Long-term treatment with low dose naltrexone maintains stable health in patients with multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler J Exp Transl Clin. 2016 Sep 29;2:2055217316672242. doi: 10.1177/2055217316672242. eCollection Jan-Dec 2016.


Introduction: A retrospective study was conducted on patients at Penn State Hershey Medical Center diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis between 2006 and 2015.

Methodology: Laboratory and clinical data collected over this 10-year period were reviewed. Two cohorts of patients were established based on their relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis therapy at the time of their first visit to Penn State. One group of patients (n = 23) was initially prescribed low dose naltrexone at the time first seen at Hershey. This group was offered low dose naltrexone because of symptoms of fatigue or refusal to take an available disease-modifying therapy. The second group of patients (n = 31) was treated with the glatiramer acetate (Copaxone) and offered low dose naltrexone as an adjunct therapy to their disease-modifying therapy.

Results: Patient data from visits after 1-50 months post-diagnosis were evaluated in a retrospective manner. Data obtained from patient charts included clinical laboratory values from standard blood tests, timed 25-foot walking trials, and changes in magnetic resonance imaging reports. Statistical analyses between the groups and for each patient over time indicated no significant differences in clinical laboratory values, timed walking, or changes in magnetic resonance imaging.

Conclusion: These data suggest that the apparently non-toxic, inexpensive, biotherapeutic is safe and if taken alone did not result in an exacerbation of disease symptoms.

Keywords: Copaxone; Disease-modifying therapy; behavior; low dose naltrexone; magnetic resonance imaging; walking.