I can Live Again!

Low Dose Naltrexone dramatically reduced my severe chronic back pain, making opiates obsolete.

Tim Riley
March 1, 2017

Q: Please tell us a little about your health condition.

A: In 1998 I had 2 back operations that failed and left me in a lot more pain than ever. We're talking constant pain. Every 3-6 months, I would be told to see yet another doctor and do another procedure (epidurals, burning of the nerves, steroid injections). They did over 30 procedures on my lower back, but nothing seemed to work. I was in an incredible amount of pain.

Q: What was your pain like before LDN?

A: It was constant and crippling. Iíd wake up in the morning and think, ďWhere is my medication?Ē Iíd have to pop a pill and wait 20 minutes for it to take effect in order just to get up out of bed. I had to hang onto things, like the countertop, in order to walk. It took me an hour to get going in the morning. Iím only 63 now but I felt like a very old man.

Q: How did your doctors treat your pain?

A: The doctors put me on high doses of long-acting morphine, and short-acting and extended-release oxycodone. At one point, I would take 60 mg of long-acting morphine in the morning, another 60 mg again at night, and every 4 hours during the day I would take an oxycodone. Here I was taking all those heavy duty drugs, and my body was depending on them. 3 to 4 four hours after taking oxycodone, the pain would flare up again and Iíd feel like I needed to take it again.

Q: Why did you want to get off opiate-based medications?

A: I was on those medications for 12 years. I was able to get off of them, but then eventually had to go back on them for another 5 years. A couple times the pain got so bad, I took more than my usual amount. But if you run out of your medication early and you need more (because you canít do without it), you are looked at like a criminal. It was so depressing. If you do one thing wrong, doctors will throw you out of their practice. First they tell you that you need morphine, and then, a year later, they are locking doors behind you. They are treating you like a criminal, requiring urine tests, and scrutinizing your every move. At one point, I couldnít stand it any longer. I was going to commit suicide. I wanted off those other medications.

Q: How did you come to take LDN?

A: About 16 months ago, after telling my doctor I wanted to get off all of the opiates, he told me to go to a detoxification center that deals specifically with people with chronic pain. By giving me various other medications for different periods of time, they were able to help me get off all the opiates. As part of their treatment, they gave me shots of Vivitrolģ, and I started to feel much better. After a year, though, insurance no longer covered those treatments. So, I needed to find something else. I had been reading about low dose naltrexone and decided to pursue it. I found a doctor willing to prescribe 50 mg naltrexone pills to me that I dissolved in water, and I dosed myself with 4.5 mg of LDN each morning. Iíve been on LDN for about 3 months. I havenít felt this kind of pain relief in over 20 years.

Q: How successful has LDN been in reducing your pain?

A: I have 75-80% less pain than when I was taking opiates. LDN is affordable and has virtually no side effects. Even with all that, itís infuriating that most doctors arenít interested in it. I asked my doctors about LDN every now and then over the years, and they dismissed it, saying that it didnít work. But it does. Yesterday I forgot to take my LDN, and I started to feel the pain return. I took it this morning, and now the pain is gone.

Q: Has LDN affected you in any other way?

A: I also have COPD, which is a lung disorder. I usually have 2-3 bouts with it during the wintertime, but this winter (since Iíve been on LDN) I havenít had any exacerbations. Also, my mood is better. When I was on all those opiates, although I never allowed myself to get really depressed, I had to really fight becoming depressed. Now, because Iím in so much less pain, I donít have to struggle to stay positive.

Q: You mentioned that you take LDN in the morning. Why?

A: I tried taking it at night, but I couldnít sleep well. So, I started taking it in the morning instead, and it worked just as well without any side effects at all. I could probably try taking it at night again and see if my body has adjusted to it already.

Q: Whatís been the biggest change for you since starting LDN?

A: I can walk freely. I just step out of the bed, and Iím walking right away. Like normal. Itís incredible. I could walk right across the street. My spine is like a disaster area, so thatís really saying something. Iím not 100% pain free, but I can do a lot more than before. LDN has been amazing for me. I am now doing better than I ever was when taking all those heavy duty opiates. Thereís a radio commercial that says, ďWhen youíre living on pain meds, youíre not really living. Why, after started ďXĒ, I can live again!Ē I feel that way about LDN.

Q: What would you like to tell people in the same position as you once were?

A: If youíre in chronic pain and you want to get off opiates, but youíre afraid to, Iíd recommend finding a detox program that deals with chronic pain patients. After you get off the opiates,
I recommend you try LDN. Hopefully youíll get better pain relief than you ever had before. It might set you free.