An Update on the Uses of Naltrexone in Clinical Practice
Natural Medicine Journal
01 August 2022
The principal purpose of this paper is to review various dosing options of naltrexone for use in clinical practice. Naltrexone can help treat a variety of conditions, including autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and acute or chronic pain, with the dosage affecting the results in a hormetic fashion. Practitioners historically have used naltrexone for the treatment of opioid addiction due to its opioid antagonistic properties.1 The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of intravenous naltrexone in 1971, and thus, it became a common treatment for opioid overdose.2 The starting dosing of this medication for opioid addiction is a daily oral dose of 50 mg, while the maintenance dose may be higher.3 This dose is considered a “high dose” of naltrexone. For rapid response, the medication can be given intramuscularly or intravenously.4 For emergency treatment of opioid overdose, the general public can use intranasal naloxone. For most practitioners, the use of emergency interventions is not a part of regular practice. This article will contrast and review the use of naloxone and naltrexone in general clinical practice, including for intervening in situations of alcohol and opioid use and abuse.
The use of low-dose naltrexone (LDN) has been an established intervention in general practice for some years.5 The use of naltrexone in variable doses may be more valuable for providers in the daily treatment of diverse conditions, and can be very valuable when used in conditions such as alcohol abuse, inflammatory conditions, mood disorders, neurological conditions, and pain syndromes. This paper explores the use of naltrexone in high, low, very low, and ultra-low doses to assist the practitioner in making the most effective choice when using naltrexone in clinical practice