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Low-dose Naltrexone Therapy for Psoriasis

Title
Low-dose Naltrexone Therapy for Psoriasis
Publication Type
Journal Article
Research Type
Human
Reported as
Case Report/Series/Restrospective Study
Date
March 21, 2020
Authors
L. B. Weinstock, J. Cottel, L. Aldridge, A. Egeberg
Institution
Washington University School of Medicine, University of Copenhagen
Link
Abstract

Safe, inexpensive, and convenient psoriasis therapy is desirable. Two recent case reports suggested that low-dose naltrexone is effective. Cases from our practice are presented in order to further the evidence of efficacy and safety of low-dose naltrexone in the treatment of psoriasis. Patients included 13 females, 2 males; mean age 57 years; mean psoriasis duration 16 years. Of the patients, 8 had psoriatic arthritis. In the past, 5 had completely failed and 10 had partially responded to =1 topical therapies. Patients used a self-assessed Likert scale on the effect of low-dose naltrexone on their psoriasis: 1 - worse; 2 - unchanged; 3 - slightly improved; 4 - somewhat improved; 5 - marked improvement. The response to 4.5 mg of oral naltrexone was as follows: 8/15 marked improvement; 2/15 somewhat improved; and 5/15 unchanged. Three adverse events included insomnia, diarrhea, and self-limited headache. Marked improvement was seen by 53% of the 15 patients. Low-dose naltrexone regulates lymphocyte responses, reduces cytokine production, and likely reduces mast cell activity. Low-dose naltrexone is safe, inexpensive, and appears be effective in this open-label study.