What is Kratom?

Kratom is called an opioid by the FDA even though it seems to be more of an herbal supplement.  Could it be safer to use than prescription opioids?  Dr. Robert Ashley gives more information on Kratom.

Controlling pain is the purpose of the opioid epidemic in the medical community.  Pain is always the enemy that searches for opiates as a cure.  Having the potential of being an addictive drug, it has destroyed many lives.  We are now using other medications to control our pain.

Kratom or Mitragyna speciosa is one of these found in southeast Asia and grown on a native tree to have potential consideration to be used.  Since the 1800s kratom has been used in traditional medicine by being made into a tea or by chewing the leaves of the tree.  Pain relief, relaxation and improved mood as well as decreased anxiety are reported by those have taken kratom.

Since 2010 kratom has been available in the U.S.  In 2017 a study surveyed 500 men and women about their use of kratom in recovery centers.  Kratom had been used once by about 21% and 10% had used it in the past year.  This could suggest that kratom might hold promise against pain and opiate addiction, but we just don’t have good enough studies of its effectiveness.

There could be serious side effects with the use of kratom .  It is cleared from the body through the liver, so if you have liver problems or taking medications that are metabolized by the liver, kratom may stay in your bloodstream.

More studies are definitely needed for kratom as well as other better replacements for opioids.

Dr Fredda Branyon