Naltrexone is usually used for the rehabilitation of drug and alcohol addicts, however at much lower doses it is also capable of modulating the immune system.
It appears to be useful for some CFS patients, specifically those who seem to be deficient in their Cell Mediated Immunity, which usually means those who are plagued by allergies and sensitivities. Advocates suggest that Naltrexone is useful for cancer, HIV and autoimmune conditions.
On this page I show graphs of my blood counts for
the 10 years before I started Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and for
the couple of years afterwards.
The dosage was taken from the work of Dr Bihari
with his AIDS and CFS patients - I took 3mg each evening for the
entire period from October 1998 to 2001 - that is, for about 2 1/2 years.
At this point, look at the graphs of my NK and T cell counts. Click here to open the graphs in a new window while you continue reading.
You can see that before starting LDN, my T and
NK cells were on a consistent descending path, and by 1998 most
were outside "normal" limits. The change after starting
LDN can only be described as impressive for the first year.
Although there is no way of knowing if this is coincidence or due
to some other change, I am fairly convinced that the changes were
in fact due to Naltrexone, partly because the changes were so
consistent from exactly that time - every test was better than
the last. Look at the trend lines I have drawn over the graphs.
B-cells have been completely unaffected throughout.
Note that nothing in particular was observable
in the short term after starting LDN, and that it took around 6
months before improvement was measured.
Note also however that on my last test in
Mid-2000, things had gone back to around the starting point -
shown as red data point. I have no idea why this is so, but can
say that I still feel and perform generally better than before
the LDN. I am still not susceptible to every infection (cold,
flu) that goes round, but this may be due to the Transfer Factor
that I take. I am having more tests done to see what is happening
I have heard that Dr Bihari is now recommending
that adult patients take 4.5mg per day instead of 3mg. It may be
that the higher dose would continue my improvement, or it may be
that the improvement only lasts for a year or two. I have not
heard any other patients report that their improvements only lasted
for a certain time, but then I don't know of any other CFS
sufferers using LDN for long periods either.