Question: My father has been diagnosed with crohns disease and is considering taking LDN.  However, once you start LDN must you always take it? Will LDN “over” boost or damage your immune system? He is only 54 and would like to stop LDN if his crohns is cured.

Larry’s Response: We’ve observed that many conditions that are related to the immune system improve when the person uses low doses of naltrexone (LDN). Crohn’s is a disease that often responds to LDN and I would have no hesitancy in suggesting giving it a trial – as long as the user isn’t also using any narcotics (opioids). We found that even the tiny LDN doses are enough to trigger a withdrawal response.

Naltrexone is rapidly metabolized and eliminated from the body. It has no long term effects and should be taken daily to maintain effectiveness against symptoms.

Naltrexone is not an immune system “booster“. In fact, nobody is certain how it works. I sometimes refer to its effect as that of an immune modulator – strengthening when stronger is better, and softening when a lower effect is needed. Our bodies are miraculous creations and we know practically nothing about them.

I think there is no risk that a person’s immune system will be boosted too much from these tiny doses. From one perspective, the immune system is already operating improperly if a person has an immune disease.

Personally, it seems unlikely that Crohn’s can be cured – unless a person figures out how to eliminate the underlying situation that caused it in the first place. That includes being able to adjust genetics, the environment, and any other element that may have either damaged the immune system or allowed for the symptoms to occur.

If the symptoms are controlled and your father wants to stop, he can with no consequences. The symptoms of the Crohn’s may return, indicating that the LDN was effective. He can start and stop whenever he wants because there are no consequences that I’ve heard about.

We’ve been making and selling LDN from our pharmacy for well over a decade and have not had negative reports about it. While it is possible that it may not work as expected, I have never heard anyone tell me anything about it doing any harm. The approved, standard dose of naltrexone has been 300 to 600 mg per day. The LDN doses are under 3 to 4.5mg per day. That suggests we are dealing with relatively safe amounts (less than 1% of the standard doses).

For more information on LDN, I suggest starting at our complete section on Low Dose Naltrexone.