Why don’t General Practitioners know about Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)?

LDN Specialist Pharmacist Stephen Dickson
Pharmacist Stephen Dickson

Why don’t General Practitioners know about Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)?

Do you know why some General Practitioners are skeptical or don't know about LDN? When I spoke to my GP saying I was on LDN, they said, why? And what's that? 

It's a long, long story, but basically it comes down to the way that drugs are regulated internationally. Naltrexone, in its full dose, is in everybody's reference book and has been since the 1950s, to be used for addictions for blockade of overdose of opiates. 

Now, when it started to be used in low doses, as we are finding it in the majority of Naltrexone the world uses, it was being used in an unlicensed or off book manner. And the regulations surrounding that mean that you're not allowed to advertise or talk to anybody, to the public about that medication used off license. 

Also, when prescribers prescribe it, they become personally liable, as does the pharmacist dispensing it. So instead of the drug company who manufactured it being liable for any problems that happen, the prescriber themselves becomes liable 50/50 with the dispenser who dispenses it to you.

So a lot of General Practitioners don't know about the LDN because they've never seen it anywhere, because we're not allowed to advertise it openly or tell anyone about it in that sort of way. Also, they're skeptical because it's unlicensed. Therefore, there is no drug company protecting them from anything that may happen thereafter. 

There is a feeling, or there has historically been a feeling, that unless the drug has a license, it's not useful. That does seem to be ebbing off now, especially since COVID. The number of GPs who've seen patients get better on LDN with long Covid, when they've tried everything, seems to have opened a great number of eyes. Many GPS are now prescribing it, having looked at the prescribing pack that's made by the LDN Research Trust. 

So, if a GP doesn't know about it and you want to talk to them about it, download a copy of the prescribing pack and take it to them.