What is Low Dose Naltrexone?

I’m often asked about Low Dose Naltrexone. These days it is used to treat everything from autoimmune disorders and cancer, to fertility and autism. I have been taking 5 mg daily of this off-label, somewhat experimental drug since approximately 2005.

How did I find out about Low Dose Naltrexone or LDN? On one of my regular visits to my mild-mannered functional medicine doctor he thrust a prescription for this drug into my hand. A month later my naturopath recommended LDN to me and I decided it was worth a try.

Many food blogs preach healing with food, and food alone. I’m here to tell you that when you feel sick the best thing you can do is listen to your body and do whatever it takes to feel good again. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Getting well is a process without any rules.

I take LDN as part of my treatment plan for multiple sclerosis. I was diagnosed with MS in 2006 and was absolutely devastated when I received the news. While I have chosen not to take the drugs that are recommended as standard care for MS, I have quite a lot of friends who do, and I respect their choice. However, the issue with many of the typical MS drugs is their side effects. Some leave you with flu-like symptoms that can be as bad as the symptoms of MS. In any event, LDN is optimal for me as I do not experience side effects from it, and from what I have read in the medical literature, most people find this to be the case.

What is Low Dose Naltrexone? First, let’s take a look at what I facetiously refer to as “high dose,” naltrexone, or the more traditional form of this drug. Naltrexone is an opiod antagonist typically given to heroin addicts and junkies in doses of up to 1500 mg upon their arrival in the emergency room. Giving this type of dose of naltrexone to a person under the influence of heroin snaps them into lucidity in minutes because naltrexone binds to the opiate receptors of the brain –the same receptors to which heroin binds. This prevents the addict from experiencing the effects of the heroin, and leads to complete lucidity.

According to the website lowdosenaltrexone.org, In 1985, a physician named Dr. Bernard Bihari discovered the effects of a much smaller dose of naltrexone (approximately 3mg once a day) on the body’s immune system. He found that this low dose, taken at bedtime, was able to enhance a patient’s response to infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The use of a drug such as naltrexone in this way is called micro-dosing and can be extremely effective. It has been found that some drugs work differently (and sometimes quite oddly, more effectively) at lower levels. I find micro-dosing to be a very exciting and mostly under-explored component of traditional medicine.

According to the site lowdosenaltrexone.org LDN works in the following way:

The brief blockade of opioid receptors between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. that is caused by taking LDN at bedtime each night is believed to produce a prolonged up-regulation of vital elements of the immune system by causing an increase in endorphin production. Normal volunteers who have taken LDN in this fashion have been found to have much higher levels of beta-endorphins circulating in their blood in the following days.

While it is not completely understood yet, it is becoming apparent that endorphin secretions (our own internal opioids) play a central role in regulating the immune system. I believe that LDN works for me. I think it helps with my energy levels and also modulates my immune system so that it is more balanced. I also believe that it helps to control the neuropathy I experience.

Are wondering if LDN can help you? Here’s my advice. It may be worth discussing LDN with a DAN doctor, naturopath or functional medicine physician. In the meantime, remember that if you suffer from an autoimmune condition or any other health related issues, you may want to look into the main tenets of my healing program which include:


  1. JGC says

    Hi Elana, I’ve just started LDN for some immune disfunction. I’ve followed your blog for years, been gluten free for going on 6 years myself. It’s great to know that others are having success with it. I have a private question to ask you, if you can contact me, I would appreciate it. Keep up the great work!

    • Elana says

      Hi JGC, thanks for your comment! I would love to help, unfortunately there are many people that want to speak to me privately each week and it’s not feasible for me to take on this type of work. I do however, answer brief questions here for the benefit of all of my readers. If you feel comfortable leaving your question here, please do so, if not I understand. Thanks for stopping by :-)

  2. bill says

    Saying this is “used to treat cancer” is misleading at best, inaccurate and irresponsible at worst. It is being in tested in a few clinical trials, ie it is far from proven as effective against any cancer.

    And don’t get me started on “when you feel sick the best thing you can do is listen to your body and do whatever it takes to feel good again.” The comments above again apply. So “if it feels good do it?” Really? If smoking a cigarette makes me feel good I should do it then? Good grief.

    I won’t hold my breath about this comment being approved. But I ask you to consider what you’ve said above might need a little editing, or at least think a little more carefully before posting such things.

    • Russell R. Gilmore says


      Before you shoot your mouth off, do the research and see what this “Old Drug” is doing. Go to the LDN Research Trust sites and other LDN reports and see if you want to retract your rude comments.

      • Holly Holderman says

        congratulations Elana on your success with LDN …

        agreed Russell, Bill seems like a “level one thinker”…

        After much reading on LDN (lots of studies done at Penn State Hershey…) we have had great results with LDN as part of an intensive protocol for colon cancer for my dog.

        you can read more at: http://dognasalcancertreatmentforlucy.blogspot.com.br
        thanks to Gary Tippner for his tireless efforts…

    • Courtnay Power says







      FOR HELP

  3. Dawn says

    “Many food blogs preach healing with food, and food alone. I’m here to tell you that when you feel sick the best thing you can do is listen to your body and do whatever it takes to feel good again. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Getting well is a process without any rules.”

    This is one of the most balanced and unpretentious things I have read on a website in a long time. Thanks for the fair and true statement.

  4. Elana Amsterdam says

    Hi jmr, sorry to hear that this has been so tough. I have heard of folks whose sleep is disrupted by LDN. Personally when I have a negative response to any remedy, I back off a bit and go with 1/2 to 1/4 of the dose until things even out. I find that listening to my body is the best medicine. Good luck and please leave another comment to let us know how you’re doing!

  5. jmr says

    My doctor recently prescribed LDN. I have CFS, FM, Hashi’s, Graves and a few other things so I’m not sure if he prescribed it for one or all of those. He told me it shouldn’t have side effects and that’s what most of my internet searching has confirmed. However, I’m having insomnia, nightmares, sleepwalking, dizziness (sometimes incapacitating – I woke up to feel the room literally spinning like I was on an amusement park ride the other day), diarrhea, severe nausea and headaches. I’m trying to tough it out hoping I’ll adjust, but 3 weeks in, the side effects are just getting worse. He started me on 1.5 the first 2 weeks, then 3.5 for the next month. This stuff is miserable. Maybe I need to start lower.

    • Galyn F says

      Typically sleep disruption includes getting a little reved up at first and more intense dreams but, in my experience, not nightmares. Naltrexone disrupts dissociative phenomena, including protective amnisic bariers. If there is an extensive history of early childhood trauma, it might be good to back way of. If there is any possibility of a dissociative disorder, such as dissociative identity disorder, it should be first ruled out by a therapist familiar with traum and dissociative disorders before using LDN. Ulrich Lanius et al, “the neurobiology and treatment of dissociation (2014) chapter 22 is a good resource. Galyn forster

      • Galyn F says

        I find patients frequently find dreaming to be more intense initially, but nightmares are rare. LDN and naltrexone disrupt dissociative phenomena, including dissociatve amnesiac bariers. If there is an extensive history of early childhood trauma, dissociatve disorders may need to be ruled out by a trauma specialist, familiar with dissociative disorders.

