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Re: Consensus on low dose naltrexone?

Posted by bleauberry on October 10, 2009, at 18:47:19

In reply to Consensus on low dose naltrexone?, posted by uncouth on October 9, 2009, at 18:17:59

> Curious as to the general consensus on this board regarding the efficacy of low dose naltrexone in treating unipolar and bipolar depression.
> What are the potential downsides, side effects?
> Anybody experience any benefits? Not sure I need to add yet ANOTHER thing to my cocktail, but i'm curious nonetheless.

Well, if we could go back about 10 years and look in the archives of Dr Bobs Psychopharmacology Tips, there was a doctor who commonly found 25mg to 50mg added to SSRI, primarily Prozac, did wonders. Obviously that is higher than the 1.5mg-4.5mg doses of LDN. We had quite a trend back then when a lot of us tried it. I don't recall anyone ever duplicating the results that doctor was getting. I remember getting more calm and relaxed, but no effect on anhedonia. And definitely no buzz off a glass of wine! :-)

For today's LDN, like I said in a recent thread, my rough observations would suggest it is a miracle in about 20% of people, a helpful addition in about 60%, not helpful in 15%, and harmful in 5%.

I had some random good moments on it. I had other complications unrelated and couldn't keep taking it, but it is on my list of things to revisit. The lesson I learned was that it is way more powerful than thought, and to me a high dose is 1.5mg.

If someone feels worse on LDN, especially if it is real low like 1.5mg, it is probably a Herxheimer reaction. The immune system had been boosted strongly enough by LDN to begin to overpower things that had previously been overpowering the immune system. Immunopathology repair, and killing bad stuff, is good in the long run, but feels bad in the short run. It can easily be mistaken as a bad side effect or allergy, when in fact it might well have been a necessary step toward healing.

There are better ways to do all this though. Rhodiola Rosea would probably do more to boost opioid endorphins and modulate serotonin/dopamine than LDN, if one were looking specifically for a psych agent to do those things. I think LDN is a decent tool in a more comprehensive plan. As a psychiatric tool, I don't think it has much potential, that is, unless the psychiatric issues are due to an infectious agent. Which in my opinion, is a lot more people here than would be suspected.




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