I frequently receive emails from people asking about Low Dose Naltrexone. One of the most common questions is about whether I think it will work for their particular diagnosis. Here’s one such request and my answer.
Question: I have read that LDN can be used for treating sarcoidosis but I have been unable to verify sarcoidosis patients using LDN and how successful it is in treating sarcoidosis. Could you share with me if you are filling any prescriptions for sarcoid patients and, if so, what kind of feedback you have received?
I have an appointment with my physician on Wednesday morning and I intend to discuss LDN with him if it is a viable option due to my deteriorating condition. I have information from the LDN website but nothing sarcoid specific so if you have any info related to LDN and sarcoidosis, it would be greatly appreciated.
Answer: I have to begin by stating that I don’t know how LDN works. Yes, there are people all over the place guessing and hypothesizing. However, nothing I’ve seen seems completely reasonable. I’ve been making it and dispensing prescriptions for it for well over a decade and a good number of our customers have been reordering for many years. That is a testimony to the fact that it often works when other approaches don’t. The exact mechanism will probably never be established.
Most of our experience has been with people who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. My personal conclusion about MS is that it is an immune condition that is probably triggered in sensitive individuals by an outside influence – an infection, excessively stressful event, and so on. Most people with the diagnosis can usually explain exactly WHEN their symptoms began.
For the most part, I am comfortable suggesting LDN for any “flavor” of immune-mediated disease. If there is any evidence that the immune system is involved I recommend that the person (and their doctor) go ahead and trial the preparation.
When we first started preparing LDN the standard “dose” was 3.0mg. I don’t know how that number was determined. It is approximately equal to 1% of the standard Rx dose of naltrexone. Surely, though, there was nothing scientific or magical about that dose. After a couple of years doctors began experimenting with other doses – both lower and higher. In the traditional sense (of more being better), a lot of people seemed to settle on 4.5mg as a “good dose”. Others, with a more homeopathic perspective, thought that less is more potent. Regardless of which theory you’d prefer, the dosing is still all over the map – about 45% rely on 4.5mg and 45% on 3.0mg, with other doses making up the remaining 10%. No, that is not a measured, scientific number – just my impression. However, I’d wager that I’m accurate.
Regardless or the method of action or the “correct” dose, LDN has been successful and used by many people for a long time. There are rare side effects that usually diminish quickly.
I won’t offer a specific suggestion or recommendation about your particular diagnosis (I’m not much of a fan of diagnoses anyhow – they are merely a way of labeling people). Instead, I will offer a suggestion that LDN is well worth trying. It is very inexpensive and safe.
I don’t know about insurance plans – we don’t accept any. I think every carrier SHOULD reimburse you for this preparation. That does not mean it will happen. The most common prescriptions are for oral capsules. We also make a liquid form and a cream (referred to as transdermal).