Just a brief update about Low Dose Naltrexone side effects, expectations and caveats. Our original article appeared on May 31, 2009. A follow up article was posted on June 19, 2009.
There can certainly be side effects. If your are already taking a medication containing an opiate, LDN is not for you.
If you have MS, you may find that your symptoms seem to worsen during the first month. A darkest before dawn result. To counteract that you might want to ease up to the dose recommended by your doctor even though it is already a low dosage but consult your physician first.
A recent site for LDN use for Multiple Sclerosis is a good read for anyone considering taking this medication. The site is Friends with MS. They do list side effects they have observed. Keep in mind that there could be interactions with MS meds causing the symptoms or brain chemistry particular to MS. The general report is of positive results using LDN.
Another helpful site is specifically Side Effects of Low Dose Naltrexone. In it the author points out that daytime naps can be helpful and healthful.
We would also suggest a look at the Mayo Clinic website on LDN possible side effects.
It is not unusual for patients to feel tired and yet there may be some sleeping issues. Feeling nervous, restless or anxious are more common symptoms. There may be a variety of digestive tract issues such as nausea, stomach cramps, constipation, diarrhea. Another area of discomfort can come from headaches, sinus issues, loss of appetite or weight gain, increased blood pressure, rapid pulse, irritability and thirst. On rare occasions there can be a skin rash and itching, blurred vision, frequent urination (several patients found the reverse) as well as fever, disorientation, mood changes, hallucinations, tinnitus, and chest pain.
Frankly, read the side effects from whatever you take now. You'll find most of the above listed there as well. What we have read is that most patients don't seem to experience many if any side effects. LDN is something to consider in the PD treatment arsenal.
If you do use LDN, it is important to wear a Medical Alert Bracelet with that information: Low Dose Naltrexone 4.5mg.
In the event of a bad fall or injury, narcotic painkillers might be administered. Your suffering will be 10x the suffering because of the reaction your LDN body will have to the narcotic.
There are a few companies which offer dog tags, pendants, wallet cards, bracelets and the like. It is important that the information be on the tag itself.
Clinical Trial NCT01052831 is enrolling now for the study of LDN, Low Dose Naltrexone for Impulse Control Disorders (ICDs) in Parkinson's disease.