Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN): New in the treatment of chronic pain syndromes... (Abstract)

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Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN): New in the treatment of chronic pain syndromes. What really matters – reduced pain or increased energy?

Neuro Sciences
15 October 2015

Background: The opioid antagonist Naltrexone has in a low dose shown potential as an analgesic for chronic pain syndromes. The mechanism of action is possible through an anti-inflammatory effect on microglia. In our clinic oral LDN 4.5 mg daily has been given to more than 300 patients during the last year, and an earlier study showed that one third of the patients feels pain relief and wants to continue the treatment.

Objective: This study was purposed to assess the effect on other qualities of life besides pain relief. We used the Dolo-test, a VAS questionnaire of eight closely related parameters: Pain, problem with light and more strenuous physical activities, job problems, reduced energy and strength, low spirit, reduced social life, sleep problems.

Methods: Patients getting LDN made the Dolo-test before and after 2-6 months of treatment. The changes in VAS were registered. A total of 26 patients who stayed on LDN not starting any new medical treatment during the period were included.

Results: The mean percentage reduction in VAS was calculated: Pain: 17%; problems with light physical activities: 12%; strenuous physical activities: 10%; job problems: 8%; reduced energy and strength: 23%; low spirit: 13%; reduced social activity: 15%; sleep problems: 12%.

Conclusion: Why many patients feel better with LDN may have several reasons as this study indicates. In addition to pain relief especially in getting more energy and strength seems important. This parameter for quality of life actually had the very highest change in score, even higher than pain.