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Exploring Non-Opioid Alternatives for Addressing Chronic Pain & Autoimmune Conditions

There is much to be said about the ongoing opioid epidemic. The highly addictive nature of opioid pain medications has been problematic as abuse and overdose continues to rampage patients. Low Dose Naltrexone, also known as LDN, has risen in popularity as a non-opioid alternative for addressing chronic pain and autoimmune conditions.

In 2019, an estimated 10.1 million people aged 12 or older misused opioids in the past year. Specifically, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers. Source: HHS

What is Low Dose Naltrexone?

A person’s immune system is regulated almost entirely by endorphins, which are released naturally every day. Naltrexone is an opiate receptor antagonist, which means that it blocks the body’s opioid/narcotic receptors — the same receptors endorphins use.

Naltrexone thus causes the body to produce more endorphins, which in turn boosts the body’s immune function. While the typical 50-mg dose of naltrexone blocks the opioid receptors for an extended period of time, low dose naltrexone only blocks the receptors for a few hours, still causing the desired effect of increased endorphins, but dissipating quickly enough for the body to reap the benefits.


Patients with a number of conditions may benefit from Low Dose Naltrexone. Physicians, nurse practitioners, and other medical providers are prescribing LDN for their patients that need alternatives. Sometimes, commercially available medications fail, are addictive, or yield undesirable side effects. That’s where LDN may provide a better experience.

So far, clinical evidence of efficacy is present for fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and complex regional pain syndrome. Pre-clinical studies and patient and doctor testimonials have also accredited LDN with helping patients with rheumatoid arthritis, transverse myelitis, irritable bowel syndrome, various cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, autism, and post-traumatic stress disorder, to name a few. Clinical studies have yet to catch up to these anecdotal claims.

Where can I get LDN?

Low Dose Naltrexone requires a prescription from a licensed medical professional. Because naltrexone is only commercially available as a 50-mg tablet, prescriptions for low dose naltrexone must be taken to a compounding pharmacy and specially prepared. Community Clinical Pharmacy serves the East Valley, AZ (Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert) as experts in LDN compounding.


What are the side effects of LDN?

One of the reasons LDN is so exciting is its seeming lack of major side effects. The most common reported side effect is vivid dreams (reported in 37% of patients), though those dreams do not necessarily cause sleep disruption and decrease over time. In rare cases, headaches are also reported as a possible side effect; tapering up to the desired dose may alleviate this.

If you are a patient or practitioner interested in Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) connect with our expert LDN compounding team.




When in doubt, contact one of our knowledgeable pharmacists at Community Clinical Pharmacy. We are here to offer you solutions and assist you in making informed decisions about your health. Contact us with comments, questions, or pharmacy related topics you’d like to know more about. And, as always, stay healthy!