Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Explaining LDN

I mentioned earlier exactly what LDN was and I will explain the best way I know how exactly what it is and maybe how it will help. I will be taking this information from other websites and will try to show where I found each bit of information.

When I had my last blood work, my Natural Killer Cells were on the low end of normal. Natural Killer Cells are cells that fight against cells that don't have a "banner." (1) These cells fight against cancer, viral and other cells that attack our bodies. If we don't have NK Cells, then our bodies can not fight against these other cells leaving a very weak immune system.

In the last few months, I have been reading all about an old drug that has a powerful effect on those with different diseases. I have even seen about this drug on Lyme forums. Based on past experiences with my doctor, I jump on pretty much anything he suggests to help since everything he has done for me in the past has given me progress. It does not make me any less timid to try something new and I still do research on any potential treatment plan. However, I trust my LLMD with every treatment plan he proposes.

So when my LLMD suggested Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), I was fairly ready to try something different. However, it did take me a few weeks to really jump on board. He starts describing LDN and tell me that Naltrexone was approved by the FDA back in the 80's to help drug and alcohol addicts beat their addiction. (2) Obviously, this did not settle in my brain. Why would I want to take something that was prescribed for drug & alcohol addicts? Then he explained that in 1985, a doctor discovered that it has immune boosting properties when given in teeny tiny doses for his HIV patients. (2) Then again he noted the improvements for his cancer patients in the 90's. Then, he noticed some improvements in autoimmune disease cases. (2) This picqued my interest. He told me to go home and research it while he would get in touch with the pharmacy that would compound it for me.

Now all that information is fine and dandy, but what does it do? How does it work? Well apparently it blocks the opioid receptors in between 2 and 4am when taken at bedtime. If I'm understanding correctly, this extended time of cutting off the opoid receptors actually causes an increase in endorphins and enkephalin production (3). And in some how, I am guessing this boosts the immune system.

A normal dose of Naltrexone is 50 mg. It causes opioid receptors to be blocked continously while the Low Dose of Naltrexone is between 1mg and 10 mg. I will be taking 4.5 mg which is the standard dose for a Lyme patient from my understanding. Last night was my 3rd night of LDN. First night, I slept very little. I was fatigued and miserable on the following day. I thought to myself that I would not be able to do this. Second night, I slept better and even had some nice dreams (opposed to the nightmares I have been having). I took a nap in the afternoon and last night was the third night of LDN. It was unbelievable. I had energy today. My brain was almost clear. If it keeps up like this, my 30 day trial of LDN will be over before I know it.


Check out the links by clicking the numbers above or by clicking the link below.

(1) http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=21219
(2) http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/index.htm#What_is_low_dose_naltrexone
(3) http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/#How_does_LDN_work_

12 comments:

Kara said...

Wow! This sounds terrific!! And you did a great job explaining it. I will have to read more about this. I hope this helps your body get stronger so it can knock all the infections out. Gosh, this is very exciting. I think my hubby could benefit from this. Thanks for this great post!

Kara said...

Oh, one more question. When you go off this, do you need to wean off? I'm thinking so...

Renee K said...

I have read a little about this, will be interested to see how you do with it, thanks for the great explanation.

Jennifer said...

I don't know how I could wean off it because I am taking 4.5 mg once at night. So unless it was a every other night kind of thing. I only have 30 so I guess i'll be cutting off cold turkey.

Anna McCarthy said...