        • Rebekah says

          @Galyn F
          That LDN “disrupts dissociative amnesiac barriers” is very interesting to me. For the last decade (I’m 22 yrs old now) I’ve lived with an autoimmune thyroid disorder. Started out as Graves’ but I think I’m Hashimoto’s now. I’m very interested and optimistic about taking LDN (in tandem with other appropriate treatments) based on all the research I’ve done on it. It seems like the most promising way to begin unravelling my autoimmunity. But both my dad and older brother suffered from schizophrenia, and I’ve experienced a lot of traumas in my life. From your use of the term ‘patients’ I’m guessing you’re a practitioner of some sort… Can you describe *what could happen* in any more detail? Dream-retrieval of previously forgotten traumas?

      • Karen Warner says

        I started taking compounded LDN adding one drop each week. I’m now up to 8 drops last week.My Dr. wants me to get up to 4.5 ml which is 9 drops. I have been waking up several times a night being on it. Last night I woke up 4 times and am getting extremely fatigued. I wasn’t like thi this before taking it. I do have early childhood trauma which I think could have been dissociative disorder and feel emotionally unstable since being on LDN. How is it connected and is there a book on LDN to help me. I’m wondering if I need a lower dose or should take earlier in day.

    • sheila says

      LDN is personal…meaning everyone is different in what dosage is good to start with and how to move up, or even if you should. I belong to a couple of closed groups on FB that have people talking about how they manage LDN. Personally, I take it in the AM and I am on such a small dosage you’d wonder if it’s working. But, for me it is. Other folks in the group start small, stay small and work up very slowly…I mean over a month or 3. Personally, I started in mid October and I’m still working my way up to .5mg. It is individual. In the beginning it was thought everyone should get to 4.5mg, but that is not so anymore. Even people go back down to lower dosage when they felt better. Some stop for a few days to let things clear. Keep on trying to find your way. Unfortunately doctors don’t know all the in’s and outs yet, at least not from the threads I’ve read on my groups. Good luck, don’t give up, start small and work up slowly…you are not in a race. <3

    • Julie says

      You should find a Lyme Literate MD, and get tested for Lyme Disease. A negative test does not rule out Lyme, but a positive one is helpful in getting treatment started sooner.

      I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 2001, RA in 2006, MS in 2012 and finally got the Lyme diagnosis later in 2012. I speak from experience, it’s a rough road to recovery, as I’m not there yet. I’ve done the LDN treatment. It worked at first, but no longer helps.

      What mainstream medical will not admit, is that #1 MS is not a disease in and of itself, it is a symptom. #2 Research in the early 1900s showed that MS was caused by a bacterial infection, which is exactly what Lyme Disease is. They have the same etiology.


  6. TZ says

    I have thought for years that I have some kind of auto-immune disease, so reading the posts/comments has been interesting! I have had gut issues all my life, to some level. They worsened as I got older. Milk fat was an issue causing extreme symptoms, somI eventually got my self down to non-fat and that dealt with the painful symptoms. The biggest of my symptoms Were not dramatic just uncomfortable. I ended up with a low thyroid after I had my kids, and have been taking a thyroid led since then…more than 17 years or so. My gut issues worsened even more and Specialiats just defined the symptoms – not the cause. They gave me a prescription to help move things along, and this stuff ended up ruining my intestines. I have always known beef was an issue for me, and breads as well…so I severely limited it in my diet. A bite here or there and then on holidays a bit more…CHRSITMAS PRIME RIB…YUMMMM! I also removed gluten, wheat, dairy, and starch/grains like corn, and grains. Some of these changes worked for a short while, but within a week to a month reverted back. A Gastro doc I had seen told me I have a long colon and removing a length of it MAY BE my only option for help. Hold crud – they wanted to remove my colon as a MAY BE FIX!?!?!! I had heard about food sensitivities and people who’s lives changed for the positive from the info found…but it was an expensive out of pocket cost so I blew it off. With colon cutting the only option in my future I decided to research the food sensitivity arena. I ended up going with the LEAP program…and a Certified LEAP Nutritionist to help implement it. It tests sensitivies to a type of protein in 150 food/additives, and has a high level of accuracy…and is well-known for it. I got a kit, got my blood drawn into four vials, packed it up including my check and FedEx overnighted it to the lab in Florida. A week later my Nutritionist sent me the results in email. It found me sensitive to EVERYTHING I was eating MULIPLE times a day…all nightshades, basil, green beans, spinach, beef, milk (cow/bovine proteins period), olives (olive oil!!!! Ugh), pecans, pistachios, red and blue food coloring, meta bisulfite (I have problems with sulfates/nitrates, and nitrites as well), and weird items (I rarely ate, if ever) like cod, millet (what was that I was thinking…lol), and some others. I removed all of these immediately and in two weeks my gut was already feeling noticeably better. I went on an elimination diet for weeks – only including the lowest reactive foods with fluctuations based on nutrition needs. My system was so much better already. I even found out some higher -low reactives (the ones in GREEN) that I had problems with…ALL LETTUCE and lentils being two. My system is like night and day different. Strangely, wheat and gluten were only a very low reactive, as was rice, yet, my system slows to an uncomfortable crawl if I consume more than a few bites of even rice or quinoa. I have to vary what I eat daily, or my system has issues again until I go back to basically veggies, not too much sugar (I only eat 100% organic maple syrup, coconut sugar, or raw honey a but even too much fruit in my NutriBullet drink is an issue). My system seems to get used to what I am eating and then hiccups again. I also cannot consume flax, chia, or psyllium (my nutritionist told me some people cannot digest this type of fiber). Sadly, the more Itema I added back, the more inconsistent my system got. I am wondering if this could be auto-immune related, and maybe because I have always been a good weight, exercised (except when pregnant and with undiagnosed thyroid because I was so sick…or extremely tired), and ate healthier than most…the symptoms were not/are not as noticeable or consistent. I also have some physical issues, but none related to MS (I even had a brain scan about five years ago by a nuerologist…and they did not find anything. I am seeing a rehab personal trainer to help build up atrophied muscles/muscle imbalances, etc…and he said he mentioned an auto-immune issue as a possible issue based on my mentioned symptoms. I did not even mention my own concerns…so this is why I am posting here! I am wondering who I would even see (my GP sucks for help or referrals…and I have had a few since my GREAT doc retired) to define this. My LEAP Nutritionist works with a Naturopath…but I had a Naturopath nightmare (doctor’s and healthcare providers on a whole actually) that has kept me from moving in that direction. Input would be very helpful at this point!! Any takers are greatly appreciated!!! :))

    • Mrs. M. says

      TZ, Have you considered looking into your gallbladder/pancreas? It sounds like you may need to purge some gallstones. Most of your symptoms are identical to mine and once I did about 12 gallbladder flushes I started feeling human and was able to consume tons of food again. Most people have issues with their gallbladder and they have no idea –most of those symptoms mimic a lot of auto-immune. I am not a doctor, but I would start there. I also worked with a nutritionist who helped me clean my water and my air. Water is such a huge part of the healing process as well.

  7. says

    My husband was recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis while in the midst of a major flare. He just had his first dose of ldn a couple hours ago. The Dr recommended 3 mg 4x/day – is that typical? He is also taking a maitake supplement and using turmeric.

