Sunday, March 11, 2012
Can we tell the difference.
I wrote about low dose Naltrexone for the use of pain management in Fibromyalgia back in 2010. Stanford University was just preparing for a study on them. I didn't keep track of the study but, I guess, it's winding up and they are publishing results.
Low Dose Naltrexone is an anti-addiction drug but in low doses it acts differently. It has been prescribed off label for Fibromyalgia for the past few years. It is FDA approved, in low doses, for helping those with autoimmune diseases and central nervous system disorders.
On the home page of Low Dose Naltrexone is is suggested that people with Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia are helped suggesting that "these entities probably have an important autoimmune dynamic as well." On the page where it outlines the diseases it helps, under other autoimmune diseases, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue are listed as well.
Is there hope on the horizon??
Yes, it is most definitely a central nervous system disorder and I also believe it is an autoimmune disorder of that central nervous system. Anyone who was prescribed Low Dose Naltrexone and had an autoimmune disorder, none failed to respond and in many patients there was a MARKED remission in signs and symptoms.
Are there side effects?
Contrary to what I found before, the home page says there are virtually no side effects but there are cautionary warnings. For example, for me, I'd have to start out on the lowest possible dose because I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. If I took a large dose there is such a marked improvement that I could swing over to hyperthyroidism very quickly, so I have to be careful.
Plus, if you are already dependent on opioid for pain management, you'd have to be off those for a few weeks before starting the Naltrexone. That, in itself, poses a problem. If you're on opioid for pain being off them for a few weeks is just more than deciding to stop them. Stopping pain medication suddenly can throw you're body into a real tailspin and this needs to be done under the supervision of a medical doctor. Not to mention that being off them will cause some of us to curl up in the fetal position and feel like we want to die.
There is some possibilities here but I think that we need to put it on the balance bar and weigh the benefits as opposed to the side effects. Other sites state that the list of side effects includes, dizziness, headache, nervousness, insomnia, fatigue, joint pain and excessive muscle contraction. These side effects are what I experience on a daily basis so how would I know if it helps?
The problem with a drug that promotes itself as a cure-all for every autoimmune disease is a little suspect, in my opinion. How can one drug help so many diseases that have different causes and symptoms?
Increasing immune activity doesn't always mean that it's helping the immune system.
In fact, couldn't that make it worse?
On the other hand, big pharma aren't real interested in a drug that will make them no money. Naltrexone isn't real expensive and clinical trials are initiated by the drug companies. Why do it for a drug that is already out there and no big profits?
I think it bears watching.
Whatever it is we will be caught in the crossfire.
Big Pharma can't make money, so it's no go.
Doctors don't believe it, so it's no go.
When do we get a chance to say what we want?