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Revisiting Naltrexone for Depression

Posted by bleauberry on March 6, 2020, at 21:09:30

Way back a couple decades here, there was a short term fad of combining 50mg of Naltrexone with Prozac for two reasons, 1.It worked for treatment resistance. 2.It resisted poop out. If I remember correctly, it was a long time ago, results were mixed in about the same way as any other cocktails. It was difficult to get to 50mg because an early side effect is nausea. All of us started with just crumbs and worked up over a couple weeks. My response was neutral.

Fast forward to today. A common treatment prescribed by Functional Medicine M.D.s and Lyme Literate M.D.s is Low Dose Naltrexone, or LDN for short. It's effects are anti-depressant and anti-pain and anti-fatigue.

Long story short on its mechanism. The theory is that the low dose of just 1.5mg to 4.5mg is taken at bedtime and temporarily blocks our natural opioid receptors for a few hours. That tricks the feedback loops into manufacturing more opioids. Over several weeks the natural opioid levels in the body build up and increase, improving mood, pain and energy.

But the thing that struck me was that after a couple decades, Naltrexone is back in the game again and might be worth trying it for a month or two. It requires a compounding pharmacy to make those tiny doses.

My own experience was that during a whole month long trial there was one magical day where I felt like my old self and I thought it was a miracle and it was amazing. And it was just one day. It never happened again. So I eventually dropped it.

Theory says that it works best with serotonin based antidepressants. But I would think its mechanism can blend favorably with a wide variety of psych meds.

So it was a thing a couple decades ago at 50mg in the world of antidepressants. It's a thing again today at just 1.5mg-4.5mg in the world of antidepressants.

LDN is prescribed in the treatment of lyme, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, lupus, multiple sclerosis, depression, anxiety. Its mechanism is to increase the body's natural opioid levels, which regulates the immune system in a positive way, and it also has interaction with dopamine and serotonin circuits.

Anyway, I just thought it was interesting how Naltrexone has evolved over the years.




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