Low dose naltrexone as an add-on treatment for major depressive disorder

Are you currently on antidepressants and still feeling depressed? We are looking for participants interested in taking part in a trial of a supplementary drug to potentially help treat depression.

What's involved?

Participation will take 3 to 6 months and involves blood tests, brain scans (MRI and EEG), cognitive tests, and questionnaires in relation to your mental health.

We will be recruiting 48 individuals with depression, half of whom will receive low dose naltrexone (LDN) for the first 3 months while the other half receive a placebo. All participants then have the opportunity to try LDN for a further 3 months.

We are also seeking 24 healthy volunteers to come in for a one-off day involving the same assessments. This would not involve taking the study drug.

Eligibility criteria

To participate in this study, you must:

  • Be aged 18-55 years
  • Have diagnosed depression
  • Currently be on medication for depression and have not tried more than two types of anti-depressants
  • Have had stable mood for last 4 weeks
  • On contraception if of child-bearing potential

We are also looking for healthy participants who are not depressed, with no history of depression. 

You cannot participate in this study if you:

  • Currently use opioid analgesics
  • Have any current or past bipolar or psychiatric disorder or psychotic disorder
  • Have acute risk of suicide
  • Have any clinically significant medical conditions
  • Have a history of autoimmune diseases or chronic pain
  • Use long-term anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive therapy

If you fit this criteria, please see the participant information sheets below for more information.

Contact details

If you have any questions or would like to participate in this study, please get in touch with:

Ben Moloney and Stephanie Glover
PhD Candidates, School of Pharmacy
Phone: 027 310 7137
Email: naldep@auckland.ac.nz

Alternatively, you can contact the primary investigator of the study directly:

Dr Joanne Lin
Senior Lecturer, School of Pharmacy
Phone: +64 9 923 2255
Email: joanne.lin@auckland.ac.nz

This study has been approved by the Southern Health and Disability Ethics Committee on 28 June 2022.

Reference number 12781.