Can LDN be the answer to your chronic pain?

Can LDN be the answer to your chronic pain? 1024 538 Community Clinical Pharmacy

Can LDN be the answer to your chronic pain?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. From 1999-2017, almost 400,000 people died in the US from an overdose involving any opioid, including prescription and illicit opioids. These numbers are alarming. As a pharmacist, I am deeply concerned and therefore constantly looking for alternatives to opioids and addictive pain medications.

The Quest for Pain Relief

If you suffer from chronic pain yourself or if you have a loved one who has ongoing pain, you may have searched the internet looking for new and novel solutions to pain relief. Today, I will discuss Low Dose Naltrexone or LDN, an old drug with potentially new indications.

Naltrexone HCl was approved by the FDA in 1984 for the treatment of opioid addiction. It is commercially available in 50mg tablet form. The typical dosage for opioid addiction is 50.0–100.0 mg daily. In that dose, naltrexone works by blocking the effects of drugs known as opiates, or narcotics (morphine, heroin or codeine) in the brain.

Daily Dosages of Naltrexone

LDN refers to daily dosages of naltrexone that are approximately 1/10th of the typical opioid addiction treatment dosage. In most published research, the daily dosage is 4.5 mg, though the dosage is typically between 0.5mg to 4.5mg per day. At the low dosage level, naltrexone can have pain relieving and anti-inflammatory actions.

Sharzad Green, Pharm. D., is a hormone replacement specialist & pharmacist at Community Clinical Pharmacy, in Mesa, Arizona. She offers private Hormone Replacement Consultations to find a tailored solution that fits your needs. Sharzad has had the privilege of working with over 12,000 patients and providers in the Valley and around the world.

Pain Management

LDN has been demonstrated to reduce pain in conditions such as fibromyalgia (FM), and complex regional pain syndrome. FM is a chronic pain disorder that is characterized by musculoskeletal pain, profound fatigue, cognitive disruption and sleep difficulty. Two separate, small clinical trials have shown that LDN may be an effective treatment for FM.

In both trials, LDN was administered at 4.5 mg daily, once at night before bedtime. In the first crossover trial, published in 2009, LDN reduced fibromyalgia pain significantly greater than placebo in 6 out of the 10 women. A second study was done on 30 women with fibromyalgia. At the end of the LDN treatment, half of the participants reported feeling “much improved” or “very much improved” from LDN. Together, these two studies suggest that LDN is superior to placebo in reducing the pain associated with fibromyalgia.

Overall, basic clinical research to date suggests that LDN is a promising treatment approach for chronic pain related to inflammation. Please talk to your doctor or contact one of our knowledgeable pharmacists to find out if compounded LDN capsule is a good option for you. We are here to offer you solutions and to help you manage your chronic pain.
Sharzad Green, Pharm.D.

If you find yourself interested in the treatments mentioned or any other alternatives to treatments that may not be working for you, contact our experts at Community Clinical Pharmacy. We can answer all your questions and work towards formulating a solution that works for you. 

Contact us with comments, questions, or pharmacy
related topics you’d like to know more about. And, as always, stay healthy!

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