Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) has been used for medicinal and recreational purposes. It has reported analgesic, euphoric and antitussive effects via its action as an agonist at opioid receptors. It is illegal in many countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, South Korea and Australia; however, it remains legal or uncontrolled in the UK and USA, where it is easily available over the Internet. We describe a case of kratom dependence in a 44-year-old man with a history of alcohol dependence and anxiety disorder. He demonstrated dependence on kratom with withdrawal symptoms consisting of anxiety, restlessness, tremor, sweating and cravings for the substance. A reducing regime of dihydrocodeine and lofexidine proved effective in treating subjective and objective measures of opioid-like withdrawal phenomena, and withdrawal was relatively short and benign. There are only few reports in the literature of supervised detoxification and drug treatment for kratom dependence. Our observations support the idea that kratom dependence syndrome is due to short-acting opioid receptor agonist activity, and suggest that dihydrocodeine and lofexidine are effective in supporting detoxification.
- Anxiety/chemically induced
- Inactivation, Metabolic
- Mitragyna/adverse effects
- Substance Withdrawal Syndrome/therapy
- Tremor/chemically induced