Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that is typically used to treat drug and alcohol addiction, at oral doses of 50 or 100 mg. Low-dose naltrexone (LDN), at doses of 5 mg and lower, can be used in the treatment of chronic pain syndromes, neuropathies, PCOS, depression, hormonal or neurotransmitter imbalances, cancer, type II diabetes, and autoimmune conditions, just to name a few. LDN has been demonstrated to reduce pain, and depression, improve physical and mental function and increase the quality of life in patients with chronic conditions.
It acts as an antagonist on toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) and it modulates glial cells, which downregulate cytokines, thereby reducing inflammation and associated pain. Right, did any of that make sense? All you need to know is that downregulates inflammation in the body, and inflammation is the root of most chronic conditions. It acts as an immune modulator, balancing out the immune system so it doesn't become hyperactive. LDN also causes the body to release substances that can calm us, and improve our mental outlook.
When you begin using LDN it is important to use a titration schedule to minimize possible disturbances in sleep (eg, vivid dreams and/or insomnia) and gastrointestinal side effects (eg, nausea, cramping, vomiting, and/or diarrhea). These symptoms usually only last a few days, but if they continue the dose and formulation of LDN can be modified to avoid these side effects. It is important that the LDN you are prescribed comes from a compound pharmacy, and not a commercial pharmacy because they are different formulations.