Dr. Weyrich's Naturopathic Functional Medicine Notebook is a collection of information on topics of interest to Dr. Weyrich that may be of interest to the world wide audience. Due to limitations of time, not all information that Dr. Weyrich knows or would like to further research is published here. Dr. Weyrich welcomes financial contributions to support specific research topics, as well as copies of non-free access journal articles for him to review on a topic. Constructive criticism is also welcome.


Overview of Upper Respiratory Infection (Common Cold)

Complimentary and alternative treatments for upper respiratory infections that are considered below include:

  • Low Dose Naltrexone

Treatment of Upper Respiratory Infection (Common Cold)

According to the Low Dose Naltrexone home page [LDN], LDN has been seen to benefit upper respiratory infections (common cold). [LDN] reports that all patients with autoimmune processes who were treated by the late Dr. Bihari [Bihari2003] using LDN "have experienced a halt in progression of their illness. In many patients there was a marked remission in signs and symptoms of the disease." Dr. Bihari suggests a 50% to 70% overall response rate [Bihari2003].

Dr. Weyrich notes that these reports are considered anecdotal, and without expensive double-blind placebo-controlled trials (which are unlikely to be funded, since LDN is a generic drug that cannot be patented), these results cannot be proven to be anything more than "spontaneous remissions"; however, given the low cost (less than $40/month) and extremely low side effect profile, a therapeutic trial may be in order.

It is believed [LDN] that LDN works by temporarily blocking the body's opioid receptors, which induces a reflex increase in the body's natural endorphin and enkephalin levels, which then modulates the immune system to restore balance and reduce inflammation. However, [Younger2014] has proposed an alternative mechanism in which naltrexone exerts an antagonist effect on Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) that are found on macrophages and microglia; additional mechanisms involving astrocytes, NADPH oxidase 2, and the opioid growth factor receptor (OGFr) have also been proposed.

The main caveats are that patients cannot also be being treated with extended release opiates for pain control and cannot be organ transplant recipients. This is an off-label use, and as such is not likely to be covered by insurance.

Dr. Weyrich has been trained in the use of Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and offers these protocols as a complement to other therapies; however at this time Dr. Weyrich has not treated any cases of upper respiratory infections or common colds using LDN.


References for Upper Respiratory Infection (Common Cold)