The effect of low-dose naltrexone on quality of life of patients with multiple sclerosis: a randomized placebo-controlled trial
Background: Low-dose naltrexone (LDN) may promote psychological well-being as well as generalized health especially in autoimmune disorders. The objective of this study is to assess the effect of LDN on the Quality of Life (QoL) of patients with relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) using the scales and composite scores of the MSQoL-54 questionnaire.
Methods: A 17-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, crossover-design clinical trial was conducted in two universities. A total of 96 adult patients aged between 15 and 65 years with relapsing-remitting (RR) or secondary progressive (SP) clinically definite MS with disease duration longer than 6 months enrolled into the study. The primary outcome of the study was comparison of the scores of physical and mental health by conducting independent t-test of the results obtained in the middle and at the end of study between the two groups.
Results: Variables including presence of pain, energy, emotional well-being, social, cognitive, and sexual functions, role limitation due to physical and emotional problems, health distress, and overall QoL did not show any meaningful statistically difference between the two groups. Factor analysis revealed that health perception scores were statistically different between the groups before starting, in the middle, and at the end of the study.
Conclusion: The study clearly illustrates that LDN is a relatively safe therapeutic option in RRMS and SPMS but its efficacy is under question and probably a long duration trial is needed in the future.