  8. Barbara says

    Hello Elana,
    I have a daughter whose food issues match some of your delicious cupcake recipes. My question is: How much cupcake batter do I need to fill a 10″ or 9″ baking pan and how do I adjust the baking time?

    She is having a baby shower in a couple of weeks and I am making a snowman (using your recipes for cupcakes and icing). I need to know how to adjust the recipes to make this cute desert centerpiece that my daughter can eat.

    Your earliest reply is so appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Barbara (grandma-to-be!)

  9. Ravind Singh says

    I have severe psoriasis and inquire if there is a Naltrexone cream or ointment that is available.I cannot take oral medication as my liver is damaged through excessive alcohol
    intake and jaundice has set in.

  10. Jennie says

    I am very pleased with your recipes and wholesome lifestyle and cooking pursuits. However, just to clarify, in your article regarding low dose naltrexone,which is, in fact “somewhat experimental”, naltrexone in doses of 50-100mg are FDA-approved for alcohol and opioid addiction treatment. In regards to your comment that naltrexone is given in emergency rooms at doses of up to 1500mg, you may be confusing naltrexone with naloxone, which is also an opioid antagonist often used in ERs to reverse opioid overdose. Please be aware the this medication is necessary not to make people “lucid”in the ER, but to reverse the opioid-induced respiratory depression that often kills opioid addicts who have accidentally overdosed. In essence, it saves their lives. Naltrexone at appropriate doses can be very useful treatment for those suffering from addictions—the “junkies” as you refer to them. Addiction is a disabling and debilitating disorder and people with addictions are often unfairly stigmatized and judged.

  11. Mary says

    I don’t know if this medication would be able two help, but I have a friend who has autoimmune disorder as well, she is allergic to over 7,000 things, and it she is itching constantly,and it is not something that can control from external creams or lotions, the itching is coming from the inside out, and she’s lost all of her hair on her head she’s in her sixties and very depressed. The medication that they gave her that was helping and her skin that was actually finally healing caused her kidneys to go into failure and put her in a depression so bad that she was suicidal. I have talked to her about the Paleo diet, and the autoimmune protocol diet, but I don’t know if this would help in this situation. They technically say she has eczema but it would be if you were to rate eczema in different stages, she would have eczema in stage 4. Can you offer me anything information wise or from previous experiences to help her?

    • Erin says

      Your friend needs to investigate high histamine issues. This is a genetic issue exacerbated by diet and food. Even many so called “healthy foods” such as yogurt, will trigger histamines in those who have a genetic predisposition. Look up the Histamine Diet and supplements that damper histamines in the gut such as pancreatic enzymes, vitamin C and Black currant seed oil. FYI, everyone is on a “probiotic” craze right now. Those with high histamines will have VERY high histamines when using most probiotics. There are a few low histamine variations though so look into those only.

  12. Vera says

    I’m taking LDN for Dermatomyositis and microscopic colitis. I started 5 months ago while on the Paleo diet, which had only improved my skin and symptoms 60%. Within 4 months, my Dermatomyositis rash was completely in remission and my extreme sun sensitivity vastly improved. I’m tan now!! In those 4 months I dropped from 10 mgs prednisone to 5 with no flares with each drop. My energy levels improved and my mood has never been better. I’m in awe and wish I had tried it when my disease first flared.

    • Gaius Gracchus says

      Thanks to Vera for her posts about DM and LDN. I have DM and my doctor has never treated it but prescribed the LDN for me. She was very happy to hear about someone with DM who has had success with this treatment, since I mentioned Vera’s posts to her.

  13. Joni says

    I’m so sorry to hear you have MS. But I wanted to share with you that this person was healed of MS by diet alone. The only difference in your diet and what they did was no sugar of any kind and no starch or anything that turns to sugar in the body. Doug Kaufman in know the cause thinks this maybe a fungus, yeast overgrowth in the body and in turn causes many things like MS or for me diabetes, just to name one I have. There is also a site that gives a diet for ridding the body of this, candida. Check it out. I really hope you get well. I am trying too to get well. And thanks for this info I may need to try this.

  14. Penny says

    I have Ehlers Danlos along with other health issues and will begin taking LDN tomorrow night. It is the first medicine in a long time that has sounded promising. My doctor is wonderful about trying different treatments with me and when I gave him the info had no problem giving me an rx. I am not hoping for a miracle, just some relief would be nice as right now I have no other treatment options. So glad I found this with all the promising outcomes. Fingers crossed

    • Rebecca says

      Hi penny,
      Sorry to bother almost two yrs after your comment. I am enquiring as to your experience with LDN. Did you start it, are you still on it and if so what has been your experience?



  15. Andi says

    Why are people using this for Hashimoto’s–what symptoms specifically–I am curious to how this may help me.

    Any thoughts.

  16. Erika says

    I am so delighted to hear that LDN has helped you to be well!

    I had/have chronic Lyme (which is now in remission; I am blessed) and LDN was part of the first year of my treatment. I was on a 4 mg dose. I found that it did disturb my sleep if I took it too close to bedtime, but if I took it with dinner instead then it had no effect on my sleep at all. Its overall effect on my progression toward full health was subtle but I felt that it helped my body better assimilate the herbs I was using and also lowered my overall immune load.

  17. Jeanne says

    Dear Elana,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your MS. Your website is treasured by myself and many others, but even more so now, knowing how difficult it must be for you to do such a beautiful job of maintaining it and creating such healthy and yummy recipes. You are so very appreciated.

    I suffer from RA, obesity and Celiac disease, am 60 years old and just discovered the “Wheat Belly” lifestyle 2 months ago. I am 20 lbs down, no more eczema, heartburn, stomach cramps or brain fog, not to mention a surge of energy that I haven’t felt in 20 years. I look forward to my next bloodwork results. My hands are so crippled that it’s very hard to do most things or even hang onto most things. I was called a “freak of nature” (behind my back) at the grocery store one day. Discrimination runs so deep in so many forms that it just makes me glad to be going out of this life rather than coming in.

    I just purchased your Almond Flour cookbook and it is wonderful! The Scrumptious Bread is the best ever and tonight we’re going to have pizza. I’ve yet to find a crust that works and that is healthy but I have high hopes for yours! I also see lots of crackers in our future. Crackers are the food that
    I miss the most.

    Best of luck to you and yours!

  18. Jenny says

    Hello, my husband has AS (ankylosing spondylitis). He tried getting off his Humira rx for 3 months while we tried LDN. At first, as he got on LDN and the Humira left his system, we were relieved that his symptoms didn’t return to debilitating status. However, within 2 more months, his discomfort was growing and he returned to Humira so he wouldn’t miss work. We wish we could afford to experiment with finding the right dosage better. Those of you on LDN, how did you find the dosage correct for your body? What type of practitioner did you use and do they prescribe or are they actually helpful? And are you still on other drugs/supplements? Thanks!

