Reduced Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines after Eight Weeks of Low-Dose Naltrexone for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a complex, multi-symptom condition that predominantly affects women. The majority of those affected are unlikely to gain significant symptomatic control from the few treatments that are approved for FM.
In this 10-week, single-blind, crossover trial we tested the immune effects of eight weeks of oral administration of low-dose naltrexone (LDN). We enrolled eight women with an average age of 46 years, symptom severity of 62 out of 100, and symptom duration of 14 years.
We found that LDN was associated with reduced plasma concentrations of interleukin (IL)-1?, IL-1Ra, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-12p70, IL-15, IL-17A, IL-27, interferon (IFN)-?, transforming growth factor (TGF)-?, TGF-?, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-?, and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). We also found a 15% reduction of FM-associated pain and an 18% reduction in overall symptoms.
The findings of this pilot trial suggest that LDN treatment in fibromyalgia is associated with a reduction of several key pro-inflammatory cytokines and symptoms. The potential role of LDN as an atypical anti-inflammatory medication should be explored further.
Full text available here.
Source:  Parkitny L, Younger J. Reduced Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines after Eight Weeks of Low-Dose Naltrexone for Fibromyalgia. Biomedicines. 2017 Apr 18;5(2). pii: E16. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines5020016.

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One thought on “Reduced Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines after Eight Weeks of Low-Dose Naltrexone for Fibromyalgia”

  1. IanH says:

    However the limitations are significant.
    1. a 15% pain reduction would be no more than expected of a placebo group. (there was no placebo group in the study)
    2. we don’t know if any of the immune markers are significant in the illness, so the changes, if induced by LDN may be irrelevant. If they were relevant I believe a >15% change in pain would be expected. Of course it could be argued that more time is needed.

    My experience with LDN has not been significant. Of 7 people who used LDN over between 10 and 30 weeks yielded poor changes in pain reports. The greatest change was in two people who combine LDN with acetominophen (4 doses daily with N-acetyl cysteine 600mg).

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