LDN: A Possible Option for Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Not ever far from our thoughts at this difficult time is the novel COVID-19 virus pandemic and its global impact on healthcare systems, social interactions, and medication supply chains. We are seeing drugs normally used to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis as possible effective therapies to help those infected with the coronavirus.
This huge sudden demand for hydroxychloroquine and other medications has rapidly exceeded the available supply, which has left patients currently on these medications concerned for their ability to continue to obtain them.
While manufacturers of both raw materials and finished products struggle to ramp up production to meet this unprecedented demand, Town & Country Compounding Pharmacy is able to offer effective alternatives to hydroxychloroquine for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Both of these conditions are extremely painful to the patient which affects their ability to function which decreases their quality of life.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition which can affect more than just joints. Because it is also an autoimmune disorder, the patient’s immune system overreacts and attacks its own tissue. This inflammatory cascade, in turn, damages other parts of the body as well.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is also an autoimmune disorder characterized by pain and inflammation. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose as it also overlaps symptoms with other inflammatory disorders and no two cases of lupus are exactly alike.
Some patients have a milder form of the disease, some differ in the frequency of flare ups, and others have a more severe level of disease.
Low Dose Naltrexone as an Alternative
As we mentioned in the recent blog about the hydroxychloroquine shortage that may be affecting lupus and rheumatoid arthritis patients, a possible effective therapeutic option to hydroxychloroquine that can be considered for patients with autoimmune diseases is low dose naltrexone (LDN).
Low dose naltrexone has been shown to temporarily block the natural opioid receptors in our body, which in turn, causes the body to produce more endorphins. These natural opioids help to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
According to Clinical Rheumatology:
“Our findings that baseline ESR may be associated with LDN response suggest that other inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, and lupus, may benefit from LDN. LDN may serve as a concomitant medication when immunomodulatory therapies are not effective or not well tolerated by the patient.”
Source: Clinical Rheumatology
Low dose naltrexone also blocks the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as modulates T and B lymphocyte production. This quiets the body’s attack upon itself to reduce pain, inflammation, and to reduce the amount of damage done to the tissues.
Starting Treatment & Side Effects
Low dose naltrexone is generally initiated with a starter dose and is gradually increased to a therapeutic effect. As each individual patient is unique in their autoimmune journey, so is their response to treatment.
Some patients find relief more quickly and others may take up to six months to see benefit. Side effects are generally mild and usually dissipate after a few days of being on that dose. Patients sometimes experience vivid dreams and possible stomach upset.
As it is not available commercially, low dose naltrexone can be made specifically for each patient by a skilled compounding pharmacy. For Lupus or RA patients, it is most often prescribed in a capsule form but can also be compounded into a liquid when necessary.
For patients new to low dose naltrexone, a titration kit with gradual escalating doses is a user-friendly way to ensure doses are taken properly.
T&C Compounding Can Help
In this time of rapidly changing medication availability, it is reassuring to know that effective alternatives to hydroxychloroquine exist for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Should you have difficulty finding hydroxychloroquine and are in need of alternatives, please reach out to one of our low dose naltrexone expert pharmacists at Town & Country Compounding. We have successfully worked with many autoimmune and pain patients who have achieved a pain free quality of life and we would be happy to help you achieve the same results.
Do You Need a Referral to a Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Prescriber?
T&C Compounding works with the most prestigious providers. We work with you and health providers/specialists to formulate the most customized medication regimens to fit your specific needs. Medication is not one-size-fits-all, our compounding specialists use precise compounding techniques & equipment to get you the best solution.
We’re In This Together
We can win this fight against COVID-19 with the help of our communities. Every person has a role to play. Town & Country Compounding Pharmacy continues to provide medications & supplements needed throughout the quarantine period.
For the safety of our patients and staff we kindly ask that customers comply with our COVID-19 Policy: Curbside Pickup & Shipping Only.
Read more about T&C’s Patient Protection Plan.
Town & Country Compounding works with patients and providers to find solutions customized for each patient, as medication is not one-size-fits-all. Our pharmacy can then get in contact with your physician and help find a treatment plan that fits your needs.
We can ship out to you. Just email or call the pharmacy.
Reminder: Patients who pick-up from Our Pharmacy:
On an abundance of caution, Town & Country Compounding Pharmacy will be offering ONLY curb-side delivery & shipping until further notice. When placing your refill, please provide a credit card so we may process your order. Once you arrive to our address on the date and time you were confirmed for pick-up, please call us at 201-447-2020, Option 1 so we may bring your prescription to your car. See if we ship to your area.
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Get the Help You Need to Improve Your Quality of Life
If you have a condition that involves pain, or opioid dependence, depression or something else listed in our previous blogs about LDN, please call us and we’ll work with you and your doctor to find the appropriate solution.