  19. Noel says

    “Getting well is a process without any rules” — so true.
    Thank you for this post. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  20. Jane says

    My son, age 30 and with MS, called me a couple of days ago and wanted the almond flour cookie recipe that I make all the time. It is of course one of yours. As we talked, I pulled up your site. And I was so surprised to see the article on LDN (which I read to him over the phone), and that you had MS. My son has been on LDN since Spring and has been following you for about a year. His diet is almost pristine–tons of raw vegetables. He told me about your site and I have been a big fan ever since. When in Utah I found that Costco was selling Honeyville almond flour for $17 for a three pd bag, a great price. I brought a lot back East with me. Unfortunately Costco have discontinued it. The cheapest way to buy it now is in bulk, ordering 25lbs at a time from Honeyville. I’m sure I’ll be doing that eventually, and selling some to friends and freezing the rest.

    We are sending blessings your way. Thank you, thank you for being out there.

  21. amy says

    Thank you for this post. Having struggled with RA for the last two and half years, I’m just now learning about LDN as a possible treatment instead of the standard protocols followed by my rheumatologist. The video was especially helpful.

  22. says

    I was diagnosed with MS in 2010 but had my first episode in 1996. I’m new to the functional/integrative medicine world and was introduced to it by my friend and crossfit coach. The biggest question I have for those with MS who are treating with natural remedies and/or LDN is this, how do you determine if it is working for you? Do you use how you feel and what you can do as the gauge? Or do you use an MRI to help gauge whether your efforts are working? I only ask because I present with no symptoms currently on a neurological examine. I run, crossfit, work full time and pursue other hobbies. My last 3 MRIs have shown disease activity or a “silent” exacerbation. They call it “silent” because of the fact that I have zero symptoms. I was on Rebif until July and am now taking copaxone. We don’t have a true gauge of if the copaxone is working because I was very lazy taking it leading up to my latest MRI. Which is my own fault because I had a lackadaisical attitude and maybe a little over confident too. Any input you have is appreciated and will help me keep an open mind.

    • jami says

      I was dx with MS in 2011, first episode in 2010 while prepping for a fitness competition! :) I was started on Copaxone and hated it. Everyone is different and affects people differently. I was introduced to LDN on patientslikeme.com. The symptoms I had with MS was cognitive impairment, lower extremity weakness, I wasn’t able to walk more than 20 feet without having to stop to take a break and a few other things, however I’m unable to remember right now as its been years since I had any symptoms. I started taking LDN in September 2011, within 2 weeks the brain fog lifted and within 2 months I was running and lifting weights again. Since then I haven’t looked back. I had a follow up MRI 1 year later and the lesions in my brain have reduced in size and number and there were no more contrast enhancing lesions.. I’m a MRI Technologist too btw :) Initially I had 13 contrast enhancing lesions, which indicates that they are actively demyelenating (sp?) LDN both helped my MS stop progressing and it cleared me of the symptoms that impacted my life so much. I hope this was helpful to you! Also I try to stick to a Paleo diet which I was introduced to in CrossFit.

  23. says

    Thank you very much for the valuable information! Like many chronic, ill-understood conditions, Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome (an adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone – Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox or Floxin) affects everyone differently. However, I have heard several reports of people who are suffering from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome being helped by LDN. I have been wanting to read more information about it. I appreciate that you put together this post! If anyone feels like linking me to more information about LDN, I’ll certainly appreciate more links.

    Thanks and I’m so glad that it’s helping you!

    • VictoriaP says

      I know that this is a an older post but ‘allergy’ to fouroquinolone is not an allergy at ALL. This is a genetic intolerance caused by mutation of a CBS Gene. I know this because I have it and Cipro almost put me in the hospital after 3 pills. Please look up about getting ‘floxed’ and CBS genetic issues. It also affects everything from intolerance to laughing gas at the dentist to taking a bath with Epsom salts and even eating nightshade vegetables. One should also get tested for the MTHFR mutation but easiest way to do it is get the full test through 23andme and upload raw data to a third party website. The CBS mutation is not uncommon nor are reactions. Knowing that one has it is so critical to stop medics from prescribing that entire class of drugs.

  24. Ashlie says

    I bought your Gluten-Free almond flour cookbook a while ago, but only just today did I find out that you too have Multiple Sclerosis…

    I was diagnosed in 2011 when I was 19. I have heard about Low Dose Naltrexone before as an option but now that I see someone who has really tried it and can vouch for its effectiveness I am more motivated to seek it out as a treatment – especially since your approach to MS is very similar to mine. It’s difficult to really believe in a holistic approach to medicine when a neurologist is pushing Copaxone on you as a teenager :(

    So, thank you for this post – it may have been a kickstart to something better for my life and my MS.

  25. says

    I am so happy to see your posting about Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN). Yes, it is a really wonderful treatment for autoimmune diseases. My book, HONEST MEDICINE, features LDN as one of four treatments that are effective, low cost, time-tested and non-toxic but that (unfortunately) most doctors know nothing about. Thank goodness for the internet — and blogs like this one — for spreading the word.

    I am glad too, to see Renee’s comment. She runs one of the most successful Facebook groups for discussions about LDN. Her group, “Got Endorphins? LDN” has nearly 3000 members and is growing every day.

    I am now conducting teleseminars and coaching sessions to help patients teach their doctors about LDN. You may learn more about these servuces at HonestMedicine.com.

    Again, thanks for writing about this very unique treatment for autoimmune diseases. I am glad you are having such good results with it.

    Julia Schopick
    If you have a chance, please go to my website and listen to an interview I have there with LDN Pioneer, Dr. Bernard Bihari. His widow, Jackie Bihari, generously gave it to me so that others would learn more about LDN.

  26. Mary Niethammer says

    I have been taking 3mg LDN daily with NO side effects whatsoever. I have Multiple Sclerosis Relapsing/Remitting for 40 yrs. I have been through a lot obviously. I started LDN 9 months ago and am so very happy for this drug. I immediately noticed how I slept so well through the night w/o waking all the time to go to the bathroom. My back pain was totally eliminated!! I had been on so many strong medications with dangerous side effects for my pain, which helped but never went away. By evening the pain had increased unbearable that I would have a glass of wine before bed, which actually helped! Also, I am amazed at my increased energy. I am so happy with LDN. 1)sleep better 2)pain eliminated 3)increased energy 4)feeling great Hope this helps.

  27. Denise B. says

    Thanks for the informative post. I’ve been intrigued by the idea of this medication for my fibromyalgia. I appreciate the info. Also, I love, love, love your blog. Came here first when I went gluten free and am here even more often now that I am grain free. I just checked out your paleo recipe book from the library and am so excited to try the bagel recipe. Yum. You truly are an inspiration.

  28. Elizabeth says

    I am taking 2.5 at night, 1.5 in the morning for SIBO. I like the effect it has on my gut. It messed with my sleep a lot at first, which has calmed down. However, it does make me drowsy/space-y, so I find myself drinking more coffee during the day. Also, maybe it, or the coffee, or sleep disturbance from LDN are to blame for the marked increase in my headaches, which have become both more frequent and more severe (necessitating a migraine medication I haven’t needed in 10 years). I hope as the SIBO improves I can go to a nighttime only dose.

