello.com to decode my raw genome data. I do have SNP rs1799971 in OPRM1 AG.”

      Could you talk more about that SNP and how it relates to LDN?

      Robert

      • Karen, I had the same question. I have OPRM1 genotype AA and Phenotype -/-. I’m trying to figure out if it is likely to work for me. I’ve read on 23 and me that Naltrexone would be unlikely to work for me in terms of opiod detox. But does that me the same would be true for LDN? The goals are different. Thanks.

  30. My physician started me on 4.5 mg of LDN back in November of 2014. At the time my TPO antibodies were 436 iu/ml and my THY Ab was 6043. Blood work done this week shows my TPO @ 131.8 and my THY Ab at 141. I can’t believe how much it has come down. Unfortunately, I’m not feeling any better but I am so encouraged by the results and know that I am working with a great MD who is on the right track! After reading this article, I am prepared to give up the gluten to see if I feel better. I have been reluctant to do so thus far.

  31. Hi Chris! I have Scleroderma with recently diagnosed heart/lung involvement and a recent trial of Methotrexate was not tolerated due to its affect on my liver. I also have esophageal and gut dysmotility and SIBO. I’ve been eating Paleo AIP for 2 years.

    This was a great article with good information and it gives me new hope! Are you able to provide any links to recent scholarly articles referencing LDN use in various autoimmune diseases? I plan to address this as a possible treatment with my Rheumatologist and a recent pertinent article would help. Thank you so much!

  32. Chris, can you post the links to the research on LDN and specific diseases, especially Crohn’s? I’m also curious if LDN would be helpful for folks tapering off of steroids from treating autoimmune diseases.

  33. I have Auto Immune Hepatitis. I have been on prednisone therapy since being diagnosed in 1999. Is this a condition which could be helped by using this therapy? I am under the care of a liver specialists at Duke. I need something that I can tolerate other than prednisone or in combination with. The long term use of prednisone is taking a tole. I developed diabetes not long after starting the prednisone therapy. It did save my life but I need a change.

    ?

    • Hi Ruth, I have SLE (lupus) which has been lufe threatening in the past. I have been on LDN for about 18 months. I’m pretty sure it helped me reverse kidney lupus. I went off it for a few months, had a joint flare and am now back on. I have taken 3mg and 4.5. I believe that since there are no side effects except sleep disturbance or intense dreams (and a pleasant side effect of mood improvement) there is no reason not to try it. I was on prednisone for 13 years and also a year of cyclophosphamide.

      • Hello, My Mom has been on prednisone for 12 years for Lupus. She wants to try the LDN but is afraid to stop prednisone. Where can I find info on taking both or the transition? I’m successfully taking LDN for Brain Cancer.

  34. Hey. Great show, as always. Just an aside… the opening theme song sucks. It’s too much like elevator music. I liked the old sleuthing theme you all had. Bring it back! 🙂

  35. Hi Chris,

    Could you please be more specific about LDN working on “opioid hormones”? Which ones? enkephalins? endorphins? dynorphins? all three?

    If it’s mainly working on the endorphin pathways, would d-phenylalanine (which boosts endorphin production) be contraindicated?

  36. I have tried LDN with no results after a month without side effects, but then reintroduced it and it seemed to work immediately w/ insomnia and dry eye side effects. I had so much more energy and I was completely pain free. The most interesting thing is that it gradually stopped working a week after starting it. I started at 1.75mg and doubled it after the 1st week, but did not seem to improve anything. I have sense tried to reintroduce it again, but haven’t been able to achieve the same benefiting affects.

  37. I tried LDN for my hypo-hashi. It was a daunting experience. I woke up several times a night for two months and could not take the interrupted sleep anymore. I got to 3.0 mg but had to stop to get back my sleep. Did anyone else have this experience?

    • The original doc suggests a dose between 1.75-4.5 mg. Did you try reducing to a dose that didn’t bother you?

    • Yes! I had that experience and have Hashimoto’s along with other A I disorders. I started to take it at 12:00 noon and no problems at all. I only need 1.5 because I get the rattles if I take any more. It does cause some activity in the brain so taking it at night could cause insomnia. I have been on it for over a year and it has been a miracle. Good luck!

  38. LDN sounds exactly what I need. I have Hashimotos and Graves eye disease. I am currently on Levothyroxine 88mg and would like to transition to Natural Dessicated Thyroid. I have heard that NDT can raise the antibodies but if taken with LDN they can be lowered or kept in check. Any thoughts on this? Where in the heck can I find a Doctor that can help me with this..I’m in a small rural North Carolina town….

