Naltrexone is known to be effective in the treatment of substance use dependence (on alcohol or drugs) but it can also be helpful in patients with some skin diseases; for example, Hailey-Hailey disease. This latter is really difficult to manage. The most popular means are corticosteroids, immune-modulators, retinoids, and laser therapies.
Studies were carried out in a group of patients suffering from recalcitrant Hailey-Hailey disease in 2016. Naltrexone was used in low doses (LDN) ranging between 1.5 mg to 3 mg per day. Substantial improvement (up to 80%) in erythema, alleviation of pain and general increase in the quality of life was registered in all patients. Some patients reported improvement in the symptoms of depression.
“There are many medications that work in skin diseases for reasons we don’t fully understand. The exact mechanism of LDN in Hailey-Hailey disease is also unclear, but low-dose naltrexone may be recommended as a low-cost and low-risk alternative in the treatment of Hailey-Hailey diseases as well as Darier disease or recalcitrant Grover disease”, was the main conclusion of the researchers.
Some testimonials from patients
“I can testify that LDN has given me a new life… not a life completely without pain, but a life where I can function and do my daily chores…. I hope that my condition will still improve. My condition has been bad for so many years… I know that patience is needed, but so far I'm very happy and grateful for the changes that have already occurred.”
“After eleven months of LDN, my skin condition has healed at least 80%. To me, that is nothing short of a miracle!”
“I encourage everyone with my conditions or with chronic pain of other origin, with autism or depression to give LDN a chance. The benefits of LDN are far greater than what we can imagine, and this is virtually with no side effects.”
“I started low with only 0.5 mg a day and increased the dose 0.5 mg every week. At the dose of 4.5 mg I stayed for several weeks. I experienced gradual improvement but I felt there was still room for better results. My doctor told me that I could proceed increasing my LDN slowly, as long as I still had improvement with each increment; so I went higher. The last 2 months I've been on 12 mg/day. I'm still not sure, though, at which dose I feel best.”