04 Oct The Potential of Low-Dose Naltrexone
As a compounding pharmacy, we’re continuously exploring various medications’ values in multiple disease states, not just the indicated usage. Off-label use is the creative field of medicine where we can expand our collective ability to solve your healthcare problems. Specifically, we have been exploring how one molecule’s receptor activity can then be applied to various specific problems: NALTREXONE.
Naltrexone is indicated for the treatment of: alcohol dependence behavior modification, opioid dependence cessation programs, and rapid detoxification from opiate overdose at doses of 50mg to 300mg. It blocks opioid drug receptors throughout the entire body. However, this receptor group didn’t originally evolve for the opioid class of drugs, but for our natural endorphins and other molecules that have both excitatory and inhibitory activities.
Where it becomes interesting is the ability of naltrexone to interact not only with the immune cells and the opioid receptors, but also the Toll-Like-Receptor 4 complex (TLR-4).
Research into the interaction of naltrexone with TLR-4 has allowed for the use of naltrexone as an additional therapy for depression and chronic neuropathic pain. Additionally, it is now thought to downregulate inflammation in the brain, leading to use for patients with autism and patients with chronic neuropathic pain hypersensitivity.
The TLR-4 receptors are also found in immune cells throughout the body, allowing for immunomodulation, impacting multiple immune mediated disease states, including: HIV, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), all auto-immune diseases, Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and itching.
Because of these immunomodulatory effects, it is being looked at for arthritis sufferers as well. It also has a profound effect on both wound healing (positive) and scar formation (preventing hypertrophy). Finally, it has been found to have a positive impact on itch, as well as psoriasis and eczema.
For these effects, naltrexone is dosed from 0.5mg to 4.5mg. Hence the term “Low Dose Naltrexone” or “LDN”. LDN has been used for over a decade with the first published LDN trial in 2007. And with over 50 published trials and counting, LDN appears to be a promising treatment option for patients.
If you would like to learn more about this new treatment option, join us for an informative 30 minute Lunch & Learn on October 18th from 12:10-12:50 in our new conference room at 2415 Osborne Drive East. Pre-registration required by 12PM on October 17th. Please call to sign up.