Enhancing acupuncture by low dose naltrexone

Acupunct Med. 2011 Jun;29(2):127-30. doi: 10.1136/aim.2010.003566. Epub 2011 Mar 17.


To find appropriate and effective treatment options for chronic pain syndromes is a challenging task. Multimodal treatment approach has been gaining acceptance for chronic pain. However, combining treatments, such as acupuncture, with rational pharmacology is still in its infancy. Acupuncture influences the opioid and cannabinoid system through releasing endogenous receptor ligands. Low dose naltrexone also acts on both these systems, and upregulates the opioid and cannabinoid receptors. The authors hypothesise that low dose naltrexone could enhance the pain-relieving effect of acupuncture.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use*
  • Cannabinoids / metabolism
  • Chronic Disease
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Naltrexone / administration & dosage
  • Naltrexone / therapeutic use*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain Management*
  • Receptor Cross-Talk
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid / metabolism


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Cannabinoids
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Naltrexone