Naltrexone belongs to a class of drugs called Opiate Antagonists, indicated for the treatment of alcohol dependence behavior modification, opioid dependence cessation programs, and rapid detoxification from opiate overdose.
And it works for this purpose wonderfully. My brother, also a pharmacist, had someone run to his pharmacy pleading for help. Her boyfriend overdosed on heroin. As the experienced pharmacist he is, he grabbed Narcan-an intranasal form of Naltrexone-and after one puff in the young man’s nostril, he came back from the dead!
And that’s how Naltrexone works on opioid receptors, blocking them completely and reversing their action, like breathing suppression when narcotics overdosing occurs.
Receptors are like locks: when they have the proper key, the lock opens, and a function occurs. Structurally, opioid receptors look like another class of receptors called Toll Like Receptors (TLR-4) that are involved in inflammatory processes. TLR-4 receptor complexes are found throughout the body and most interestingly, in the central nervous system (CNS). TLR are special receptors, they affect not only genomic activity, but intracellular and membrane responses as well.
Over 10 years ago, it was found that Naltrexone at a much lower dose (hence the name Low Dose Naltrexone or LDN for short) affects those TLR-4 receptors.
Research into the interaction of Naltrexone with TLR-4 has allowed for the novel use of naltrexone as adjunct therapy for depression, chronic neuropathic pain, and gambling behavior modification. Additionally, it is now thought to be the mechanism of action to down-regulate (or decrease) 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 peripheral tissue, allowing for immunomodulation or changes in response, which impacts multiple immune-mediated disease states, including:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- All auto-immune diseases
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Lyme’s complications
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Itch – can be compounded as a topical cream with very good outcomes
Because of these immunomodulatory effects, LDN is being looked at for arthritis sufferers. 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.
LDN should not be confused with homeopathy, where the active substance is diluted so many times that few, if any, of the original molecule remain in the eventual product; even with the low dose, it still has an active ingredient with significant bioavailability that can also precipitate immediate short-term opiate withdrawal.
In reference to its side effects, they are quite manageable in most cases, including vivid dreams and possible upset stomach for the first few days, which is more common. LDN can be compounded in forms to mitigate those side effects.
In summary, LDN is not a miraculous drug, and it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, but if you have an autoimmune disease, or suffer from depression or addiction, LDN might be an effective way to find relief and hope for your future.
ASK YOUR PHARMACIST ABOUT LDN TODAY!
Stop in, call us at 262-429-94-29 or reach out to us.
Naltrexone – LDN The Miraculous Drug
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