    • Donna, i don’t know how far you are from GA…but there’s a doctor here in Lawrenceville who has me on NatureThroid and is also working with other patients on low dose Naltrexone…
      Jeanine at [email protected] if you want more info..

    • I was on Naturethroid for hypothyroidism and Hashi. After about a year, I ended up with Graves and hyperthyroidism. Started LDN after about 6 months which appears to be working. I blame the dessicated pig thyroid for my Graves antibodies. Wish I only did LDN in the first place.

  39. Anyone know why Carnitine would be low? I am primarily a grass fed beef and vegetable diet, paleo because I have gluten sensitivity. A metabolic doctor found no reason for low carnitine. He said I should supplement with carnitine because I pass a lot through urination. I have chronic fatigue (with muscle fatigue), initiated by an EBV infection. I’ve decided to try LDN and currently have a script being called into a compounding pharmacy for 4.5 mg. Do you think the LDN will help and if so, how?

  40. As a Nutritional Practitioner with Rheumatoid Arthritis I had been on Methotrexate for 15 years and was desperate for an alternative. I felt very ill when I first took LDN and had to slow the dose down more than was initially recommended. I stayed on it for 3 months going up to 5.5mg with no change, but I did became very depressed which I’m not sure was down to LDN or due to the pain I was in as a result of not being on Methotrexate. It doesn’t work for all.

  41. One possible caution, from a case study cited in a medical journal:

    “ITP is defined as thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) with normal bone marrow findings and the absence of other causes of thrombocytopenia…. Naltrexone, used against opioid dependency, was found to increase the risk of developing ITP in the initial marketing studies. LDN is usually taken at a dosage of about 10% of what was given in the initial studies…. Advocates of LDN use have typically pointed out that this medication is completely safe and without any serious side effects. [However,] As this case presentation demonstrates, LDN could possibly predispose to an increased risk of developing ITP.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4204226/

    • Pharma and the gov’t are glad to prescribe naltrexone at high doses (50mg). There is no incentive to approve very small doses that can help conditions that are already profiting from other more expensive drugs. LDN does not help everyone but is remarkably helpful for some in reducing their suffering. I appreciate your post so I can research this, but why is pharma and the gov’t not doing anything about the fact that prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death (stated in the FDAs own website) not to mention numerous serious side effects and drugs causing other diseases?

      • Also, I’m confused by your post because you say the study says Naltrexone used for opioid dependency increased risk of ITP. This would be a much higher dose than LOW dose naltrexone (LDN). LDN is not used for drug or alcohol dependency, the higher dose around 50 mg is.

  42. Chris –

    Thank you, again, for providing a thorough analysis and keeping us in-the-know! Any thoughts on using this for histamine intolerance?

    Thank you!

    Jessica

    • I am also curious about this. I suffer from histamine intolerance/excess, manifesting itself in the from of eczema and other rash-like symptoms. Followed a low histamine diet for a few months, symptoms improved but are not altogether gone. I am planning to start LDN shortly.

  43. Have been taking LDN since May, 2011 for ulcerative colitis. Started taking 4.5mg and switched to 3mg in Nov., 2013. My symptoms came back in Jan., 2015.

    Should I consider going back to 4.5mg?
    Or, should I reduce even further?
    How do you determine the best dose?

    • Hi Craig, my understanding is that the recommended dose is 1.75-4.5mg. It’s an individual matter as to what works for you. You didnt say why you switched down to 3mg from 4.5mg? Were you having sleep disturbance?

  44. Hi Chris, I see that naltrexone is not available in South Africa but Naloxone is. Would this be a good substitute?

  45. I have Hashimoto’s and CFS and have been on 1ml of LDN for some time, ( I get the liquid from Skip’s pharmacy in Florida in order to titrate my dose). I switched to day time dosing for awhile until I got my Armour dose more regulated. Now I’m trying to increase my dose very slowly and dosing at bedtime again, the dreams are horrible. Vivid and disgusting. Do you know if this is a sign of a compromised brain blood barrier and is there a way to heal this if so?

    • Vivid dreams or nightmares are a potential side effect of LDN that some people experience. Perhaps you could try titrating up your dose even slower. Such as taking 4-6 weeks to get from 1/2 mg up to 3 mg as tolerated.

