Can Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) Help Chronic Migraines?
I took LDN for my chronic migraines, then I caught COVID and my migraines worsened in intensity and frequency. I'm currently on 4.5 milligrams at night and 0.5 milligrams in the morning. Would any changes be helpful to improve my response?
COVID virus does increase inflammation throughout the body. Migraines are usually an inflammatory process of different areas of the brain. When they inflame, they cause pressure that causes significant headaches. Anytime we can reduce that inflammation (of which LDN is very helpful in doing), but if you're taking 4.5 night and a half a milligram in the morning, what you might want to try is talking with your provider to lower your bedtime dose.
It's not uncommon when dealing with significant inflammatory issues and chronic pain that we have found that some people respond to twice-a-day dosing quite well. They are followed very carefully by their providers and by their compounding pharmacists. Rarely do we go over a total daily dose of four and a half milligrams. You're on a total daily dose right now of five milligrams, which isn't bad. I'm not saying that is wrong by any means. There are some people that even go up to six. However, if your migraines have worsened and the intensity is worsened you might want to lower the bedtime dose. You could even increase the morning dose and lower the bedtime dose even further. The two doses do not have to be equal. They can be two different strengths and in this situation it's probably trial and error.
What people have experienced is, again, depending on what part of the world you live in, is that sometimes we need to support the body with other supplements. Magnesium is a great muscle relaxant. Magnesium goes into the cell. It relaxes. Calcium goes into the cell. It contracts, tightens up. You may even want to take a look at magnesium. Like magnesium glycinate, magnesium taurate. Those two medicines are available over the counter. Professional supplements might help. Low Dose Naltrexone works really well with those. You might want to look at making sure you're well hydrated and perhaps look at your diet. If there's anything that you might be able to change there.
I would be very careful about increasing caffeine because sometimes we can have rebound issues and we have actually seen, again this is an anecdotal statement because I can only relate to what I see in my pharmacy, is that when we see increase in migraine or increase in headaches due to COVID when we add supplements, that's very helpful. Sometimes we have to change the diet at least for a short period of time because the virus tends also to change what is happening in the gut and some people become more sensitive to certain foods that they weren't sensitive to before. You only have to do it for about seven to 14 days to see that change and if it doesn't change then go back to your old ways. You've got nothing to lose. I would work with your medical provider to lower your bedtime dose. Perhaps increase your morning dose and try not to exceed a daily dose of 4.5. Again, document, use a chart, calendar, or whatever works for you. Use handy dandy notes or apps on your phone Whatever is going to work for you but definitely keep track so that you know what you've changed, when you changed it, and what your symptoms did or didn't change. That way you can really evaluate exactly what will work for you. Change one thing at a time. Do that for about a week to two weeks and then document everything, journal, change something up. See if that helps.