LDN for Autoimmune Disorders
Julian Whitaker, MD
There’s an inexpensive therapy that everyone with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, and every other autoimmune disorder should know about—but they’re not likely to hear about it from their conventional physicians. It’s low-dose naltrexone (LDN).
A recent pilot study found that LDN improves mood, cognition, and pain scores in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis. And researchers from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine demonstrated that 67 percent of patients with Crohn’s disease who were treated with 4.5 mg of LDN for 12 weeks went into remission. Results of a follow-up to this study are expected to be presented this month, and the lead researcher, Jill Smith, MD, is very optimistic about LDN’s potential in the treatment of all inflammatory bowel diseases.
The buzz from patients is even better than the studies, which are limited because there’s no profit motive to fund research on an inexpensive drug with an expired patent. (In fact, patients are so enthusiastic that they’ve raised funds to help pay for completed and ongoing studies.)
Vicki Finlayson suffered with debilitating multiple sclerosis. After 10 years of unbearable pain, horrible fatigue, growing depression, and dependence on Vicodin and morphine to control her pain, Vicki learned about LDN. Once she started taking it—after her doctor initially refused to prescribe it and she had to wean herself off opioid painkillers—she got her life back. She’s been back at work a year and a half now, she’s off all other drugs, and she’s feeling great.
- The suggested dose of LDN is 3–4.5 mg per day, taken at bedtime. It should not be taken by people who are using narcotic drugs.
- LDN requires a prescription and is available only from compounding pharmacies such as Gideon’s Drugs (212) 575-6868, Skip’s Pharmacy, (800) 553-7429, and McGuff Compounding Pharmacy, (877) 444-1133. If your doctor refuses to write a prescription, consider coming to the Whitaker Wellness Institute. For more information, call (866) 944-8253.
- Brown N, et al. Low-dose naltrexone for disease prevention and quality of life. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Mar;72(3):333–337.
- Smith JP, et al. Low-dose naltrexone therapy improves active Crohn’s disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2007 Apr;102(4):820–828.
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