Kratom (<em>Mitragyna speciosa</em>): Friend or Foe?



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Increased use of the opioid-related plant kratom as an alternative treatment for opioid withdrawal symptoms has raised concerns regarding its potential for abuse and severe adverse effects. A review of the literature was performed to characterize kratom’s pharmacology, clinical efficacy, and adverse effects to increase understanding and evaluate potential use as an alternative treatment for opioid dependence. Kratom use initiated as self-medication for an opioid use disorder or pain syndrome in the absence of effective alternatives is associated with a risk of kratom dependence, withdrawal, and life-threatening toxicity. The potential for a serious adverse reaction should discourage unregulated use of kratom products.

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2020;22(1):19nr02507