  29. says

    Hi! I never respond to articles, but for some reason I was moved to respond to this one. I apologize if I ramble. We started out on a journey a few months ago drinking Shakeology (it is a meal replacement shake made with super foods, adaptogens, pre-biotics, etc., etc.). We wanted to try the shake because our son (he has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy) suffers from debilitating constipation. We were tired of trying different medications to no avail. Anyway, here we are a few months later and he is doing wonderfully (we were actually encouraged to start potty training him). I have been learning more and more about the product, and I have been making contact with others who have had success with it. I have met numerous people with MS that now drink Shakeology and have seen huge improvements. I just wanted to share that for those of you seeking alternative treatments. I would happy to answer any questions you have (you can send me a private message on my FB page – http://www.facebook.com/marathonmomoffour or send me an email – marathonmomoffour@gmail.com). I’m wishing you all the best in the treatment of your conditions.

  30. says

    I am on LDN for the 2nd time. I was on it for several months and i didn’t really notice a difference.

    The pharmacy didn’t refill on time so I stopped it. 2 months later, she has me back on it again. Maybe I need to be on it longer for my hashi’s

  31. beth says

    I am wondering if LDN is available in Canada? This is the first I’ve heard of it. I am suffering from severe sensory nerve pain and neuropathy. Drs here are unable to find a reason for it. Desperately looking for some pain relief!

    • amy says

      LDN is available in Canada. It may be more commonly known as “revia”. My doctor prescribed it to me for “neuropathic pain of unknown origin”. Feel free to email me at amybaker_esl@yahoo.com if you have more questions or think I can help.

  32. Jessica says

    How cannabis/hemp oil save my life

    My name is Jessica from california,i was once a ovarian cancer patient i did chemo and
    radiation many times but no avail it rather
    weaken my immune system and i was unable to move from one place to another. i was living in pain for 3 years until i contacted the spanish national cancer research centre via email
    spanishcancerresearchcentre@gmail.com for
    procurement of cannabis/hemp oil and after using this medication for treatment for 7weeks,there was a great changes and as i am writing this article I’m not suffering from cancer again. cancer patient out there use this cannabis oil and you will be well again.

    • Kay Pitts says

      Hi Jessica,
      Have been dealing with stage 4 Breast Cancer. Am in my 11 th year and don’t want to do chemo of radiation. Can you tell me how you used the hemp oil? So glad you had such good results…
      Kay Pitts

    • linda says

      I have used CBC oil for my fibromyalgia and it saved my life,I was suicidal from muscle pain and being up all night with no sleep,Indo the kind that doesn’t get you high and I joke with my son now that I thought it was my job to steer him away from marijuana but he ended up steering me to it,it is legal in Oregon and has had dramatic results for people suffering from pain,seizures,going through cancer treatments,Thank you for mentioning it,The downside is it is very expensive and insurance won’t cover,I’m going to try low dose naltrexone soon.

      • Curious says

        Linda, I noticed you mention fibro. and are in Oregon. I live in the High Desert area and have found finding a Dr that is well versed in alternative therapies to be quite the challenge. Do you have any suggestions on Physicians? I am willing to travel to Portland, Eugene, Or Salem if needed. I take LDN at night. I stopped it a few times to see if it is actually making a difference. I feel like it improves my tolerance to pain, but not sure how else it maybe impacting me. If you have any Oregon specific info., I am all ears.

        Elana, thanks for sharing insight all these years. You have made being GF easier and are always the first resource I send people to when they are just starting out. Best to you and your family!

  33. Jane says

    LDN didn’t work for me — fibro/fatigue and adrenal fatigue, but I wanted to share this web site for those of you with MS: TerryWahls.Com. It is worth a look and may help some/all of you. Also, I learned that I was extremely low in iodine (as well as vitamin D), but after taking kelp and getting my iodine numbers up, so much has falling into place! There is an epidemic of low iodine in the country, so please get it checked with your next blood work. It has been nothing short of a miracle as I have been working with a fibro/fatigue specialist for years and have tried everything!

  34. says

    I just wanted to say thank-you for making the comment about not always being able to heal with food alone! I know that depression and MS are two very different things (both are common in my family – opposite sides), but my poor husband tried to treat his depression with food only after so many people out there shoved the “heal everything with food, or you’re eating wrong and killing yourself” dogma (my words, not theirs). Thankfully, he finally listened to his body and began adding in certain supplements and even small doses of mild pharmaceuticals. He’s a million times happier than he has ever been and both of believe he would have never reached this point if we’d stuck with food only.
    Thank-you so much for reminding everyone that food is not the only treatment out there, that sometimes more is needed.

  35. says

    and hopefully you have been tested for borrelia – Lyme disease and chlamydia pneumoniae (not the sexual kind)
    So many people are recovering using a protocol devised by Dr David Wheldon for his wife Sarah.


    I’ve personally used this protocol to recover from severe chronic fatigue syndrome. After 30 years, I am now almost fully functional.

    It’s great that we are able to share all this vast amount of information on the net. Thanks

  36. Karen says

    Your statement, “Getting well is a process without any rules” resonates with me. I have Chronic Lyme and thankfully, have responded well to treatment. I’m stronger and healthier than I’ve been in years. I’m still working on being 100% but I’m so much improved. To treat my Lyme I took antibiotics, which are the standard of care recommended by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Organization (ILADS). I was surprised by the number of people who vehemently argued with me about my choice and insisted that I should simply follow a clean diet. Never mind that I have been grain, dairy, soy, and sugar free for years before the diagnosis, they were all certain I would recover fully if I just removed………’x’ food. I am profoundly grateful for a wonderful naturopath who is ILADS trained and passionate about helping me recover, and for the availability of the amoxy and doxy that saved my life. Some people don’t respond to antibiotics with Lyme. I am one of the fortunate ones but I encourage everyone to trust their instincts, read voraciously, and not be afraid to change doctors. There really are no rules and one size (or treatment plan) does not fit all. Continued best wishes.

  37. Sheri says

    Very interesting. I have Hashimotos Thyroiditis, Lyme and Bartonella. I will definitely ask my Lyme doctor about LDN. Anything that can help my immune system will definitely help with the Lyme and my thyroid disease. As long as it doesn’t cause insomnia which is already a huge problem for me.

    I am also curious if you have been tested for Lyme disease and co-infections. Doctors are very uninformed/misinformed about Lyme and its co-infections. It took me over 30 years to be finally diagnosed. If you have not yet seen a doctor about Lyme disease, you should definitely seek out a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD) and get Western Blot testing only from IgeneX labs.

  38. Kobi says

    Thank you Elana! I am struggling with the fact that I can’t seem to heal my maladies with foods as so many others can. It’s frustrating but it gives me a sense of relief when I hear others admit it as well (paleomg was the other story recently). Thanks!

  39. Leslie says

    I am right here in your neighborhood…and have MS…and I am on LDN…I went to the LDN conference in Chicago in October. I just attended in the fall? a cooking class you had at Sur La Table….
    The LDN and abstaining from gluten has been great for me….I jog several days a week on 4th street which I never thought I would do again until I started LDN. Good for you for putting this out on your blog/facebook!!!

