Claudia Machado Cooke, MD, FACP, MPH  |  Health Through Understanding

Low Dose Naltrexone

Low dose naltrexone is winning increased support for its adjunctive use in a wide array diseases. Naltrexone, an opiate receptor blocker, was first marketed to treat opiate overdose and later found application in the treatment of depression and alcoholism at a 25 to 50 mg dosage. It was later discovered that taken in fractional dosage, of 3 to 4.5 mg, in the absence of opiate intake, it had the effect of boosting levels of the naturally occurring opiate-like chemicals in the brain, chiefly beta-endorphin and meta-enkephalin. These neurochemicals, released into circulation, have an anti-inflammatory action and also boost natural killer (NK) cell activity; that is, the NK cells comprise roughly 5% of the white blood cells in circulation which scavenge for virus and defective cellular material, possibly nascent cancer cells.

Given this mechanism of action, it was found that naltrexone could significantly aid people with a variety of diseases such as autoimmune illnesses, multiple sclerosis, some chronic viral infections, and even some cancers. While a number of collateral benefits of naltrexone have been documented, there are certain precautions of usage to which the patient must be alerted.

Bernard Bihari, MD, was one of the early clinical research pioneers in the broad application of low dose naltrexone. Dr. Cooke had the privilege of sitting with him in his office on two occasions and consulting with him many times by telephone, asking lots of questions, sharing clinical observations, in those early years of using LDN. His generosity of spirit is fondly remembered.

Website Reference:

3rd LDN Conference Doctor Interviews: YouTube Video