While kratom is safe if taken in its pure natural form and adequate doses, like any substance, natural or not, it can negatively interact with others.
Most governmental institutions and medical sites claim that kratom intake is dangerous. However, their reports tend to be misleading. Almost all of the so-called kratom deaths are not actually due to kratom but other substances taken alongside it. The rest usually lack valid data.
Sadly, due to the lack of regulations, studies, and trusted, unbiased information on kratom, individuals taking it need to be particularly cautious and informed. Therefore, it is essential to know what drugs and substances can potentially interact with kratom to avoid potential adverse side effects and consequences.
Common Kratom Drug Interactions
Kratom and Prescription Opioids
Kratom and prescription opioids target the same areas in the brain. As a result, the effects of both are similar.
While many label kratom as an opioid because of that, it isn’t actually the case. Despite similar effects, kratom is a plant that belongs to be coffee family. It also does not engage opioid receptors in the brain in the same way that opioids do. Therefore, kratom provides strong pain relief, yet does not cause life-threatening respiratory depression and is about as addictive as coffee.
Because of this, many use kratom to overcome opioid addiction, which is currently plaguing America.
Unfortunately, many take kratom in addition to opioid medication to enhance the pain-relieving effects or avoid opioid withdrawal symptoms. This can be potentially dangerous, especially if one has developed a high tolerance to opioids and is taking low-quality, contaminated, or adulterated kratom.
While taken independently from other substances, kratom causes low respiratory depression that is not nearly enough to be fatal. However, taken with opioids, especially in large uncontrolled dosages, it can add on to the respiratory depression caused by opioids, and that can be dangerous, even if kratom itself wouldn’t be causing it.
To prevent this from happening, we advise not taking prescription or other opioids together with kratom. If you are willing to quit opioids and use kratom to manage your pain, it’s best if you give your body some time to clean itself first and only then start using kratom. Make sure that you only take pure, lab-tested, high-quality kratom from trusted vendors.
Kratom and Stimulants
Generally, we advise not taking kratom together with stimulants such as amphetamines or cocaine as well as herbal stimulants like guarana.
In small doses, kratom can have stimulant effects. Green strains are moderately stimulating, while whites have strong stimulant effects.
Taken with other stimulants, kratom can result in negative side effects such as agitation, anxiety, sweating, and heart palpitations.
When it comes to coffee, it can act as a kratom potentiator. Yet, those new to kratom shouldn’t mix it with caffeine. It’s best to get used to kratom first before experimenting. Moreover, if you take kratom and coffee, you should lower both your dose of kratom and coffee.
More about kratom and caffeine here.
Kratom and Depressants
Common depressants are anti-anxiety drugs, alcohol, and tranquilizers, such as central nervous system depressants. It’s best to avoid such combination as depressant drugs can have a similar effect to those of opioids.
Combining depressants and kratom can result in severe sedative effects and can potentially be dangerous if these doses are excessive, and one takes low-quality kratom.
Combining kratom with alcohol can also result in nausea, vomiting, headaches, and hangover.
More on kratom and alcohol here.
Kratom and SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)
SSRIs are a type of mediation used to alleviate depression symptoms. They are most commonly known as anti-depressants.
Kratom interacts with the mu-receptors in the human brain, whereas anti-depressants interact with serotonin receptors. Serotonin receptors and mu-receptors can work together in certain processes; therefore, there may be potential negative consequences when taking both.
While currently, no studies are elaborating on the effects of kratom and anti-depressants taken together and these are only speculations, it’s best to approach this with caution.
Kratom and Medication Changed by the Liver
Our liver breaks down and changes the chemical composition of some medications. Kratom can potentially interfere with the process and slow down the rate at which our liver does that. This can alter the intensity of the effects or side effects of these medications.
This category includes a variety of Cytochrome p450 substrates such as Codeine, amitriptyline (Elavil), desipramine (Norpramin), flecainide (Tambocor), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), ondansetron (Zofran), risperidone (Risperdal), tramadol (Ultram), indinavir (Crixivan), sildenafil (Viagra),and other.
Since there are many medications in this category, it’s best to consult a physician before taking any prescription medication with kratom.
Kratom and Modafinil (Provigil)
There has been a reported case of a person experiencing seizures and going into a coma after taking kratom and modafinil (Provigil), a drug used to manage sleepiness due to narcolepsy.
It is currently unclear what is causing this to occur; however, other people also have experienced seizures after combining the two, especially after high doses of kratom. Therefore, it is generally advisable to avoid taking kratom and modafinil (Provigil) together.
On many occasions, kratom gets the blame when any negative effects occur after mixing it with other substances or drugs. However, that is not to say that kratom would cause any of those by itself.
Therefore, we urge you to make sure that you buy your kratom from a trustworthy and reputable kratom vendor who tests their products in an independent third-party laboratory. This way, you have the highest chance of getting a quality product that’s free of pollutants, adulterants, and other risky substances that may cause negative consequences.
Keep in mind that buying questionable kratom and mixing it with potentially dangerous substances does not only put your health and life at risk, but negatively affects the reputation of the herb.
Are there kratom drug interactions that have we not mentioned, but you believe that the kratom community should know? Let us and our readers know! This can not only help people avoid negative consequences and side effects but also help us keep kratom legal!