Compounding & Autoimmune Diseases: Uses of Low-Dose Naltrexone in Autoimmune Conditions

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Living with an Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune Diseases can cause a multitude of symptoms that negatively affect the daily lives of millions of Americans. Pain, Inflammation, achiness, stiffness, digestive issues, skin problems, etc are examples of what they are living with..

This newsletter will cover some basics and then focus on the use of Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) in autoimmune conditions.

Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases. It is estimated that 30 million (75%) of those affected are women. (aarda.org)

At Town & Country Compounding we do our best to work with the patient and the practitioner to offer other options for the patients in the Northern New Jersey & NYC areas.

Some examples of autoimmune diseases include:

Autoimmune disease symptoms

Symptoms of autoimmune disease may be severe in some people and mild in others. Very rarely is it immediately clear if one has an autoimmune disease. (hopkinsmedicine.org)

Common Autoimmune Disease Symptoms

Despite the varying types of autoimmune disease, many of them share similar symptoms. Common symptoms of autoimmune disease include:

  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Skin problems
  • Abdominal pain or digestive issues
  • Recurring fever
  • Swollen glands

With some autoimmune diseases,symptoms come and go. Periods of symptoms are called flare-ups. Periods when the symptoms go away are called remissions. (healthline)

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is often difficult since the symptoms are often similar to various other conditions. There is not a simple, single test to diagnose autoimmune disorders. Usually one has a certain number of symptoms along with blood markers to help move the diagnosis in the right direction. (source)

If you are in need of a thorough checkup, an Integrative or Functional Medicine Prescriber may be a good place to start. They can always refer you to a specialist if needed.  

Integrative or Functional Medicine Physicians:

What are they and how can they help you?

How are Symptoms Managed?

Autoimmune Diseases can cause a multitude of symptoms that negatively affect the daily lives of millions of Americans. Pain, Inflammation, achiness, stiffness, digestive issues, skin problems, etc are examples of what they are living with..

This newsletter will cover some basics and then focus on the use of Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) in autoimmune conditions.

Exploring the Uses of Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

Let us at Town & Country Compounding be your experts. When dealing with pain, it is important to work with experienced pharmacists and practitioners.

Patient-Specific Approach

The key to success in using LDN is an understanding that optimal dosing is ultimately patient specific and is not dependent on a set protocol. Dosing strategies can vary tremendously. Some patients find success very quickly, while others need to try a variety of dosing strategies, which may take up to several months to achieve success.

Therefore, it is critical to work with a provider or a compounding pharmacy knowledgeable in strategies that can help ensure success with LDN. Since we began specializing in LDN at Town & Country, we have seen a wide variety of successes. It is these successes that motivate us to continue to try to help other patients.

LDN for Inflammation and Pain

Younger et al: The Use of Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) as a Novel Anti-Inflammatory Treatment for Chronic Pain. Clinical Rheumatology (2014) 33:451-459 | Stanford Medical School

Objective: Review evidence that LDN may act as a novel anti-inflammatory agent in the Central Nervous System thru its action on microglial cells.

Content: Additional information about the background, theory, mechanism of action, evidence of positive results, published research on pain disorders, advantages of LDN and disadvantages of LDN.

Evidence
Two proposed mechanisms of action:

1. Brief blockade of opiate receptors resulting in increased endorphin production and pain relief

2. Brief blockade of non-opiate receptors (TLR receptors) preventing activation of Microglial cells and production of inflammatory factors.In an initial pilot study on fibromyalgia, baseline erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) was a significant predictor of clinical response from LDN. (ESR is a common test that is sensitive to both chronic and acute inflammatory processes). A variety of chronic inflammatory conditions have been shown to respond positively to LDN treatment.

Conclusion:  The totality of the basic and clinical research to date suggests that LDN is a promising approach for chronic pain conditions thought to involve inflammatory processes.

LDN for Fibromyalgia

Younger et al: Fibromyalgia Symptoms are Reduced by Low-Dose Naltrexone: A Pilot Study. Pain Medicine 2009(10):663-72 | Stanford Medical School

Objective: Pilot clinical trial, to test the possible benefits of LDN in addressing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Population: Ten women meeting criteria for moderate to severe fibromyalgia and not taking an opioid medication.

Intervention: This study was conducted as a placebo-controlled, single-blind, crossover to evaluate the efficacy of 8 weeks of therapy with 4.5mg of naltrexone (LDN) on daily, self-reported fibromyalgia symptom severity. Each patient acted as their own control and received a placebo for two weeks before treatment.

Results:
During placebo, symptoms were reduced by 2.3% in the entire cohort from baseline. In the drug condition, symptoms were reduced by 32.5%.

Six out of ten patients using  LDN were considered responders (30% or greater reduction of symptoms over placebo).

Conclusion: LDN shows promise as being a well-tolerated therapy for fibromyalgia in women.

Town & Country Compounding Pharmacy is located at
Town & Country Compounding Pharmacy is located at 535 East Crescent Ave Ramsey, NJ 07446

Town & Country Compounding provides the most advanced formulations based on the most recent research and peer-reviewed guidelines.

We work with patients and their medical providers to customize solutions that are right for their individual needs when commercially-made medications are not showing results.

Medication is not one-size-fits-all. 

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