An article about kratom addiction and withdrawal, published in the February issue of WMJ, is gaining national attention as this week’s featured case study in the Monthly Prescribing Reference (MPR).
The report in WMJ, authored by Society member David Galbis-Reig, MD, cites a case in which a patient in southeastern Wisconsin became addicted to kratom, and as a result, experienced symptoms of severe opioid-like withdrawal syndrome. Her withdrawal was managed successfully through the opioid withdrawal protocol, but Dr. Galbis-Reig said that kratom is still relatively unknown by physicians in the United States.
Indigenous to countries in Southeast Asia, kratom is an herb that has been used for hundreds of years by the people living there for fatigue, pain, opioid withdrawal and cough. However, it has been illegal in Thailand since 1943 and is the most abused drug there among illicit users. The patient in this case purchased kratom online.
“The Internet is ripe with sites and articles that proclaim the analgesic and stimulant properties of kratom while downplaying its adverse effects and addictive potential,” Dr. Galbis-Reig wrote. “Numerous case series and reports, however, have described the addictive potential of kratom, both in herbal form and extract.”
MPR is an up-to-date guide to commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals, as well as certain over-the-counter products. Click here to read the featured case study on kratom.
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