  46. With regards to who does well on LDN and who doesn’t… there was a comment made on the MTHFR Support Facebook page that may hold some insights. If you’ve had genetic testing from 23andme you could look up your alleles in your raw data:

    “For all of my LDN people out there. People with the G allele for OPRM1 rs1799971 have a better outcome when using naltrexone than people with the A allele. This study was done on naltrexone and not the low dose. Here is what 23andme states:

    As part of a much larger study, researchers studied the effect of genetics on naltrexone effectiveness in treating alcohol dependence by comparing 146 patients who received naltrexone to 161 who received a placebo. All 307 patients also received counseling about adherence to their medication plans. The researchers found that SNP rs1799971 in the OPRM1 gene influenced the likelihood that a person taking naltrexone would have a “good clinical outcome,” which was defined by either abstinence or moderate drinking without problems. Patients with a G at one or both copies of rs1799971were more than five times as likely to have a good clinical outcome compared to those with the AA genotype. ~~Sterling…”

    • Interesting. I just carefully looked over my entire genetic report that I uploaded on Sterling’s site, mthfrsupport.com, and I can’t find reference of any gene or SNP that you mentioned above. Your thoughts on that?

      • I just signed onto 23andme and entered a search for this SNP. It shows AG. My mother is AA and father is GG, so I guess I’ve got a 50/50 shot. Lol

    • From a study published in May 2015:

      “The results of this study do not support the hypothesis that the Asp40 allele moderates the response to naltrexone treatment. It is premature to use the Asn40Asp polymorphism as a biomarker to predict the response to naltrexone treatment of alcohol dependence.”

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25760804

  47. Thanks for the great article.
    It’s extremely important to start at a very low dose of 0.5 mg and stay there for a week or more before you increase another 0.5 mg. By being patient and very slowly increasing the dose, it’s easier in the long run to find the dose that works best for you. I slowly worked my way up to 3 mg, then ended up discovering that 2.5 mg. was the best dose for me. It’s so individual.
    I use a great compounding pharmacist. It’s also important to check what the pharmacist is using for fillers. All those capsules of LDN also have fillers. The standard filler most often used is lactose. If you, like me, don’t tolerate dairy, then taking LDN with lactose is not going to be helpful. You can request your pharmacist use acidophilus powder instead of lactose as the filler.
    I took my LDN before bed for a long while, but for me it seemed that my dreaming stayed more intense and I was sometimes waking with headaches. I read about some people doing better taking it in the morning. I decided to give it a try and I had success. So now I always take it first thing in the morning after waking. That’s what is working best for my body. I encourage others to see how LDN is going to work best for their individual body.

    • As someone with myasthenia gravis, it would be helpful to know what condition you have that led you to trying LDN.

      Thank you!

  48. I disagree with this one statement Chris .. I say and feel from my groups website *noted above and forum research. If you are using LDN for auto immune or fibro/CFS, M.E. M.S i would certainly NOT get off LDN test if you are better ! NO WAY I know some who have gotten off for a bit of time and got worse and sadly they never got back to the level of health they had when started it before. For many its a life long treatment folks

    • Thank you for your post! I had not even thought of that, but it fits with a relative who stopped for a while and got worse than before taking it.

      • Also, if it’s a life-long treatment we need *long term* studies on side effects to weigh the risks/benefits. And studies would have to include the percentage of people who, if they stop taking it, got worse than before ever taking it (to rule out whether it’s a coincidence or a real risk).

  49. Great podcast, Chris. You talked about how a dose of 4.5 mg is the high end rage for LDN and some people may not do well with that an need less. My questions is how do you know if 4.5 mg is too much? Would autoimmune symptoms increase? Or would there be some of the side effects you mentioned like insomnia. I have M.S. and my doctor is willing to prescribe it, but she has little experience with it clinically. Thank you!

    • Most people start low and then increase until they have sleep disturbance, obviously while also monitoring their Sx. the range is 1.75-4.5 mg. Someone above suggested to move up very slowly. I don’t think more is better. It’s just a matter of working out what dose works for you. (I have SLE)

  50. I learned about LDN from the Yahoo group and ordered some pills from online and dissolved them in water the way others have described. Later on I got my doctor to Rx it from a compounding pharmacy which was much more expensive. It was $80 for a 3 month supply. I had heard that it would shrink a goiter and I had a really big one. It did help somewhat with the goiter, but not a lot. What really shrank my goiter was a homeopathic (Boiron brand is ok) preparation of Bromium 6C taken twice a day.

