Updated: Jul 31, 2019
TO THE WINDOWWWWSSSS TO THE WAAAALLSSS (couldn't resist, not even sorry)
Low Dose Naltrexone - A Five Week Review
I was thinking it would be a little odd if I reviewed LDN as if it were a beauty product and laughed it off but then I thought how useful that would have been for me if there had been an article like that when I was first prescribed it so here we are, hopefully any of you other chronic illness warriors or nodular prurigo sufferers specifically can get the deats on what LDN has done in 5 weeks with my Nodular Prurigo (spoiler alert not much).
Hey guys, today I am going to be reviewing Naltrexone. Basically Naltrexone in regular doses is commonly used for alcohol or opioid dependence but recently some studies have revealed that in some cases
This is because in low doses Naltrexone sometimes acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. All though there are reports here and there of its success there has not been enough lengthy large scale clinical trials done for the use of the drug in this manner which may not seem like much to the average person but to me and many others it means that the drug instead of being free as a prescribed drug with the HSE under the medical card in Ireland it ranges in price from €56-€75 per month (bare in mind it takes roughly 3 months to find out whether or not the drug will work for you because of the aforementioned lack of trials). It also means that if it actually does what it says on the tin so to speak hundreds and thousands of people are missing out on a less risky treatment for these plaguing and painful conditions andddd it means I feel like a little bit of a guinea pig but hey what can you do.
Considering the price the packaging is very lackluster, plain white medical packaging is soooo last year, and the tablets themselves are your basic clear capsule with a white powder inside… boring. I think at this price we should have more sturdy and fun packaging (or on a more serious note if we returned the packaging you should get money off or something... maybe a loyalty card scheme where after you buy 6 you get the 7th free?? just spit-balling).
Currently I am taking 3mgs of these bad boys every night (one capsule). So far for the over €100 I have spent on these tablets I can’t really announce that they have done much. My skin actually worsened over the first couple of weeks on the medication which is definitely NOT what I wanted to happen. I was also trying to dial back on the use of my steroid creams so that may have affected that observation. My skin didn’t seem to be responding to the medication at all until I took it upon myself (because lord knows my doctors have given up with their suggestions and don’t recommend anything anymore) to try a sunbed, just for 4 minutes and only since that has my skin started to actually heal up a bit. I should also mention that it was around this time last year that my skin went into remission for a number of months. So all in all I have no idea if this medication is working or not.
Current improvements include a reduction in inflammation in the plaques. There is little to no small white or yellow blisters emerging from the plaques, the plaques are less weepy and itchy and although I am still moisturizing my skin seems drier than usual. There is healthy scabbing that I consider a sign of healing also happening (woop woop).
(Above: My skin and NP in January of this year prior to multiple courses of steroids and long before Naltrexone)
The really fun part is that my doctors probably won’t know either, so I’ll be stuck on this medication for the foreseeable because any improvement now will be attributed to the medications. Yay expensive long term medication and ill informed GPs! Welcome to having a rare condition in Ireland!
There has been very few side-effects with LDN, which was to be expected as it is such a low dose. I have noticed that I have to get up to go to the toilet much more frequently in the middle of the night since I have been taking this medication. Very annoying but definitely not the worst side-effect I have experienced (looking at you Prednisone and moon face and extreme appetite).
All in all my skin yes is better since I started taking LDN 5 weeks ago but I do not believe it is the exact reason it has improved. It could be a small factor or maybe not even part of it at all. I will keep note and check back in 5 weeks to compare these “notes” and photographs and see if there is any noticeable change.
(Above: My skin 5 weeks into LDN, massive improvements and ignore my body hair cause if you think I'm tryna razor around that?? boy bye!)
Anyone else out there on LDN or that has any information about please get in touch!
To all my other chronic illness warriors - hang in there and take it easy.