My neuro told me about ldn 4 years asgo. I thought it was sort of stupid as I hadn't drunk anything in decades but I looked it up on the net. There was a great yahoo site, which has subsequently been sold and ruined, that had how long people had been taking it and how much and exactly what happened, so I started. He gave me 3 mg to start. The first night was wild-rather like tons of coffee with no fun effect, just staring the walls. However the next day I felt great and way less horrible pulling in my calves. So I did it for a while but then I got new mother effect- keeling over tired-so I tried taking it during the day, but then food tastes like cardboard and you feel totally blank. So I got my neuro to prescribe 1.5 but that was still too strong and I had to cut it in half for a while. It took months to get up to 3mgs and a year to get up to 4.5. The thing is endorphins are the source of pleasure, and happiness creates a feeling of success and. hopefulness. And you don't feel drugged-it is your own endorphins rebounding that make you feel good... How can an organ as small as the pituitary have two lobes and so many important hormones including endorphins and enkefalins?...I think it is a terrible idea to go off cold turkey as you will be terribly depressed even if you weren't before. Your LLMD can prescribe diminishing amounts. I went up by .75 increments and if I ever can go off, I will do the same. I forgot it one night last week and I was way more depressed and weaker and had more pain the next day-although I sure would like to go off all of it.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the advice Anna. The thing is that I only received one bottle with no refills and I don't see my doctor until October. I don't trust "cutting" my capsules in 1/2 or 1/4's b/c of the fillers they use in them.

Have you ever seen some medicines that say do not cut in half? Ever ask why? Well it's because sometimes the drug isn't dispersed evenly through out the tablet so if you cut it in 1/2 you may get all of the mg in one 1/2 of it and nothing in the other 1/2.

I imagine there are some "filler" things in the capsules and not "just" the medicine. So if you open up the capsule and "cut" it .. I imagine that there may not be exactly 1/2 of the med in 1/2 of the powder.

That's just *my* school of thought.

Anna McCarthy said...

True, but even a little ldn is way better for kicking than no ldn as you can and do become addicted to your own endorphins and you will miss them terribly. The amount in a 4.5 capsule is still a homeopathic amount but if you get more or less it is not dangerous. The normal dose is 50 mgs. which people trying to stop drinking and drugging hated because it blocked their endorphins for too long and too totally. Try and stir the powder if you like but you will really miss it. I did cut them in half and quarters at first and it wasn't perfect but I managed to get some sleep and some strength. It does taste bitter but it's quite doable... Doesn't your LLMD have email or nurses to relay your concern? Are you his first guinea pig? If so, you must educate him. The crash isn't like of hard drugs, opiates and all, but this disease is bad enough without further depression factors. I now get lots of 1.5 and 2.25 from my LLMD and so I can do more if I wish or less if I really want to herx in peace and sleep. Skips Pharmacy is very quick in mailing. And I really think ldn is the most obviously helpful thing I have taken in the whole Lyme nightmare where you see results the next day, otherwise I'm like, when am I supposed to really see results and stop herxing and feel better?

Monkey Girl said...

I find this interesting.

Are the effects eliminated though if you're taking pain meds. I am currently taking a daily dose of opioids for Lyme related nerve/muscle/bone pain.

Would the effects be diminished?

Anna McCarthy said...

Sadly you can't do opioids with ldn. I don't know if you can take a little in the day of opiods and ldn at night. I don't knows how quickly the opiods are eliminated or how completely they must be eliminated. I do kava kava, a little, for pain or spasm with the ldn at night and it seems to be fine. I have a good friend with Cohn's who has never been able to do ldn because of the pain meds. It's all so tricky.

Jennifer said...

MG, I don't know the answers to your questions. Seems Anna is knowledgeable about LDN so hopefully she answered your question. :)

Anna McCarthy said...

In the book The Promise of Low Dose Naltrexone by Elaine Moore and Samantha Wilkinson they say you must be off opioids to do the ldn. It's an excellent book and the only one of its kind. It is quite technical and on page 24 it seems to be saying that ldn reduces the addicting qualities of opiates? I used to be a nurse but it is still quite technical for me and I am not sure what it is saying. My LLMD is not real interested in the ins and outs of it either although he is happy to prescribe. So? Good luck.

Kara said...

Hey Jennifer, Are you still taking the LDN? How's it working? Could you email me at 86wildchild at sbcglobal dot net? Hope you are having a great day! ~Kara