    The only side effect I noted from the LDN was the vivid dreams and sleep disturbance which didn’t last long at all. I always took the LDN right before bed, but do whatever works best for you.

  51. Chris – thank you for this exciting article! You mentioned LDN + fertility; what have you found in your research and experience about LDN + pregnancy for expecting mothers with autoimmune conditions?

  52. I have chronic Lyme disease and coinfections, and had Hashimotos for decades. My Lyme doc put me on LDN beginning at 1 mg for a week, adding 1 mg each week until I got to 4.5mg. I can’t say I noticed any difference at first, and I was on/off antibiotics and now use herbals, so it’s hard to tease out what effect the LDN may be having but overall I am nearly back to normal. I don’t use a compounding pharmacy. It’s about $10/ month to get the 50mg tablets and quite easy to dissolve one in 50 ml of filtered water, stir until dissolved and the pharmacy gave me a dosing syringe (like you use with kids liquid meds). Easy to draw up the dose exactly to what you need. Store the rest in the frig in a jar. I have a good compounding pharmacy where I live but they told me it was cheaper to do it this way, and works just as well. Most measuring cups have metric on one side, so I use that to measure the 50 ml of water. Swirl one tablet in the water until is dissolves, then draw up the amount you need in the dosing syringe. It tastes bitter, but drink something right afterward. Not a big deal for me. I’ve been on it nearly a year and suspect I’ll take it the rest of my life.

    • I should add that my doc (an integrative MD) told me it is very important to take the LDN before bedtime because some process it affects occurs in the early morning hours, around 2 or 3. She said if I took it some other time, it would not be as effective. I’m sorry; I wish I could remember the process she mentioned, but I only know she said it was important to take it at night before bedtime. I haven’t had any insomnia from it; didn’t even know that was a possible side effect.

  53. Must Clarify my last warning: Chris’s gut health advise is on spot! He needs to stay out of the world of psychotropics and is not qualified to endorse their use. He is not considering all the negative effects that rob you of your quality of life and addict you to yet another drug. Just do the right thing and you can live a full and vibrant life!!

    • Mr. Mason, I have been doing my best to support gut health, via people like Dr. Kresser and following an AIP diet. However, with my stressful lifestyle, I still struggle with following it to a T. I have Hashimoto’s, and at times, I have extreme hives. When I first read his article about LDN, I asked my doctor, and we gave it a try. I did not want to take steroids which work beautifully well, as I know the long term effects of steroids. After trying LDN for awhile, I am blown away at how much it has helped. I have not experienced the first negative side effect. I do not consider it a psychotropic which I am adamantly against. So, please, explain your comments and provide a link to scientific evidence which suggests LDN is something I should get off of due to negative long term effects. Thank you for your warning.

  54. Hi Chris,

    I’m very disappointed that you are endorsing the use of this or any drug that negatively effects the neuroendocrine system. I get people off of legal and illegal drugs and it, even with the best of biological medicine, is hard. Naltrexone shuts off positive emotions associated with the neurotransmitters it shunts and provides a perceived way out of doing the right thing to get well. Until many times the drug has taken its toll and it’s too late. People go “flat” on this drug and it negatively impacts their health, digestion, motility, etc. There is a high price paid for taking any drug and dismissing doing the right things for your health which you usually promote. I’m stunned with this blog. Anyone reading would be wise to take his gut health advise and his promotion of drugs with extreme caution.

    • I’m sorry to be blunt but it’s clear from your post that you don’t know ANYTHING about LDN, only Naltrexone. It’s important to understand that LDN is NOT made the same way that regular Naltrexone is made; it’s not just a much lower dose, it’s a different formulation altogether. LDN is ALWAYS compounded in a quick-release formula ONLY, and is taken at bedtime, so it’s only active for a very few hours while you’re sleeping. There is ZERO “flat effect”. I’ve been taking it successfully for my Relapsing Remitting MS for over 10 years.

  55. Does anyone know if prn helps postheretic pain after shingles? I have this and I can handle it with Norco (Vicodin) and Gabapentin. But there doesn’t seem like the end is in sight and I want to get off these drugs. Also I know of a friend who is in unbelievable pain from this and drugs don’t touch it. Anyone?

