The year has started out painfully slow with absolutely no interest in participating in any of my favourite pastimes. The pain and stiffness in my body has increased in the last couple of months. The antidepressants prescribed for my mood and muscle spasms have reduced the number of spasms in my legs however the stiffness first thing in the morning is debilitating. I am not writing this to offload my woes onto anyone who reads this or to obtain sympathy. It is a story of investigation and I’m positive that things will get better just like the economy. Just like there is no magic bullet for the economy there is none for me or thousands of others. However!
I’ve been very busy researching the drug Naltrexone after receiving a Newsletter from Dr. Mercola. http://www.mercola.com/ In his newsletter he talks about the use of low dose Naltrexone for things like MS, cancer, autoimmune diseases etc and I wondered if anyone had tried it for Fibromyalgia. I Googled it and low and behold clinical trials have begun at Stanford University in California and if you go to this site http://snapl.stanford.edu/ldn/ you will read that there are no pharmaceutical industry or business interests involved in this study. It is funded by the American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association (AFSA) which means, dare I say it, that the study is not driven by profits for the pharmaceutical industry. Am I being unfair? Let’s just say I would tend to trust the outcome of these trials far more. My next step in my hunt for answers came with the website www.idninfor.org which has given me a wealth of information and encouragement. I then joined the yahoo forum on LDN http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/lowdosenaltrexone/ and I have spoken to many people on this site both here in Australia and the US and have come to the conclusion that they are on to something. The only reason I can ascertain as to why it is not widely known about is because Naltrexone was approved for heroin addiction and alcoholism at much higher doses and there is no money to be made at lower doses for this alternate use. After my research effort I came to the conclusion that I have nothing to lose by trying it myself. Then I came to a stumbling block, doctors, not many in Australia prescribe it or at least advertise the fact. I was one of the lucky ones as I have a very open minded psychiatrist who has prescribed it. Ironically he was the psychiatrist I was told to go see because my symptoms were all in my head. And he confirmed for me that they weren’t all in my head, they were real. The next problem was to find a reliable compounding chemist to make these pills up for me. They are only available in 50 mg doses and I only want to start taking 1.5 mg. I found a chemist recommended by others because they have a history of preparing these low dose capsules. Now I am at the point of waiting for them to arrive in the mail. Today is Saturday and with a bit of luck they should arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday. I do plan on keeping a journal of my progress here on my blog if anyone is interested. I have found the best information and greatest support come from people who are willing to share their journey. The most surprising aspect of this has been that in talking to both my current GP and former GP (who said there was nothing wrong with me) that they are genuinely curious and interested with my results and want me to keep them updated. It would seem there is interest in the alternate use of this drug by doctors but they tend to be a reluctant to be the first to try it. I am happy to be their guinea pig. Ah, I hear you say but what about side effects? To date the only reported side effects are vivid weird dreams and a bit of insomnia in the first couple of weeks and that only affects a small proportion. It is also reported that about 15 % receive no benefit at all. The way I understand LDN’s method of working is, at a low dose it temporarily (4 hours?) blocks the feel good natural chemicals in the brain and then when it wears off the endorphins get anxious and kick in again but at an increased volume. In turn this boosts the immune system and allows the immune system to kick ass on those nasties that cause problems in our body. People have reported results that vary from a halt in the progression of their disease and an increase in energy to complete remission. If anyone is interested in Low Dose Naltrexone nothing beats your own research so don’t take my word for it, investigate for yourself.