02-05-2009, 08:40 PM
I have just heard about this drug, saysusie, have you or anybody else heard about this? It certainly sounds very promising, I will definetly be talking with my rhume about it. I hope I am ok pasting the link that has a lot more info and I did send them an e-mail asking them about lupus and this drug. I am interested in some feed back on this.
Thanks for any info, Jim. yes this would be my real name. haha
02-09-2009, 02:41 PM
i have not heard of this med. Did you post it under the lupus medication cagtegory? I know someone will be able to educate us.
02-10-2009, 11:39 AM
I've heard of this drug, but only in its use for alcoholism, so I did some research. Yes, it is being used, in very low doses, for auto-immune diseases, such as Lupus. The FDA has approved naltrexone, in a low dose, to boost the immune system; helping those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and central nervous system disorders.
At the present time there is no single effective therapy for systemic lupus. Treatment must be specifically tailored for the organ system or systems that have been affected by the disease. Some of the drugs which are currently used include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to treat the arthritis associated with lupus; antimalarials, which probably work by direct action on the immune system, to treat the arthritis, skin manifestations and fatigue of lupus; glucocorticoids, used for both their immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties; and immunosuppressive and cytotoxic agents, generally used only when there is significant renal involvement which is unresponsive to glucocorticoids.
All of the currently practiced drug treatments for lupus have significant drawbacks (side effects). Apart from gastrointestinal disturbances, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may cause renal toxicity and therefore must be avoided particularly in lupus patients with renal involvement. The antimalarials may cause serious retinopathy which can occur several years after initiation of therapy. Chronic glucocorticoid therapy is associated with a number of serious side effects, including hypertension, excessive immunosuppression and CNS dysfunction. Immunosuppressive and cytotoxic agents can cause bone marrow depression and lead to serious infection.
Explaining how naltrexone helps in Lupus is rather complicated, but I will do the best that I can. Lupus (like RA) is an inflammatory disease, causing damage to muscles, joints and organs. It has been hypothesized that many of the manifestations of joint damage occurring in rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus could be partly the result of damaging free oxygen radicals, large amounts of which are released together with powerful digestive enzymes into the arthritic joint by polymorphonuclear leukocytes undergoing "frustrated phagocytosis"(Phagocytosis is the cellular process of Phagocytes and Protists of engulfing solid particles by the cell membrane to form an internal phagosome, which is a food vacuole, or pteroid. When phagocytes fail to do this, it is considered to be frustrated and frustrated phagocytosis can lead to inflammation). These radicals have been shown to degrade DNA and hyaluronic acid, a major oxygen constituent of synovial fluid, and, to some extent, to degrade collagen and elastin. Moreover, oxidants can activate latent collagenase, possibly by inactivating protease inhibitors, leading ultimately to cartilage destruction.
It is known that inflammatory cells such as polymorphonuclear leukocytes have opiate receptors. The endogenous opioid B-endorphin has been shown in vitro to stimulate superoxide radical production by human polymorphonuclear leukocytes via an opiate receptor. This superoxide production has been shown to be abolished by equimolar concentrations of the opiate antagonist naloxone. Naloxone has also been shown to inhibit in vitro the production of superoxide from human neutrophils stimulated with N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine.
Systemically-administered naloxone has been shown to exert tissue-protective effects in a variety of experimental and clinical conditions in which the damaging effects of superoxide radicals and their derived oxygen species (hydrogen peroxide and the hydroxyl radical) are believed to play a major role. In particular, naloxone has been recently shown to have a protective effect on the ultrastructure of the ischemic kidney of dogs. It is believed that administering nalmefene or naltrexone will reduce a patient's systemic autoantibody level in autoimmune diseases. This, hopefully, will avoid the drawbacks and disadvanatges of the current treatment methods used for Lupus, while achieving dramatic symptomatic relief and reducing systemic autoantibody levels. This drug will be taken orally on a daily basis, in low doses 1 to 100 milligrams of either of the narcotic antagonists nalmefene or naltrexone, and will thereby reduce the patient's systemic autoantibody level.
Have I explained the use of naltrexone sufficiently? Let me know if you need anything further.
Peace and Blessings
02-10-2009, 01:53 PM
saysusie, you provide a wealth of information for this group of wich you are truly a blessing and much appreciated! As it is hard to make sense out of the technical jargon, however that with you summing it up goes along with what information I have found. I plan on bringing this up to my rhume to see what he thinks and if it would be worth a try, it certainly sounds promising, however I am learning it is ok hope yet don't expect to much. I pray for Gods healing!!