  56. It is significantly cheaper to get a prescription for the 50 mg tablets, and to grind a single tablet at a time with a mortar and pestle. Dipping a fingertip in the ground LDN will result in 2 to 4 mg. At a low cost (usually covered by insurance), you can afford to “play” with a tablet (which you can later discard) to see how many times dipping your fingertip will remove a dose. For example, for a dose of 2-mg each, you would need to remove 25 doses. Just divide the 50 mg per tablet by the number of milligrams you wish to achieve per dose. The taste on the tongue is somewhat bitter, but it is a small dose and the taste easily washed away with water.

  57. I have been taking 3 mg of LDN for 6 years for my MS. This is the only drug I take. I also am gluten free, low dairy (it took me a while to figure out how much dairy I could consume to keep symptoms at bay-not much!) and low sugar(if I had better will-power I would be no sugar!). I love the LDN and have had no side effects besides a little insomnia when I first started taking it. I have had no progression in my MS though if I slack on my diet I do have low energy levels. I do feel a good diet is essential for the LDN to do its work and am under no illusions that it will keep me healthy all on its own.

  58. I’ve had severe rheumatoid arthritis for over 20 years and have been on every RA drug out there at one time or another. Some worked for awhile, others didn’t work, most had side effects that were so horrible that I had to stop taking them. It was finally my endocrinologist – not rheumatologist – who suggested LDN back in 2010. I’ve been on it since then with pretty good results. The best part is no side effects because If you’ve been dealing with horrible side effects for 15 years, to have none is such a blessing. I started at 3.5 mg then 4.5 mg, which worked for a couple years. Then I went into a flare up of RA symptoms and my endo upped it to 10mg, which he said is the highest possible dose. Is it perfect? No, I still have slow erosion of my joints – but I did while on methotrexate, rituxan, enbrel, etc,etc too. If you’re on the fence about trying LDN for an autoimmune condition – my advice is don’t hesitate. Give it a try. It started working for me within 3 weeks and that was while the rituxan was still in my system. Highly recommended.

  59. I have been using LDN for 1 year now, and I have Hypo-pituitary. The LDN has supported my cortisol needs by raising my ACTH from 11 to 22 and consequently my cortisol is now normal. The LDN also, from the first day I used it, has relieved my chronic depression of years and years – over 15 at least. LDN has changed my life.

    • Could I ask you to tell us why you are hypo-pituitary? This is actually a big area of investigation in problems where patients have reduced messages (ACTH) to the adrenal glands. Your experience would be very helpful. Thanks

      • Dr. Rampling, please excuse me if this is a dumb question, but is being hypo-pituitary similar to Addisons (or does it lead to it)? Or is that not a messaging problem, but rather a problem within the adrenals? I have some experience with routine ACTH testing for Cushing’s (for an animal actually), but I’d like to understand more about the whole messaging and cortisol under- or over-production processes.

  60. I have Hashimotos and, with diet (gf/dr/grain free) on a low dose Armour. But I’m still not quite “there”yet. Not even sure what being “there” means anymore it’s been so long since I felt great. What are the improvements I would feel with LDN? To know it working. When I asked to be put back on meds, I was on levoxyl, went off and changed diet, then asked to try Armour, I don’t really feel a change. So, how do I know if LDN is working?

    • LDN helped to shrink my goiter – a little. I got a lot of shrinkage though from Bromium 6C, in fact it’s still shrinking. I was on the LDN for about a year.

    • Jenn — I also have Hashimoto’s and do the auto-immune Paleo diet and my physician, (whom I met at Chris K’s book launch last year, so who keeps up with his work) switched me from Armour to Nature-throid, which like Armour is also not synthetic, but which has different constituent elements from Armour. I gotta tell you — my life changed within the first month! My energy rebounded back and I’ve been so grateful. So please do yourself and the people in your life a favor and do some research on Nature-throid and ask your MD to try you on it for a few months. I think there are several companies that make it — it’s cheap like Synthroid so it must be out-of-patent.

      Good luck!

  61. I have researched this and have experience with a family member, so your article caught my eye. I wrote a comprehensive article as a guest blog for the Healthy Home Economist on this subject. It can be found there or at my site Holistic Health to Go. Thanks for sharing this important information. http://www.ldnscience.org/find-a-doctor is a link to help find a doctor to prescribe LDN. I appreciate your explanation of how LDN works. It is certainly a safer and more effective alternative treatment for many individuals.

