Is LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone) a "Cure All?"

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Posted by Chip (St. Augustine, Fl) on 03/01/2018

I have used LDN for 5 years. I started because a neurologist said that I might have MS, I do not. However, I did have fairly severe RA. I would wake up and my hands would hurt. I also had Asthma. Both are auto immune diseases.

I refer to them as had, because they are both in remission. It took 3 months of 1.5mg of LDN every night to get rid of RA pain. It took almost 2 years to rid myself of asthma. When the symptoms stopped my Doctor refused to believe me and kept the medications coming. I now have a drawer full of inhalers and I canceled my prescription.

There is a significant fact to know about LDN. It does not cure anything, however it makes the immune system work better and generally places the condition in remission. Many Doctors refuse to prescribe LDN because they are worried that if you have an auto immune problem the immune system gets stronger and it will attack the body more. However, what it does is make the immune system work better so that if it were attacking the body it stops doing that. It does this by increasing the amount of endorphins the body makes as well as increasing the number of endorphin receptor sites in the body. The LDN works to prevent the body from absorbing endorphins for several hours. The body thinks it is not producing endorphins and ramps up production plus increases the number of receptor sites. (Note, this is my lay person description I have seen much more thorough discussions by MD's much of which goes above my head.)

The body naturally makes the most Endorphins shortly after you fall asleep at night. There have been numerous people who try and take it at times other then before going to bed. Most find their symptoms coming back and they go back to nighttime dosing. It is worth noting that there is one noticeable side effect. It only occurs for a few weeks then no longer is an issue. The side effect is that when the flood of endorphins hits, that dreams can become vivid. Not bad but very realistic. This effect usually fades after a few weeks.

The original website of Dr. Bihari (the one who discovered LDN) is It is very worthwhile to read. However, it does not tell you everything you need to know. For instance it tells you that most people take 4.5MG at night before they go to bed. However, very few people can tolerate 4.5MG to start with. The current recommendation of the LDN Users Group on Yahoo, is to start with 1.5 mg for 30 days, then up the dose to 3.0mg for 60 days, then go to 4.5mg. I found out that I can only tolerate 1.5mg per night. When I try to up the dose I get severe restless leg syndrome if I go above 2 MG. (Note, I just checked it out and the site has been recently updated and is much better.)

Even than, it took only 3 months for me to wake up pain free. No RA symptoms. However 3 times the first year I took it, I forgot to bring it with me on trips and after 3 days the RA symptoms returned. Once I started back on LDN they went away again. Now after 5 years I can skip up to 5 days before the symptoms return as I obviously built it up in my bloodstream.

The Yahoo users group is free to join and had at the last I heard over 11,000 members. The Moderator publishes a number of excellent information sheets covering every aspect of LDN, including a long list of medical problems that LDN helps to relieve, a list of Doctors that prescribe it and alternative methods to obtain it. It is an excellent resource.

When my RA symptoms disappeared I had no idea LDN could make that happen. However I found on a UK website an article that stated 86% of those with RA who were on LDN had their symptoms put in remission. I found websites that discussed LDN In every English speaking country. There is even a U tube video in Norwegian (it has Engllsh subtitles). Norway has over 50,000 people who take LDN.

After I learned about LDN, it took me several months to find a doctor who would prescribe it. At my request he prescribed 90 days worth of 4.5 MG capsules. I needed to take it to a compounding pharmacy. Since I was living in Palm Beach County I took it to Skips Pharmacy in Boca Raton. Dr. Skip Lenz (he has a doctorate in pharmacology) has more LDN patients than anyone else. He provides LDN to well over 10,000 people a month. I dropped off the prescription and a few days later Dr. Skip called me and cautioned me to start at 1.5 mg a night instead of 4.5 mg. At the time he recommended 30 days at 1.5 mg then 30 more days at 3.0 mg, then if I tolerated that to go to 4.5 mg. I never made it to 4.5 mg. Rather than change my prescription I would dissolve 2 capsules in 1.5 cups of distilled water, then take a quarter of cup of solution every night. This effectively made 90 4.5mg/capsules last me 9 months.

LDN like most medications does not work for everyone. However, when you ease into it, it does much better. The Yahoo users group has lots of discussions on how to start it. It is not very effective if you are already taking heavy opioids, they give lots of advice on how to cope.