View Full Version : Low-Dose Naltrexone for Fibromyalgia Pain

05-02-12, 11:54 AM
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum
May 2, 2012

Good news from the 2012 annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain: A study from researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine showed that a low dose of the drug naltrexone significantly reduced pain in patients with fibromyalgia. The study confirms earlier, similar findings from the same researchers, published in Pain Medicine in 2009.

High doses (50 to 200 mg) of naltrexone can block the effect of heroin and other narcotics — a heroin addict on naltrexone doesn't get high when he takes the drug, which of course helps overcome drug addition. An injection of naltrexone can also be used to counter a heroin overdose. The sedating action of heroin is blocked, and the addict wakes up. And naltrexone in doses of 50 mg is used to help alcoholics stop excessive drinking.

But in low doses (3 to 5 mg), naltrexone has a very different action — it affects the immune system. In that role, it's been used to treat autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and chronic diseases with an immune component, like cancer and CFS/FMS.

To read the rest of the article go to:

05-02-12, 11:58 AM
The website, http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/ lists the side effects — if you have thyroid problems read #2 carefully.

Side effects:

LDN has virtually no side effects. Occasionally, during the first week's use of LDN, patients may complain of some difficulty sleeping. This rarely persists after the first week. Should it do so, dosage can be reduced from 4.5mg to 3mg nightly.

> Cautionary warnings:

1. Because LDN blocks opioid receptors throughout the body for three or four hours, people using medicine that is an opioid agonist, i.e. narcotic medication — such as Ultram (tramadol), morphine, Percocet, Duragesic patch or codeine-containing medication — should not take LDN until such medicine is completely out of one's system. Patients who have become dependant on daily use of narcotic-containing pain medication may require 10 days to 2 weeks of slowly weaning off of such drugs entirely (while first substituting full doses of non-narcotic pain medications) before being able to begin LDN safely.

2. Those patients who are taking thyroid hormone replacement for a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis with hypothyroidism ought to begin LDN at the lowest range (1.5mg for an adult). Be aware that LDN may lead to a prompt decrease in the autoimmune disorder, which then may require a rapid reduction in the dose of thyroid hormone replacement in order to avoid symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

3. Full-dose naltrexone (50mg) carries a cautionary warning against its use in those with liver disease. This warning was placed because of adverse liver effects that were found in experiments involving 300mg daily. The 50mg dose does not apparently produce impairment of liver function nor, of course, do the much smaller 3mg and 4.5mg doses.

4. People who have received organ transplants and who therefore are taking immunosuppressive medication on a permanent basis are cautioned against the use of LDN because it may act to counter the effect of those medications.

05-02-12, 01:23 PM
LDN is great stuff and works well for a huge variety of conditions. I'd like to add a bit though. Through personal experience and the experience of many when I belonged to an LDN group, people tend to do better starting at 1mg and slowly working up to 3 to 4.5mg every night. In some cases, insomnia persisted yet these people did fine switching to taking it in the morning. The other thing is that LDN can activate latent Lyme disease...which isn't a bad thing. I'll try to explain: The Lyme organism persists in a cyst state. The cysts are not detected by lab work nor by your body, therefore antibiotics don't work at this stage. For some reason, LDN can cause Lyme to come out of the cystic stage and in turn, acute symptoms can occur. This isn't a bad thing because the bugs are now susceptible to antibiotic treatment. The trick is either recognizing what is happening yourself or actually having a savvy doctor. Yes, another lesson learned by personal experience :)

05-02-12, 05:54 PM
I had forgotten that LDN might release some Lyme bugs...thank you Mellow:).
I do take 4.5 mg at bedtime and do well with that dose; but I had taken Mellow's advice and started slowly to avoid problems.

05-03-12, 03:08 AM
As Mellow knows, I have been in a 27 year battle with the veterans administation to try to get help with medical coverage. I won 3 weeks ago, and was able to see a nurse practitioner who filled my request for LDN. I am starting to feel positive results after just two weeks of taking LDN. About the one week ago, I got a private lab result for heavy metals that showed I was high in uranium, lead, and cadmium.
My only explanation for high uranium is my time in the Air Force when I worked as an avionics technician on a nuclear bomber, the FB-111. According to this test, I should be toast, but the lab has some dark marks against it, from what I've researched. The lab is called "Doctors Data" and it's founder is Dr. Quig. It has left me confused.

05-03-12, 06:57 AM
Hooray for your efforts with the VA! Let this be the beginning of better results for you and Mellowsong, along with the rest of us hapless patients. I have heard nothing but good recommendations about Doctors Data. Please let us know the source of the negative comments, so that we all might have a more balanced view.

A book by Mark Schauss might be useful for understanding detoxification from heavy metals. I don't have the book with me just now, but from memory the title is something like Achieving Victory Over a Toxic World. I have heard him speak, and I would recommend his approach to this sort of detoxification.

05-03-12, 08:53 AM
@wr: Congrats on your win. That is fantastic :) I tried for over 3 years to get LDN prescribed by the VA and they refused, even the chronic fatigue doc. They said it was unapproved and the pharmacy could not compound it. I definitely want to try it again as I had very good results before the Lyme activation. Was the heavy metal test a hair test or urine? I am far from an expert on any of this but, I believe the hair tests are fairly accurate. I know Barret of the infamous quackwatch has a vendetta against Doctors Data because they dared to sue him. On the urine tests, I've heard mixed opinions about provoked (administering a chelating agent prior to collection) vs unprovoked testing. My gut feeling tells me that provoked testing is very likely to give questionable results. Not sure how to explain it well. When our bodies have a heavy metal burden, much of it is stored and out of circulation. When you administer a chelation agent, this then goes into the bloodstream dramatically raising the numbers. This rise is temporary and not truly indicative of the body's burden or of toxicity.

05-03-12, 10:07 AM
::::wiping away happy tears:::::::wr7476, I am so happy for the win and the improved symtoms with the LDN.
May you be blessed with continued healing:)

05-03-12, 10:42 AM
Good for you, WR! Doctors Data does my hair tests; they're the choice of an esteemed chiro in Bangor and I have no reason to challenge their "data" — if Barrett attacks them, that's a prestigious sign IMO!

05-03-12, 03:20 PM
That's great news wr7476.

05-06-12, 04:01 AM
Thank you everyone for your support. This forum is like a family to me. I do not think the world owes me anything, but I sure could use a little help for my time in service for my country. I am confident that I can get the help I could not afford before the VA approval. Thanks again everyone.

05-06-12, 10:21 AM
The lab is called "Doctors Data" and it's founder is Dr. Quig. It has left me confused.

I mentioned that I use them too. What did you find confusing?

05-06-12, 11:13 AM
Thank you everyone for your support. This forum is like a family to me. I do not think the world owes me anything, but I sure could use a little help for my time in service for my country. I am confident that I can get the help I could not afford before the VA approval. Thanks again everyone.

I feel the same — the Forum is like a family to me, also. Keep us posted on your progress:)