The Lowdown on Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

What if I told you that there’s a pharmaceutical drug out there that has the ability to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) and a variety of other autoimmune conditions, boost immune function, and even slow cancer progression? It’s called low-dose naltrexone (LDN) and it’s as close to a miracle drug as I’ve come across in a long time.

An Old Drug, New Uses

If you ask your doctor about naltrexone, he’ll probably tell you it’s for treating addiction, and he’s right. Naltrexone was approved more than 25 years ago for facilitating heroin withdrawal, and it’s now used to treat alcoholism as well. So how does such a drug help patients with MS and other diseases? It’s all about endorphins.

In the 1980s, it was noted that naltrexone boosts endorphin levels. Based on this knowledge, New York City physician Bernard Bihari, MD, and colleagues hypothesized that patients with AIDS, who have significant reductions in levels of circulating endorphins, could benefit from low doses of this drug. So they conducted a study in which AIDS patients took 1.75 to 4.5 mg of naltrexone at bedtime.

The results were incredible. The endorphin levels of these patients soared, and they not only felt better, but their viral counts went down, they gained weight, and their health improved dramatically. The effects were so remarkable that Dr. Bihari began using LDN not only for AIDS but also for other diseases marked by immune system dysfunction. To his delight, the results were equally positive.

Dr. Bihari had stumbled upon a momentous discovery: Endorphins play a central role in immune function, and LDN enhances the immune response by stimulating endorphin production.

LDN and MS

Since Dr. Bihari’s discovery, the benefits of this remarkable drug have been proven in a number of scientific studies, several of which were presented at the Fourth Annual LDN Conference held a few years ago at the University of Southern California Health Sciences Campus.

Scottish physician Tom Gilhooly, MD, focused on MS (Scotland has the world’s highest rate of the disease) and the excellent outcomes of patients treated with LDN. Skip Lenz, PharmD, also talked about LDN’s therapeutic effects on MS. He conducted an informal survey of 185 people, most of them with MS, who were taking LDN and found that 56 percent had improvements in symptoms, and 32 percent held steady—amazing results considering the progressive nature of MS and the toxicity of conventional treatments.

A Boon for Several Conditions

While LDN is great for treating MS and other autoimmune disorders, its benefits extend to other conditions as well. These include (but are not limited to):

• ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Ankylosing spondylitis
• Anti-aging
• Autism
• Cancer
• Celiac disease
• Chronic fatigue syndrome
• Crohn’s disease
• Emphysema (COPD)
• Endometriosis
• Fibromyalgia
• Inflammatory bowel disease
• Lupus
• Parkinson’s disease
• Psoriasis
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Sarcoidosis
• Scleroderma
• Ulcerative colitis

Getting Your Hands on LDN

LDN requires a prescription and can only be obtained through compounding pharmacies. (Regular pharmacies typically carry only 50 mg capsules.) Good ones include Skip’s Pharmacy (800) 553-7429, Wellness Pharmacy (800) 227-2627, and McGuff Pharmacy (877) 444-1133.

The optimal dose of LDN is 4.5 mg at bedtime. Some people have vivid dreams when they first begin using LDN. If this is an issue for you, start with 1.5–3 mg and build up over two months. Do not take LDN if you use narcotic drugs—it blocks their effects and causes withdrawal symptoms. LDN may be started only after narcotics are completely out of your system.

We routinely prescribe LDN at the Whitaker Wellness Institute. To see a physician here, call (866) 944-8253. You can also click here to receive a complimentary consultation with one of our Patient Services Representatives. To learn more, visit, and search the Internet for LDN.

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