  40. s a c says

    Know a few people who take it with success for IBD , this is my 2nd go with it as I’m in another flare and on what the GI’s perscribes, drugs that I feel horrible taking ,and don’t work anyway. My friend took LDN for almost 7months before seeing full remission so it can take time. I’m sticking with it this time

  41. says

    Hi Elana,

    Thanks for the info. I have recently learned of the use of this medication for lyme disease…which is sometimes misdiagnosed as MS…hoping that you have been tested for that.

    Glad to hear that the LDN is helpful!

    Thanks for sharing your insight, too!

  42. Courtney says

    I’m confused about how LDN affects opioid receptors, especially for someone like me for whom an opioid prescription throws me into severe flu symptoms? I can’t figure out what the literature is saying.

    Also, it’s a family joke that I don’t have endorphins (I know everyone does to some extent), so I wonder how that would work with LDN.

    It sounds like it works great for some other Hashi’s people, but I wonder if it could be scary bad for this particular Hashi’s person.

    • Bonnie Shockey says


      Ask your doctor to explain how and why opioids work the way they do in your body. If anyone is on a prescription for heavy duty pain killers, that include morphine and like drugs, they should not be taking LDN, as there can be a bad reaction. A low dose of naltrexone is 3mg compared to the FDA approved 50mg prescription. Each works totally different from the other. Please read an earlier comment/reply that I made to Kirsten. Bonnie

  43. Lee Ann Kaplan says

    I have an auto immune disorder that my dr doesnt even know what it is :( They are treating me as if i have lupus and the medicine for that is Methotrexate or Prednisone. The prednisone worked amazing when we did a trial but the side effects of weight gain will kill me long before the disorder would. I now take methotrexate and I feel horrible. I feel like i’m putting poison in my body but they told me theres not really any alternatives :(

    • Vanessa says

      Hi Lee Ann,

      I know how you feel; I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome but I really believed it was something more than that. I am now seeing a functional medicine doctor (MDs with special training) and since seeing her 8 months ago I feel like I’m not dying anymore. I was having days where I felt as though the life was draining out of me, and now I’m experiencing less and less pain every day. Much of the changes have been dietary but she also has found multiple deficiencies, heavy metals, gut issues, etc from all of the testing I’ve done. I’m so grateful for her treatment! It has cost me a pretty penny but at least I’m getting my life back. Poison is not the only answer; I was there and now I’m headed towards being able to wean myself off of the pain meds I depended on to get through each day…

      Good luck to you!

      • Laverne Adams says

        I also have HLAB27 positive and diagnosed with AS and fibro. I am 75 and have had chronic pain since my early 30’s. I was prescribed LDN 10 days ago and am trying not to be overly optimistic as I’ve had many disappointments in the past. Currently on methotrexate and Enbrel. After reading some of the comments here, I can’t help but feel very hopeful that LDN will ease at least some of the pain and thus improve my mood. Blessings to all of you who are in pain. Wish me luck on this new journey!

  44. Laura says

    I have been taking LDN for 1.5 years for my inflammatory arthritis (HLA B27 positive) and related autoimmune issues. It has been a miracle drug for me. My disease has been completely inactive since I started taking LDN. I first learned about it from a post on this site! So, thank you, Elena! I owe you a great deal. :)

    • Laura says

      Omgoodness…Laura, thanks for sharing! I too have HLA B27 with Uveitis and AS…I am eager to try LDN and in combo with Alpha Lipoic Acid, I have heard it is amazingly helpful.
      Thank you Elana for sharing this!

  45. Pam says

    So excited to see you getting this information out there. My husband has had Crohn’s for 30+ years and my son also has it. My husband starting using LDN after a pharmacist turned him on to it…but then we had to find an open minded dr. That led us away from our gastro dr that just wanted to use high powered drugs.. He had been on every drug out there with his last option being remicaid infusions at a price of 15000.00 every eight weeks. We found a nurse practitioner that agreed to try it and life has been much smoother.. 4.5 mg every night keeps him feeling much better…and now grain free. Thank God! My son is now on it also. Our hospital ER visits are few and far between now.

    • Gary says

      I’ve had Crohn’s since I was 20yrs old and am 67 now. Remicade has been my last resort also. I have neuropathy in my legs, feet and hands, which I believe is caused by Remicade and Flagyl use, mostly Flagyl. I have chronic fatigue, chronic dehydration and a chest port that I get a 1000 ml of IV every day. I’m in stage three kidney failure. Just got off Methadone and am on LDN 4mg daily. What a change in my life .Chronic fatigue is gone, i backed off the double dose of Remicade I was getting. The pain in my feet, legs and hands has decreased significantly over several months. The VA in Ann Arbor, MI has been great about working with me during this time. Going cold turkey coming off Methadone was something else. Hope this helps others with similar circumstances

  46. Shannon says

    I took LDN for two months recently, hoping it would help with my Hashimoto’s and thyroid cancer. I agree with Diane above, my sleep was absolutely awful for that time! I was also increasingly depressed. I stopped taking it and felt much better within a few weeks.
    Elana, I’m glad it is working so well for you!

  47. E. Gooding says

    This is a wonderful article but as I read it I immediately wondered if Elana has ever been tested for Lyme’s. Many MS diagnoses are incorrect; many times the real underlying problem is Lyme’s. Taking the Igenex Western Blot blood test for the Lyme’s bacteria to rule it out is imperative before buying into an MS diagnoses. Sincerely E.

    • says

      Absolutely correct! Good luck getting a Doctor to do it, however. (Whatever you do, do NOT allow them to run the very unreliable ELISA, which is what they will do unless you stop them. Very high rate of false negatives.) You may have to go to an LLMD (lyme literate MD).

      • Robert says

        I have been taking it for 2 months and I haven’t noticed an uptick in my immune response for Epstein Barr. My dose has been increased. I have had dizzy spells upon awaking and wonder if that’s due to the Naltrexone?
        I will continue and hope it kicks in soon.

      • Gaius Gracchus says

        The doctor I am working with does a lot of LDN work and she was saying Crohn’s patients that are responders will show very rapid results, whereas some other types of autoimmune patients take a lot longer.
        She also pointed out the fact that some compounding pharmacies don’t do a very good job with this medication. The filler matters, even – apparently some fillers used will interfere with the action of LDN.
        She recommended the Belmar Pharmacy in Lakewood CO.
        You can get an appointment with her online – they use audio/video sessions and will prescribe LDN if you have something that can benefit from it. You don’t have to travel – they will send the prescription into the pharmacy who mails it to you directly.

        • Samantha P. says

          Hello Gaius,
          My Mother has Hashimoto, and two types of hernias, and now she is lined up for Gallbladder surgery because of blocked or nearly blocked ducts from sludge build up.

          Can you share the contact information for this Dr. and or Pharmacy?

          We live in S. America. ..I do. She’s in the US.

          Thank you

  48. Steph says

    I’m very interested in the many healing processes that people use. I’ve heard of LDN for autoimmune disorders but don’t know anyone that has taken it. I’m interested in how it works at the cellular level to aid in systems wide healing. Thanks for this!

    As an aside, I noticed a small, but significant typo – naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist (not agonist – which means that it “activates” opioid receptors more).