  62. I smell another N=1 experiment here for Hubby and LDN–his immune system isn’t in overdrive, as mine is from arthritis, but rather, he has the opposite problem: a naturally low immune system which I now bolster with probiotics, vitamins, and zinc. He also has a chronic pain issue stemming from an ankle injury (missing cartilage, nerve damage), and is currently on Nucynta (for work–non-drowsy), Tramadol (for home–drowsy), and Gabapentin (all at top levels)–the usual gang of painkillers either don’t touch the pain, or knock him out (his only TRUE relief from pain). His next stops are Lyrica and/or fusing the ankle (which would affect his walking). We looked into an ankle replacement, and were told he wasn’t bad enough. Like CONSTANT pain isn’t bad enough?

    If I can find a doc who’s willing to play along and write a prescription for LDN, I’d like for Hubby to give it a whirl, because the nerve damage of the ankle injury sounds like maybe this could solve his problems…or not. He already takes fish oil and curcumin for generalized inflammation, but it isn’t helping his ankle much.

  63. Thank you for a great article Chris. I have a Facebook group called Living with Achalasia. Given your comments about the Crohn’s research and LDN, as well as the low risk with proper monitoring, I am excited about the possibilities for the Achalasia community. I have never heard of anyone using LDN for Achalasia. Given that the standard medical treatments (dilation, myotomy, esophagectomy – I’ve had them all myself) do not address the cause of Achalasia and are quite barbaric, LDN seems worth a try. I have written a book called Living With Achalasia – a free download from http://www.LivingWithAchalasia.org. I would love to discuss this with you.

    Thank you!

    Dr. Steve

    • I have achalasia. Have you read about the new POEM procedure? Apparently it’s a less invasive myotomy without the need for fundoplication. My doctor keeps pressuring me to get the Heller myotomy, but no way am I doing that. I’ll wait for the POEM procedure to become more commonplace, or just do nothing.

  64. I’ve used LDN in my practice with varying success, think it’s too early to tell and some patients just won’t modify their diet (gluten and dairy free) no matter what!

  65. I have a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and I recently tried to take LDN. My challenge was that I had extreme dizziness so that I could not walk, blurred vision and pulsing in my eyes, increased heart rate, and swelling in hands feet and face. It did reduce spasticity almost entirely and that was wonderful. I just couldn’t get past the symptoms. I even tried a much lower dose. The first dose was 3 mg and the second round/trial was .5 mg. Is this common? Is this an allergic reaction? Is it something that will go away over time if I just keep at it? I’m just wondering because there is not a lot of research about it that talks about these types of side effects. My neurologist also did research and did not find any indication that the side effects were common. I am using the strict autoimmune protocol diet which has been extremely successful but my neurologist was trying to add a layer of support and healing to my condition.

    • Julia, I experienced severe dizziness and nausea when I tried 1.5 mg dosing of LDN. It was so bad I quit after just 2 days. I still don’t know if it was a reaction to the LDN or maybe the filler. Haven’t had the nerve yet to retry it.

  66. I have known about LDN for years. Always wondered if it could help a person with muscle and tendon inflammatory chronic pain where autoimmune doesn’t seem to be the reason. Any thoughts?

    • Hello
      I have polymyalgia rheumatica and have been on prednisone for a year . Tapering down from 60mg I have finally landed on 10 mg. and can “Manage” my pain at that level. Also have hypothyroidism.
      I have been very frustrated in not feeling well and very frustrated in gaining 30 lbs. As well as helping us cope with our pain I have also heard that LDN can help with weight loss.
      Has anyone experienced that positive side affect?

      • Patti,
        Did you ever try LDN for your Polymyalgia Rhuematica and Thyroid disease? I am curious if it helped? I’ve had Hashimoto’s for several years but just a few months ago developed PMR. Feeling discouraged!

  67. Great article with important information! I was diagnosed with MS and chronic Lyme about five years ago. After treatment for Lyme, I started LDN. This is the only prescription I take. And I combine it with a mainly gluten free, low grain, high nutrient diet…and supplementatiin with many of the vitamins you mentioned. I also believe whole heartedly in lifestyle factors such as sleep, movement, stress reduction, etc. I have not had a relapse since my diagnosis except for one instance of uveitis…and that occurred when I ran out of LDN for two weeks. I am so glad that you are covering this so that more people might have access to it!

  68. I would be most interested if LDN has been tried by anyone who has antiphospholipid syndrome and whether they could reduce their coumadin medication.

