Disclosure: I received a free consultation in exchange for this review, but all opinions are my own.
My subscribers know by now that I’m a huge fan of low dose naltrexone as a treatment for fibromyalgia. I took LDN for about nine months in 2015, and I will be starting back on it next week. (I’ll give an update on how I’m changing my treatment protocol in an upcoming blog post.) LDN has helped to reduce my pain when no other pharmaceutical has, and I have a number of fibro friends who have benefited from it as well.
A few weeks ago, I was asked by LDNDoctor.com if I would be interested in doing an online LDN consult. I’ve been thinking about going back on LDN for the past couple of months, so it was perfect timing.
LDNDoctor.com offers online consultations and prescriptions for low dose naltrexone to U.S.-based patients via U.S.-licensed physicians. Consults are available to manage conditions such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s/colitis, thyroid disorders (Hashimoto’s and Graves disease), rheumatoid arthritis and others.
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2014, and within a few short months, I had flunked out of at least four or five of the usual fibro medications. For the most part, I couldn’t take them due to side effects. I stumbled upon an online patient survey that said LDN was one of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia. In early studies, LDN outperformed the three drugs currently approved by the FDA to treat fibromyalgia – and it does so with minimal side effects.
Since the usual treatments weren’t helping me, I decided I wanted to try LDN. But there was a problem. My rheumatologist refused to write a prescription, and I couldn’t find an LDN-friendly doctor locally. You see, not many doctors know about using LDN for fibromyalgia because it’s an older, generic drug, and none of the drug companies are interested in researching it because there’s no profit to be made from it. But fortunately, there’s a university researcher, Dr. Jarred Younger, who sees great potential in LDN and has already completed two LDN/fibromyalgia studies at Stanford University. More are being planned at his new neuroinflammation lab at University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Since LDN isn’t being marketed by the drug companies, few doctors are aware of it or know about its use for fibromyalgia. That leaves us, the patients, in a difficult spot. We’re desperate for relief, but it can be difficult to gain access to a treatment that might help us.
That’s where LDNDoctor.com helps. There are lists of LDN-friendly doctors online for those who want to seek one out, but that requires making lots of phone calls, researching the physicians’ credentials, traveling to the appointment, etc. LDNDoctor.com makes the process of finding an accessible LDN-friendly doctor much easier. If you live in the U.S., it’s just a matter of registering on the website and setting up an appointment. Easy peasy.
The consultation fee covers a video consult, a 6-month LDN prescription and email support. (When I was first seeking out LDN in 2014, I used a physician who offers phone consults, and the pricing is about the same.)
Earlier this month, I had my consult with Dr. Hila Handler. She’s a U.S.-licensed physician of family medicine who completed her medical training at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Ill.
Prior to our consult, LDNDoctor.com sent me instructions on how to test my device to ensure that it was audio- and video-ready. When my appointment time arrived, I logged into the website using my username and password and connected with Dr. Handler using the webcam built into my laptop. Our audio had a delay, making it difficult for us to converse at first, so Dr. Handler suggested giving me a call on the telephone. That was perfect because we could talk without the delay, but still see each other through the webcam.
Dr. Handler was very helpful during our consult. I explained that I’d had some side effects early on when I’d taken LDN previously – they subsided after a couple of weeks – and she shared some tips for how to minimize those when I start back on LDN next week. She gave clear instructions, so I can start at a small dose and increase over time to find the optimal amount. She was able to answer my questions and is obviously knowledgeable about LDN and how it works.
She also took the time to make suggestions on additional fibro-related testing (for Lyme disease, vitamin D levels, MTHFR, etc.) that might helpful. That was really above and beyond what I expected during the consult and showed she really was interested in helping me as a patient.
Most people who take LDN pay for it out of pocket. Fortunately, it’s pretty inexpensive; my 30-day supply costs around $25. LDN is ordered through a compounding pharmacy. Dr. Handler has researched the various compounding pharmacies around the country and was able to suggest one with the best prices. (Patients have the option of having their prescription sent to their compounding pharmacy of choice if they prefer.)
I had a follow-up question regarding pharmacies and was able to email her and get a fairly quick response. My LDN should be arriving by early next week.
LDNDoctor.com is a fast, convenient way to access an LDN-friendly doctor, and I would recommend their service to anyone who is interested in trying LDN – especially for those who haven’t been able to find a doctor locally.
If you’d like to read more about low dose naltrexone and fibromyalgia, please visit my LDN resources page where you’ll find links to research and other helpful information.
Read about my personal experience using low dose naltrexone, which I shared in Fibro Flare magazine.
Read about the ongoing LDN/fibromyalgia research occurring at Dr. Jarred Younger’s neuroinflammation lab at University of Alabama at Birmingham.
I’m currently working on two more LDN-related stories. If you’d like to stay updated, please subscribe below.