Pain and Naltrexone
Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on March 8, 2010
Cancer: The Complete Recovery Guide
Cancer Recovery Guide: 15 Alternative and Complementary Strategies for Restoring Health
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Low Dose Naltrexone and pain
Naltrexone is often mentioned as a possible blocker to cancer growth. But it is also a powerful pain reliever as this story shows:
Dr Nancy Sajben (www.painsandiego.com/category/naltrexone/) tells this story:
When I first saw her in 2006, I prescribed low dose oral ketamine that gave relief lasting up to 3 hours from each dose. She then requested referral to Dr. Schwartzman, chief of neurology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, for continuous 5 day ketamine infusion that was done May 2007. She was pain free but it completely lost effect after 8 months, despite booster infusions every 4 to 6 weeks for 4 hours daily over 2 days during those 8 months. After insurance the cost out of pocket was $45,000 in 2007 alone. Dr. Schwartzman had nothing more to offer after it failed and said most patients have relief for less than 6 months if at all.
In March 2007, I started her on a combination of Namenda 55 mg daily with lamotrigine 350 mg daily that relieved 90% of the pain, but once every 6 to 8 weeks she needed 12.5 to 25 mg low dose oral ketamine for breakthrough pain. Even more rarely, she used oxycodone 10 to 20 mg.
In October 2008, adding naltrexone 1 mg by mouth, she became pain free. Since then she has not needed anything for breakthrough pain and on 3/5/09, she reported that her last use of ketamine and oxycodone occurred with the addition of low dose naltrexone.
In 2009, she hiked 30 miles down the Grand Canyon and back up in 3 days.
Naltrexone was later increased to 4.5 mg as she completely tapered off lamotrigine.
By December 2009, the RSD was 98% better and she reported that it was not pain anymore. Medications then were naltrexone 12.5 mg at bedtime and Namenda 55 mg daily in divided doses. She had just a “remnant” of a little buzz, but no crushing except when active, late in the day.
A few months later she slowly tapered off Namenda with no increase in pain.
She hikes 2 miles 3 to 4 times a week, does Iron Mountain once a week, does “Silver Sneekers” exercise 1 hour 3 times a week and sleeps well 8 to 10 hours a night without a sleeping pill.
She remains on low dose naltrexone as her sole medication for this
previously disabling neuropathic pain syndrome~
She has returned to part time work and spends a few weeks a month traveling the world, hiking, volunteering, sightseeing.
Note: The Cancer Survivor’s Bible (2012 edition) is now out – www.fightingcancer.com
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