Asthma, Chron's disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus, CFS, and some forms of cancer are very different conditions, but they are all classified as auto-immune diseases. An auto-immune disease is a condition where the body's immune system becomes confused and attacks itself. Some doctors consider autism an auto-immune disease. LDN has been used to successfully reduce symptoms in children with autism. Standard medicine doesn't fully understand what causes auto-immune disease or how to treat it. Patients with auto-immune disease are often given steroids to treat inflammation, but the root cause in never addressed. Low dose naltrexone or LDN has proved to be a safe and effective method of treating the underlying immune problems involved in auto- immune diseases.
Things You'll Need
- Access to a pharmacist familiar with low dose naltrexone treatment.
- Support or information group made of people with autoimmune diseases who use LDN.
- If using prescription low dose naltrexone, you'll need to find an ldn literate physician to write the prescription and a competent compounding pharmacy to fill it.
- If making your own low dose naltrexone you'll need distilled water, full strength naltrexone, and a medicine dropper.
Get Low Dose Naltrexone
Talk to your doctor about Low Dose Naltrexone. Even though LDN is not a new treatment for autoimmune disease, many physicians are not familiar with its use. Do your research, and be prepared to explain and defend your decision to your doctor. Many have better luck getting a prescription from their General Practitioner, of PCP, than from their specialist.
Take your prescription to a good compounding pharmacy. Be sure the compounding pharmacy you chose has experience with low dose naltrexone. Many compounding pharmacies will take mail-in prescriptions. Low dose naltrexone is available in tablet, liquid and cream. Typical dosage is 4.5 mg each evening between 11 pm and 1 am, unless you have multiple sclerosis.
If you can not get your doctor to prescribe LDN, there may physicians across the country who regularly see patients specifically to evaluate the potential for low dose naltrexone. Some require a physical appointment, while others require a telephone consultation and copies of medical records. Names of these physicians are available through online low dose naltrexone support groups.
If physical or telephonic appointment with an LDN literate physician is not possible, it is possible to order full strength naltrexone through one of several online pharmacies.
If you're using full strength naltrexone, dissolve one 50mg tablet in 50ml distilled water. Shake well. This gives you a solution of 1mg naltrexone per 1ml distilled water. Using a medicine syringe, draw off the prescribed amount of medication. Keep solution refrigerated.
Ideal dosage is 4.5mg each night between 11pm and 1am. Most people take their low dose naltrexone at bedtime. Those with Multiple Sclerosis may use a different dosing schedule.
If you're taking pill or liquid form, be sure to follow your nightly dose with a full glass of water. If using the cream form, be sure the skin is clean, and rub the cream in well. Cream is the recommended delivery for children, and those with trouble swallowing.
Keep a symptom and side effect log to help you document and track your progress on LDN. Many times a patient will start low dose naltrexone without their physicians approval. But when presented with a 6 month log, which shows autoimmune disease improvement, that physician may not only approve ldn, but may start using it for other patients with autoimmune disease.
Do not take opiate medications while taking low dose naltrexone.
Continue your other alternative treatments for autoimmune disease. Treatments such as attention to diet, gluten restriction, meditation and stress management, and mineral supplements enhance the effects of low dose naltrexone.
Managing Side Effects of Low Dose Naltrexone
Many people report sleep disturbances during the first weeks of treatment with ldn. Insomnia, vivid dreams, and lucid dreaming are common. Chamomile tea taken at bedtime can help minimize these effects.
Weight gain and weight loss occur in some people taking ldn. It is impossible to predict who will have weight fluctuations on low dose naltrexone.
Detox reactions are common. One theory is that as the ldn regulates the immune system, the body begins to flush out old virus and bacteria that had gone dormant. Many people have an increase in symptoms during this time. Stick with your ldn treatment and ride out the detox. Be sure to drink a lot of water during this time.
Good nutrition, adequate sleep, mild exercise, and good hydration will help minimize any side effects caused by ldn.
Contact your ldn support group, compounding pharmacy, or prescribing physician if you have any questions or concerns about side effects you are experiencing.