  49. Diane H says

    My Naturopath tried me on LDN for my Hashimoto’s disease. I took it for 3 months then had to stop. Sleep disturbance is listed as a side effect, which is supposed to go away after a week or two. It never did for me- I had 3 months of the worst sleep of my life, in addition to bizarre dreams. Insomnia isn’t something I could live with. Has anyone else had this experience?

    • Julie says

      Try dosing in the morning, using less, or every other day, etc. Just do whatever it takes to give it the best chance for you.

    • says

      I thought the sleep disturbance was from something else. I have been on LDN for several weeks. It was unlike any other sleep disturbance I had, so I started searching for chronic insomnia from LDN and BINGO…..YOU HAD IT, I THINK I DEFINITELY DO. LIKE YOU I AM STOPPING FOR NOW.

    • Debbie says

      I also could not live with the sleep disturbance but read one doctor who said to take it in the morning..I now take it in the morning and it works like a dream….and no problems with sleep at all.

      • Linda says

        I’m on week three and just hit 4.5mg. Have had terrible insomnia all three weeks. It’s 3 am right now. No relief with pain issues but I realize it is too soon. After reading these posts regarding sleep issues, I’m going to talk to my doctor about dosing in the morning instead of at bedtime. Does anyone know of a support group for LDN in Boulder?

  50. Francie says

    “Getting well is a process without any rules.” What an excellent way to describe the healing process, especially when one chooses to embrace the integrative approach!

    I have taken 3mg of LDN at bedtime for the past two years to heal from psoriatic arthritis. I am fortunate to have a primary care physician and a very gifted nutritionist who work together as my core team, along with my wonderful massage therapist and chiropractor. I also have a terrific personal trainer and work out at the gym regularly. Getting well has requires a synergy of multiple elements. I was improving on a regimen of prescribed supplements, but the addition of the LDN has been a significant help, moving me from finally feeling ok and being able to function again to feeling wonderful and thoroughly enjoying my retirement.

    My C Reactive Protein reading has dropped from the 80’s to almost normal at below 10. I am so very grateful to not have to take the prescription drugs like Methotrexate and Enbrel, the only RX I take for the arthritis is the LDN.

    We are all different, no one solutions works for everyone. But I wanted to add my voice to those who have benefited from taking LDN, I hope that it can be a help to others who are looking for how to regain their health.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story, and your recipes!

  51. Emily says

    THANK YOU, Elana for this informative post about LDN! I just started taking LDN about a month ago and it is helping a lot in managing Crohn’s Disease and SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth). I am passionate about sharing it with others who may benefit as well as medical professionals. I am not one to readily take Rx’s and take pride choosing holistic health and natural living. Yet this is helping me. I have also been on a grain-free SCD/Paleo diet since 2005 and LOVE your recipes.

  52. Mary says

    Good article. I have MS and was on the Betaseron shots for about 1-2 years…hated them. I found out about LDN and started taking it in 2007…right now I take 3.5 mgs every night. I have no negative symptoms from the LDN and honestly, I have no noticeable signs of MS. I highly recommend it to anyone dealing with MS…talk to a doctor who understands LDN. I was surprised that my main stream neurologist was willing to prescribe it but he was still recommending/pushing the shots. I see a integrative care doctor currently. I also walk most days and follow a gluten free life after finding out I had the Celiac gene (which many people with MS have). I’m also sensitive to casein so I’m dairy free.

    • says

      Hi Mary,
      I have MS (diagnosed 1993) and have gone gluten and dairy-free. I’m interested in knowing how you found out that you had a gene for celiac disease? I have been trying to decide whether or not to take LDN. Thanx in advance for your help.

  53. Lori says

    Hi Elana,
    So glad you posted this about LDN! I have psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (AS,) and fibromyalgia (all of which fall under AS). I found out about LDN in 2009 and tracked down a doctor to prescribe for me. I took my first dose one night, and the next morning I felt better – it was that quick.

    The only side effect I’ve ever had is more vivid dreams – I can live with that!


    • Jenny says

      Hello, my husband has AS (ankylosing spondylitis). He tried getting off his Humira rx for 3 months while we tried LDN. At first, as he got on LDN and the Humira left his system, we were relieved that his symptoms didn’t return to debilitating status. However, within 2 more months, his discomfort was growing and he returned to Humira so he wouldn’t miss work. We wish we could afford to experiment with finding the right dosage better. Those of you on LDN, how did you find the dosage correct for your body? What type of practitioner did you use and do they prescribe or are they actually helpful? And are you still on other drugs/supplements? Thanks!

      • says

        Hi Jenny, I take LDN for AS (ankylosing spondylitis) too. I started building up to the the dose that is generally recommended, I then felt I needed more, so I increased it bit by bit. A friend said I shouldn’t do that and that it would stop working if I take more, well she was wrong, when I went down from 8.3ml to 7ml it didn’t work as well. I think it has to do with the individuals metabolism and gut integrity. I guess if the absorption in the gut is reduced one may need more too.

        • says

          I have been treating people with Naltrexone for 18 years, first with High Dose 10 to 80mg for heroin blocking and Alcoholism, then with Micro Dose 3/4mg for heroin withdrawals and LDN 1.5 to 6mg for the usual disorders and addictions.
          People vary so much in their condition, body mass, absorption, sensitivity and excretion of Naltrexone that a Doctor can only generalize about dose sizes and then you have to find out for yourself depending on how you feel and perform, your blood tests and your physical examinations and scans. What’s best for other people may not be best for you.
          It is usually best to start with 1.5mg and every week or 2 increase. Go to 3 then 4.5 then 6mgm. Most people find 1.5 isn’t enough and 6 is too much and 3 or 4.5 is the best. Finding what is not enough and what is too much helps pinpoint the right dose. Every few months decrease and increase again to check that your requirement hasn’t changed.
          Use Naltrexone liquid, or two 50mg tablets dissolved in a liter of distilled water, or Dr Common Sense LDN Powder Dispensers to find your best dose.
          Best wishes.

  54. Julie says

    I am on it too but for Crohn’s and my sister is on it for RA. Great little drug. What has been really saving my life is LDA ( low dose immunotherapy). Google it. It is giving me foods back I thought I would never be able to eat again without having a gnarly flare up. Amazing stuff!!!

    • NG says

      I just found this post and had a question…are you taking LDN while also doing LDA??? I wasn’t sure if they should be done together but am very interested in adding LDA to my regime. I take 3mg of LDN but feel many of my issues are due from food sensitives. Really hopeful this finds its way to you and you can offer some insight…

  55. says


    Nice article and summary.
    I have used LDN in my practice with patients for MS, cancer and other autoimmune issues. While not a cure all, it has the ability to prevent autoimmune and cancer from progressing. It works best with a good antinflammatory/autoimmune diet and lifestyle.

  56. Sherri says

    I, too, was diagnosed with MS in 2006. Unfortunately, I had a neurologist who scared me into taking a disease-modifying drug (DMD) called Avonex. It caused seizures, which the neurologist dismissed. I fired him and went to another neurolgist.

    The new one put me on Copaxone, which caused exacerbations every six weeks. She then talked me into taking Tysabri. I was on it for almost two years. I had to go off the IV medication due to my immune system and recurrent bouts with pneumonia. During that time, my husband did research and came across LDN. We asked the neurologist to prescribe it, and she did. This was in 2009. I’ve been on 4.5 mg since then.