  69. I can’t wait to listen to this, Chris. I really appreciate your work, and I often swing by your site just to check and see if you’ve posted on this yet — and what a happy surprise I got this morning! Thank you.

  70. I too would like to find a doctor who shares Chris’s philosophy of integrative and functional medicine – in Sydney, Australia – does anyone have a recommendation?

      • Hi Chris
        I have ankylosing spondylitis for nearly 20 years and have been on remicade for nearly 10 years.
        Everytime I try come off the immunosuppressant my symptoms come back 10 fold
        Have tried antibiotic therapy which worked for a while but caused pancreatitis.
        I am pretty strict with my diet -paleoish /gluten free/ grain free
        Bone broth is a staple every day.
        Has anyone tried LDN for AS? If so did it work? Remicade is effective for me but concerned of long term side effects.
        Thanks in advance

    • Hi Val
      I don’t know if you found a doc but I have been seeing Lara Briden (Canadian ND) in Sydney and more recently, Dr Amy Nett (in Chris’s practice). But My GP was happy to prescribe me LDN and I have it compounded by Richard Stenlake. Make sure you check the fillers.

  71. Thanks for all you helpfull podcasts and blogsposts chris.

    You can imagine the comments will be (partly) a list of people asking where they can get low dose naltrexone.

    Well, i’m going to join the list.. I could really really really use low dose naltrexon and haven’t been able to get it for several months.

    I live in Belgium, west-flanders (Belgium is beneath the Netherlands, above France), so if anyone knows a doctor that (upon seeing my symptomology and hopefully etiology) isn’t reluctant to prescribe low dose naltrexon I’m dying to hear.
    And I would be more than happy to return the favor in some way.

    • I don’t know if he deals with LDN, but you could ask Dr. Thierry Hertoghe. He is an endocrinologist and is in Belgium I think.

    • I live in Belgium as well and even though my doctor doesn’t mind to give me a prescription for LDN, the most difficult part is to find the pharmacy that could make LDN. I found one in Vlaams Brabant but not sure if they have sufficient experience with LDN, also not sure what fillers they use and if it was an immediate release LDN they gave me..

    • In one of the videos from LDN Research Trust a woman from Belgium is interviewed. Perhaps she’s got something for you:

    • Hi Beatrix,

      I also live in Germany. Could you let me know please if you ever found a doctor here in Germany who can prescribe LDN?
      Thank you.

  72. Hey Chris – thanks for finally getting around to doing a podcast on LDN which is rapidly gaining the recognition it deserves. As a long time user of LDN myself (which by the way I have reduced my dosing from 3mg every day to 1-1.5mg twice a week). The lower and less frequent dosing has kept my Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns in remission. With so much importance being understood about the health of the gut, I think the fact LDN has shown to promote mucosal healing after taking LDN for only 12 weeks in a Phase II clinical trial, 78% of those participating in this trial exhibited an endoscopic response, 88% had at least a 70-point decline in CDAI scores and 33% achieved remission.

    What interested me the most from reading all the studies and clinical evidence was that even though there are various medications that are prescribed to treat the symptoms of autoimmune disorders, what’s important to note is that by taking LDN we are targeting the “disease process” whilst at the same time alleviating the symptoms in a non-toxic manner.

    As I have heard you say before, “autoimmune diseases all share similar mechanisms” which helps explains why LDN is being prescribed to treat a myriad of “disorders”. I would think with anyone living with a disease, our primary goal is to quench the inflammation of the autoimmune reaction – to allow the immune system to do its job while keeping it from doing further damage – and to “reset” the immune system/ This is where LDN becomes so relevant. What I have learnt from reading the studies is that LDN controls cell proliferation, inhibits inflammation, works to promote homeostasis and as a result rebalances our immune system so that it can function efficiently again.

    I hope you don’t mind me sharing a link to a page on FB that provides up-to-date information on LDN – the latest article shared on there is “Naltrexone/OGF – The Yin and Yang of the Opioid Growth Regulatory System” – well worth the read if any of your readership are living with complications with Diabetes https://www.facebook.com/LDNNow

    Thanks again!

    • I’m curious. Do you really feel the lower dose has kept you in remission? I started at 4.5mg, reduced to 3mg, and think I may go back to 4.5mg.

  73. I would like the name of a doctor, who follows the principles that Chris follows. How do I find a practioner or naturopath of this kind in New York City?
    My daughter who is living in Brooklyn is unwell and I believe could benefit from visiting this type of Practioner.

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