What To Avoid When Taking Low-Dose Naltrexone

On

Our recommendations are rooted in genuine belief in the benefits of the products bring to users. When you purchase through our links, we may earn a commission, supporting our testing and development without adding any cost for you. Learn more.

Naltrexone is a ray of hope for many people. They have very different, potentially chronic conditions. Nevertheless, as is the case with any medicine, knowing what to avoid when taking it is essential. This article looks at LDN in detail. It covers What to avoid when taking low-dose Naltrexone, how it is used, its benefits, possible side effects, and necessary precautions that you need to know.

What is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone is a drug. It is mainly used to treat opioid and alcohol dependence. In lower doses, however, it can serve a different purpose. In its low-dose form, it’s typically 1.5mg to 4.5mg. It functions quite differently than at the higher doses used for addiction treatments.

Uses for low-dose Naltrexone

This medication helps prevent relapse, It is for those previously addicted to certain drugs, like opiates. It should not be used by anyone currently using opiates, including methadone. It can cause immediate withdrawal.

Benefits of LDN

Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist. It blocks the effects of opiates in the brain, like euphoria and pain relief. It also reduces the urge to use them.

Also, LDN has gained attention for treating off-label uses. These uses include autoimmune diseases, severe chronic pain, and some cancers. It blocks opioid receptors temporarily. This can lead to more endorphin production. This boosts pain-killing and immune-modulating abilities in oneself.

Benefits of LDN

An important point about LDN’s benefits is that users often report a significant drop in pain and fatigue. They also report less inflammation from diseases like fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis. They also find an improvement in mood and energy. Overall, they lead healthier lives as a result of it. 

How To Use This Drug?

To use this medication, swallow it with a full glass of water as directed on your prescription label. Ensure you haven’t taken any opioid drugs in the last 7 to 10 days before starting this medication. It’s important to take it regularly, as prescribed, and less frequently than recommended. Also, you should continue taking this medicine unless your doctor advises you to stop.

Interaction With Other Medicines

Naltrexone is used for alcohol and opioid addiction. It may interact with other drugs, so users should avoid them. Patients must give their doctor and pharmacist their medication list. This prevents harmful interactions. 

The medications that may interact with naltrexone include:

  • Opioid painkillers include oxycodone (in OxyContin and others) and tramadol (in Ultram and similar drugs).
  • Some cough and cold medicines contain opioids. These include codeine or dextromethorphan (as in Delsym).
  • Diarrhea treatments containing opioids, such as loperamide.

Side Effects

Common Side Effects

  • Mild to moderate abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headache
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Increased thirst
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sexual problems in males

Serious Side Effects

  • Depressed mood
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Pneumonia
  • Severe allergic reactions (e.g., skin rash, swelling of the face or tongue, difficulty breathing)
  • Increased liver enzymes
  • Potentially severe reactions like hallucinations, jaundice, and severe abdominal pain

Hepatic Side Effects

High levels of liver enzymes are common. These include alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase.

There’s also a risk of conditions like acute cholecystitis and cholelithiasis.

Musculoskeletal Side Effects

Some individuals may experience joint pain, stiffness, muscle cramps, and back pain.

Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and Dermatologic Concerns

It can also cause angina and heart attacks. It can lead to respiratory problems like COPD. And it can lead to skin issues like rash and night sweats.

Metabolic and Renal Effects

There may be changes in appetite and abnormal creatinine phosphokinase levels. These levels are essential for kidney function.

Warnings And Precautions: What To Avoid When Taking Low-Dose Naltrexone?

You must let your physician know if you experience any other health disorders.

  • Do not take this medicine if you have depression or other mental disorders. It could have dire consequences.
  • Avoid using this medication if you have kidney disease. The body removes it slowly, and the medicine’s effect may be substantial.
  • Do not use naltrexone treatment if you are currently taking opioid pain medications, addicted to opioids, experiencing opioid withdrawal symptoms, or have failed a naloxone challenge test or tested positive for opioids in your urine. Or if you have acute hepatitis or liver failure.

Be cautious if you are allergic or hypersensitive to naltrexone, polylactide-co-glycolide (PLG), or any other ingredient in the product, naltrexone should not be used. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on whether naltrexone is appropriate for you.

Storage

Keep the medicine in an air-tight container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light. 

  • Don’t freeze it.
  • Keep out of children’s reach.
  • Dispose of unused or outdated medicine as your healthcare professional advises.

Low-dose Naltrexone can help chronic condition sufferers. But, it is not a magic bullet. Knowing what to avoid in taking LDN is vital. Being informed about its side effects is also crucial. Also, constantly updating one’s health provider is critical.

These are vital steps toward using LDN for the right reasons. With the research set to change continually, LDN’s role in managing chronic diseases will likely increase.

FAQs

Q: Can I take LDN with other medications?

It depends on the medicine. Always consult your healthcare provider. This is to avoid risking other treatments, especially opioids.

Q: How long does it take to see benefits from LDN?

Results vary. Some improvements may occur within weeks. Others might need a few months to become apparent.

Q: How long does it take to see benefits from LDN?

Results vary. Some improvements may occur within weeks. Others might need a few months to become clear.

Q: Is LDN a cure?

No, LDN is not a cure but a treatment that can manage symptoms and enhance quality of life.

Q: Can LDN be used for weight loss?

There are reports of LDN’s use in weight reduction. But, its primary purpose needs more investigation.

Q: Are there dietary restrictions while taking LDN?

There are no special diets to follow. But, a balanced diet can support its effectiveness.

Q: Is naltrexone addictive?

No, naltrexone isn’t addictive like opioids or alcohol. It does not give joy or cause cravings. You won’t have withdrawal when you stop.

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

Learn More

Leave a Comment