    Several months after stopping Tysabri, I participated in a study to see if I was a carrier of the JC Virus antibodies which can cause PML for those on Tysabri. I was positive! I thank my lucky stars I didn’t get it while I was on the drug.

    I’m a huge advocate for LDN and wish more doctors were open to prescribing it. There are several LDN groups on Facebook that I belong to. I encourage anyone with an autoimmune disease to look into it. My only wish is I would have started LDN right after my diagnosis, instead of being scared to go on the other drugs. Perhaps had I done this, I wouldn’t be physically disabled and unable to work today.

    I’m so glad your doctors were open and looking out for your best interest, Elana!

  57. says

    Hello Elana,

    When I met a medical intuitive in late May of 2010 she asked if I could find a doctor to write a script for LDN. The pcd I go to respects that I tend to gravitate toward alternatives and was kind enough to write that script for me. Only in the last several months have I experienced some dizziness that can come from its use, but for much longer; my appetite has been affected. It’s strange and inconsistent. I went from taking it daily to taking it every other day but am taking it consistently. I’m glad you’ve talked about LDN.

    Thanks take care,

    • Kenny says

      Can you pleas share hot it affected your appetite? Did it increase your hunger? In any way has it adversely affected your digestion?

    • Bonnie Shockey says


      I’ve been taking LDN since April 2009 because I developed a severe allergy to the protein in my daily Copaxone serum, used daily for MS. This allergy prompted me to choose another drug of choice for my MS. I am very blessed that my neurologist was at Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. Dr. Turel has retired and I am now seeing another MS neurologist in the MS Department. Both of my neurologists prescribe(d) LDN for their MS patients. Dr. Turel had been urging me to give LDN a try for months but I resisted because I didn’t want to add one more drug to my body, unless it was necessary. Both Dr. Turel and my current neurologist are colleagues of Dr. Ian S. Zagon and Dr. Patricia McLaughlin, the two doctors who discovered the use of a low dose of naltrexone in 1981. I’ve done quite a bit of research on LDN and have read as many published research studies of Zagon and McLaughlin, and their other colleagues, such as Dr. Jill Smith and her research in the use of LDN in Chrons disease. I weigh about 115 lbs. Within the first several days of starting to take LDN, I saw, in myself, the reversal of MS symptoms that I had for several decades – drop foot, improved balance, greater muscle strength (documented by a doctor of physical therapy),more energy, and most noticeable – a sense of wellbeing. My first episode was in my senior year of high school – 47 years ago. My life’s path has included being involved in and becoming a certified instructor of Jacki’s Aerobic Dance, since 1975,which my doctors have said is the number one thing that has kept my body and muscles in as good a condition as the MS allows. The first several weeks of taking LDN, I took one 3mg capsule every night before bed. I then reached a point where I sensed or felt that I wasn’t quite as good as those first couple days. MORE LDN is not better for MSers or anyone with an autoimmune disease. I backed off the frequency to where my body felt its best. For me – I have chosen, with my doctor’s blessing, to take one 3mg capsule four times a week. LDN gives me a boost of energy, the day after taking it, so I take LDN the night before I teach my regular level aerobic dance class, plus one other night – Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Two weeks ago, even though I had a flu shot, I picked up a mild case of the flu with a high temperature. At times like this, the body needs more endorphins to fight infection, so I started taking it every night before bedtime for about 10 days, until I was back to “my” normal. Right after taking, LDN lowers the number of endorphins in the individual’s body for about four to five hours. After that there is a big rebound in the number of endorphins. Endorphins make you feel good (like the runner’s high or any exercise program); endorphins work against pain; and endorphins work against inflammation in the body and for MSers, it’s inflammation in the central nervous system. Dr. Zagon’s theory is that those of us with autoimmune diseases do not have the number of endorphins in our bodies that the average individual has. Endorphins need a second thing in order to work in our bodies – everyone’s bodies; it’s called an endorphin receptor. Autoimmune people have the average number of receptors as anyone else, just not enough endorphins. An analogy – think of the receptor as a catcher’s mitt. Autoimmune people have the average number of catcher’s mitts in their brains but not enough baseballs to fill all the mitts. LDN helps the body heal itself naturally by increasing the number of endorphins to match the number of receptors. The receptors are what enable the endorphins to work and do its “thing” in the brain and body. No one should be taking LDN in a dosage greater than 3 mg. Try taking your LDN less often until you “feel” better. Side effects are rare and could be coming from the “filler” that the compounding pharmacy uses in the capsule. Hershey Medical Center doctors use Skip’s Pharmacy in Boca Raton, FL. Visit this link for more information: http://www.skipspharmacy.com/wplog/. The cost per capsule is about $.55 to $.60. Dr. Zagon, Dr. McLaughlin, and their medical students at Hershey Medical Center have and are continuing their vital research, including the use of LDN against cancer. Across the board, with about 16 different kinds of cancer cells, LDN stopped the multiplication of cancer cells. It did not kill the cancer cells; it stopped the division of cancer cells, which then allows traditional radiation or chemo to take care of killing the cancer cells in the body. LDN was approved in 1994 at 50 mg dosage, to help narcotic and alcoholic addicts, wean themselves off their drug addiction. Therefore, DO NOT TAKE LDN after having drunk alcohol. The body has to get rid of the alcohol before resuming the LDN. I hope this has been of help and benefit to you. Bonnie

      • Pilar says

        Writing from Spain and being interested about LDN for Múltiple Sclerosis.
        Asked my neurologíst and my doctor about it but they say NO. Do you have testimonies of MS?
        I don’t know whether they know about LDN or not and if it works I’d like to give them arguments.
        Can you find it in Spain? Where, how, price, etc.
        Thanks in advance for your answer

      • Beverly says

        Responding to your blog comment about low dose Naltrexone. My partner was diagnosed in March of this year with RRMS. Since March his symptoms have spiraled out of control now the doctor has diagnosed him with PPMS. In March he was only dealing with severe back pain, which his neuro- surgeon decided to burn the nerves in his back thinking that was most of his pain. I will spare you the rest of the doctors details and medicine he has prescribed. My guy was moving 100 mph and now is down to zero. His symptom in March was back pain now by the end of June has severe brain fog, chronic pain, slurred speech, staggering, can only eat fruit, stomach is painful, feet feel like walking on rocks, shortness of breath, chest pains off and on, ribs hurt, can’t hold conversations as to much information puts him in overload, can’t handle heat, was prescribed Copaxone. The second injection caused a severe reaction placing him in the hospital. The doctor was like lets try another injection to see if it was the Copaxone, which he did and landed in the hospital a second time, and the list goes on. This change was so sudden that coping is hard but he keeps a smile on his face. I was wondering just in your opinion if Low Does Naltrexone would even be worth trying.
        Still Smiling in Maryland

  58. says

    What a powerful and informative post. I couldn’t agree more, when you feel sick the best thing is to listen to your body and do whatever it takes to feel good again. Getting well is a game without any rules. So well said.

    • June Dean says

      This information is very well put together. I’m going to read and try to see if I could benefit from a low dose daily. Thanks for sharing in such complete detail.

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