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Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

Last updated June 23, 2015

(Minor revision)

Note - there are lots of links inserted here.
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Thanks, Swede.

I got interested in LDN when someone close to me got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is a degenerative disease for which there is no cure. A nasty progressive disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord ( Read more here) that at best can only be stopped at a some point in the progression. Standard medical care is to daily self administer an injection of one of a very few very expensive ($3,000 - $5,000 per month) medicines. And at that the treatments only work for less than half the people who take them.

A chance meeting with another MS'er in a local convenience store (WAWA - great stores by the way) put me on the "hope" trail. He raved about a new treatment he had stumbled on called "LDN" and insisted my friend contact him about it. The year before his MS (the chance acquaintance's MS) had progressed to the point he had been ready for a wheelchair the MS had gotten so bad (he had been diagnosed 4 years before) but since starting on LDN some months previously his MS had stopped progressing. And had even reversed enough so that he could walk with only a slight limp. (Note - LDN does NOT cure MS. Many/some MS'ers have found it reverses the "lastest" progression though.)

Forum Diaspora: A central location for LDN stuff. Sections include:
  • Personal experiences organized by condition - MS, Crohns, ALS, ... - into individual threads.
  • A technical article section.
  • A forum dedicated to using (Very Low Dose) Naltrexone to avoid/ease the pain and discomfort of opiate/opioid withdrawal when stopping the drug.

Sources. A list of sources for Naltrexone (online and off).

Doctor Delany's most EXCELLENT list of links. A retired chiropractor, massage therapist, registered nurse, and graduate pharmacy technician. Dudley has had MS for years, discovered LDN a few years ago and has become a fervent advocate (I have become one as well.) for LDN. When you finish reading this page (and please not before finishing, it's important), scroll back to here and check out Dudley's site. We have many of the same links but his are better presented/organized. {sigh}

Turns out LDN has been around a long time (40+ years). originally developed to treat addictions (heroin, alcohol, ...) and a doctor who was prescribing it was also treating AIDS patients and found that in low doses (under 5mg) it "balanced" the immune system (maybe "activated" is a better word here) to the point it the HIV virus was kept in check. (For details how it works watch this 60+ minute interview with Dr Bilhari, the finder of LDN)

A quick Google ("ldn ms") search found nearly 100,000 links to LDN and MS. ("Those Who Suffer Much Know Much about Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Why weren’t you told?") is among the best.

The "official" Low Dose Naltrexone page is: lowdosenaltrexone.org. The best overall explanation of LDN is there and has a list of reliable compounding pharmacies where LDN can be purchased.

A GREAT resource is the LDN Yahoo Group. 1,000's of people who use LDN are there and anxious to answer questions, share experiences, provide links to resources, ...

Turns out LDN is being used "off label" for literally hundreds of diseases. (Off label because Naltrexone has only been FDA approved for addiction treatment, not for anything else. ) Pretty much anything the immune system can be involved in. Even some cancers. (More or less successfully. For MS it definitely works for more than 85% of users. In others like Crohns, it seems to be under 50%.) No one really knows how well (or not) because FDA approved clinically controlled studies of LDN have been reported. Well actually some have been made but no results have been made public.

(Not reporting results of a study is not at all uncommon. There are really no good excuseable reasons to not report study results, especially those done under FDA supervision. My inference is that fair and open reporting would result in adverse effects on somebody's (Pharmacuetical company, University, FDA itself, ...) bottom line. That's the only logical explanation. )

  • ( Note - Let me just take a minute to explain why it would be so widely effective. The original theory (Dr. Bilari's) is that LDN stimulates the brain to produce endorphins which in turn "balances" the immune system. And the immune system plays a role in nearly everything going on in the body. - Lots more to it than that of course, but a pretty fair capsule explanation I think.

    Another later theory is that LDN activates receptors (OGF's) in our body that in turn moderate the immune system.

    In any case, LDN just works.
Wow! If LDN is that good, why doesn't the whole world know about it? That got me to thinking "Why is that?". And here's what I came up with:

Prescribing off label is risky for doctors in that they could be held liable if something goes wrong. Most especially if there are no published (read FDA approved) clinical studies demonstrating the efficacy of the drug in particular circumstances. (There actually have been several clinical studies of LDN but the results have never been made public.) And if the doctor is in a group practice then the whole group could be liable.

Note a large scale clinical study can cost - pick a number $10,000,000 - $100,000,000 - $500,000,000 (drug company sources - dubious at best.). As Naltrexone is long out of patent protection and is made in generic form by several companies around the world, there would be no price protection mechanism for recovering the study cost.

