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Novel, 'Non-habit Forming' Medication May Reduce Low Back Pain

An over the counter (OTC) precursor of testosterone, cholesterol, and cortisone has been studied in a controlled clinical trial for the relief of back pain.  The study was performed in a cohort of Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers also with a comorbid condition of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) The study was not conducted in patients without PTSD (non-military personel. There the study cannot be applied to other cohorts (civilians without PTSD)

While pregnenolone is available over the counter, the researchers used a pharmaceutical-grade tablet formulation for the study. This development comes at a time when opioid addiction has become an epidemic.

Some other benefits for pregnenolone have been proposed, 

Pregnenolone is also used to sharpen memory, reduce stress, stimulate the immune system, promote detox, prevent heart disease, and slow the aging process. It has been marketed as a means of improving memory.

A search is ongoing for a non-addicting analgesic for chronic pain. Nature provided the opium poppy plant from which opium can be concentrated.  Dependence on the drug develops very quickly and a course of opioids can become addicting in a relatively short time.  Much of this occurs accidentally during a course of treatment following surgery.

Chronic pain from arthritis, neuropathy is also mismanaged by prescribing opioids. Oxycodone has been the most frequently abused drug. 

Pharmaceutical companies have been implicated in incentive programs by some companies. Purdue Pharmaceuticals is facing serious accusations of profiteering from their manufacturing of oxycodone.  They have agreed to a legal settlement with the state of Oklahoma for victims of opioid addiction

Purdue Pharmaceuticals knew how addicting Oxycodone was over 20 years ago. Yet their marketing materials such as this video would say otherwise. (The video is from 1998)

There are many precautions about using pregnenolone, 

Side Effects & Safety

There isn't enough information to know if pregnenolone is safe when taken by mouth. It might cause some steroid-like side effects including overstimulation, insomnia, irritability, anger, anxietyacne, headache, negative mood changes, facial hair growth, hair loss, and irregular heart rhythm.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of pregnenolone during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast canceruterine cancerovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Pregnenolone is converted by the body to estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t take supplemental pregnenolone.

Be cautious with this combination
  • Estrogens interacts with PREGNENOLONE
  • Pregnenolone is used in the body to make hormones including estrogen. Taking estrogen along with pregnenolone might cause too much estrogen to be in the body.

    Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.
  • Progestin interacts with PREGNENOLONE
  • Progestins are a group of hormones. Taking other hormones along with progesterone pills might cause too much hormones in the body. This could increase the effects and side effects of hormone pills.
  • Testosterone interacts with PREGNENOLONE
    The body changes pregnenolone into testosterone. Taking pregnenolone along with a testosterone pill might cause too much testosterone in the body. This might increase the chance of testosterone side effects.

The potential role of allopregnanolone for a safe and effective therapy of neuropathic pain.

Balancing steroidal hormone cascade in treatment-resistant veteran soldiers with PTSD using a fermented soy product (FSWW08): a pilot study.

Author's note:  The literature is very scant on the use of pregnenolone for pain management

Novel, 'Non-habit Forming' Medication May Reduce Low Back Pain: Randomized controlled trial findings suggest possible benefits for a pharmaceutical-grade formulation of the neurosteroid pregnenolone as a "non-habit-forming" treatment for chronic low back pain.

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