Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
Question for Dr. V
avatar
lupylisa44 posted:
I am curious to know your opinion about low dose naltrexone for lupus. My Primary care doctor is a Harvard M.D. who practices integrative medicine. She suggested that I try low dose naltrexone to help relieve many painful symptoms of lupus. Do you know anything about this treatment? If so, what is your opinion of it?

Lupyllisa
With love, with patience and with faith, we'll make our way.
Reply
 
avatar
lupylisa44 responded:
...
With love, with patience and with faith, we'll make our way.
 
avatar
R Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, FACR responded:
Naltrexone is an inexpensive generic pharmaceutical approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration since 1984 for treating opiate and alcohol addiction. Usually doses of about 0.5 mg/kg of body weight are used to treat chronic opioid or alcohol addiction. However, recent observations indicate that low doses of naltrexone (0.08 mg/kg) may have beneficial effects on the immune system. There have been some preliminary studies suggesting benefit of LDN in Crohn's disease and MS as well as HIV/AIDS, certain types of cancer. Side effects seem to be usually both mild and transitory.

One small nightly dose of Naltrexone has the effect of temporarily blocking certain opioid receptors. This causes a several-fold increase in endogenous endorphins (opiate-like chemicals produced naturally in the body) in the morning when a patient awakens. This leads to a positive effect on the mood and if we were to extrapolate from animal studies, seems to help with immune function regulation.

According to some patient reports, the endorphin increase at night can also make dreams more vivid and create disturbances in sleep. I have no experience prescribing this medication, and at this time it remains experimental for the treatment of autoimmune disease.


Featuring Experts

Dr. R. Swamy Venuturupalli is a board-certified rheumatologist practicing in Los Angeles. He is Clinical Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Ce...More

Coping
With Lupus

WebMD's Day2Night will help you develop personal coping strategies for living with lupus – at home,
at work, or with family
and friends.
Visit Lupus Day2Night

Helpful Tips

Hives & Rashes
I was just reading your post about hives. Egyptian Magic is amazing! It will almost always take them. It also helps with the pain itching ... More
Was this Helpful?
6 of 13 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.