There is great (at least implicit) pressure from drug companies to discourage doctors from prescribing drugs that are available generically. And especially particularly a generic drug that could be used to cover a wide variety of diseases such as LDN does. Maybe a doctor thinks if he prescribes LDN (for whatever reason), he will get fewer/no drug samples of other drugs from the big drug distributors he can give out to needy patients.

It all makes sense, however, if you look at it from a jobs point of view rather than as just a "greedy Big Pharma grab". Take a look at these numbers just for MS alone:
  1. $32,000 US Median income (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persona..._United_States)

  2. 400,000 MS Patients (http://www.numberof.net/number%C2%A0...n%C2%A0the-us/)

  3. $14,400,000,000 “Approved” Annual Treatment costs for Copaxone @ $36,000 a year. (Copaxone is a commonly prescribed drug for MS, but not the only one, nor the most expensive.) And actually that number is low by $12,000 according to (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...-ms-drugs.html) Copaxone has gone up to $48k per year.

  4. $14,400,000,000 generated potential if all 400,000 took it.

  5. If only are 10% treated by Copaxone that still leaves $1,400,000,000 being spent.

  6. That means the equivalent of 43,750 jobs are somehow one way or the other dependent on Copaxone being used at the US median income. ($1.4B divided by $32k per job)
Okay let's look at LDN if prescribed as a replacement for Copaxone for those same 40,000 patients (10% of total MS'ers).

  1. $1,898,000 Low Dose Naltrexone (Self Compounded @ 13 cents per day by diluting 50mg pills into a dozen or more daily doses of 3mg.) equals the equivalent of 59 jobs.

  2. $29,200,000 if purchasing LDN from a compounding Pharmacy @ $2 a day (estimated cost) equals the equivalent of 913 jobs.

Okay, looking at LDN from an organism point of view (in the case the organism is the entire medical community) explains to me why LDN has NOT been FDA approved. An organism's highest priority is survival. It's literally impossible to get an organism (in this case the jobs dependent on Copaxone) to act against its self interest.

In just this simple case the equivalent of 44,000 jobs are dependent on LDN not getting approved just for 10% of MS patients alone. Factor in the the other 90% of MS'ers, then all the other immune related diseases LDN has demonstrated efficacy for and you can see why LDN will never get FDA approval. (Note the FDA budget actually comes largely from pharmaceutical manufacturers who produce all the Copaxones, chemotherapies, steroids, etal that LDN would displace if not fully replace altogether.)

The one bright light in this is the internet which has allowed people from all over the world share their own experiences and has provided a mechanism for them to step outside the mainstream to help themselves.

(Note the above is from a thread started in the PowerBasic café.
Click here
to read the whole discussion.

(Note - Not many doctors, very few actually, will prescribe LDN (for a variety of valid reasons) so a sort of underground network exists. The best source I have found is a true angel. If you email her with your reason for needing LDN, she will send you a list of doctors in your area who will prescribe LDN. Her email address is ::: Angel In Disguise ldn AT yahoo . com ::: (remove the spaces and replace the "AT" with "@" ). Make sure you put where you live.)

Summary of Stanford study of LDN - very promising.
Print and pass it on to your doctor.

Below is a link to an interview of a former drug rep. Watch this with as much skepticism as you can muster. And he will overcome it. This guy does have an ax to grind (probably a huge civil suit. GSK paid, or is supposed to pay, a $3BILLION fine/settlement). It's an hour well spent nonetheless. I tried on this page to make the point that people rationalize criminal/unethica/corrupt behavior in the medical industry. This guy shows how it happens in Big Pharma.

Published on Jul 16, 2012

This exclusive interview with former GlaxoSmithKline employee and whistleblower Blair Hamrick reveals insider details of GSK's operations, for which the company recently pleaded guilty to felony crimes and paid a $3 billion settlement with the U.S. government.

In this Health Ranger Report video, Blair describes his firsthand knowledge of the "bribery" of physicians, the push for off-label marketing of drugs for unapproved health conditions, the illegal marketing of drugs to children, how 80 percent of physicians were willing to be "on the take," and much more.

And here's a link to Blair Hamrick's background. Tampa Bay Times

LDN & Cancer links page. (Very good)

Chlamydia Pneumoniae - Help - was started by educated patients who are themselves undergoing combination antibiotic treatment of diseases where Cpn has been implicated, including:
Multiple sclerosis, Chronic fatigue, Cardiac disease, Interstitial cystitis, Prostatitis, Crohn's disease, Inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer's disease, Asthma, Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic refractory sinusitis, Macular Degeneration, and others.
MS'er having success with Hemp Oil & LDN.


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