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Research

Low Dose Naltrexone in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia

Title
Low Dose Naltrexone in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia
Publication Type
Journal Article
Research Type
Human
Reported as
Case Report/Series/Restrospective Study
Date
March 17, 2017
Authors
Samy K Metyas, Karen Yeter, John Solyman, Daniel Arkfeld
Institution
University of Southern California and Covina Arthritis Clinic
Link
Abstract

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder characterized by diffuse musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance and cognitive impairment. A significant number of fibromyalgia patients do not respond adequately to the current drugs (pregabalin, milnacipran, duloxetine) approved for fibromyalgia treatment by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Thus, there is still a need for adjunctive therapies. Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist used to treat alcohol and opioid dependence. It is hypothesized that low dose naltrexone causes transient blockade of opioid receptors centrally resulting in a rebound of endorphin function which may attenuate pain in fibromyalgia. Treatment with low dose naltrexone may be an effective, highly tolerable and inexpensive treatment for fibromyalgia. Further controlled trials are needed.