Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Pharmacotherapy. 2019 Jul;39(7):775-777. doi: 10.1002/phar.2280. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Kratom Use and Toxicities in the United States.

Author information

1
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York.
2
Department of Emergency Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York.
3
Department of Pathology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York.
4
Upstate New York Poison Center, Syracuse, New York.
5
Department of Emergency Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Kratom is an herbal supplement containing alkaloids with opioid properties. This review was conducted to determine toxicities associated with kratom use in the United States in order to provide insight into its safety as a dietary supplement.

METHODS:

We conducted a retrospective review of kratom exposures reported to the National Poison Data System to determine the toxicities associated with kratom use. We also reviewed records from a county medical examiner's office in New York State to identify kratom-associated fatalities.

RESULTS:

A total of 2312 kratom exposures were reported, with 935 cases involving kratom as the only substance. Kratom most commonly caused agitation (18.6%), tachycardia (16.9%), drowsiness (13.6%), vomiting (11.2%), and confusion (8.1%). Serious effects of seizure (6.1%), withdrawal (6.1%), hallucinations (4.8%), respiratory depression (2.8%), coma (2.3%), and cardiac or respiratory arrest (0.6%) were also reported. Kratom was listed as a cause or contributing factor in the death of four decedents identified by the county medical examiner's office.

CONCLUSIONS:

Kratom use is increasing and is associated with significant toxicities. Our findings suggest kratom is not reasonably expected to be safe and poses a public health threat due to its availability as an herbal supplement.

KEYWORDS:

kratom; opioid use disorder; opioids

PMID:
31099038
DOI:
10.1002/phar.2280

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center