Mitragyna Speciosa Research Paper

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Mitragyna speciosa or kratom is a tropical evergreen tree native in Southeast Asia and has been used in traditional medicine since the 19th century. However, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that the kratom plant has opioid properties and is unsafe for medical use.

People in certain regions, such as Thailand and Indonesia, define the plant as a medicinal herb used for chronic pain management, treatment of opioid withdrawal symptoms, and recreational activities. However, pharmaceutical experts classify it as an opioid because of its chemical components and warn people of the potential danger the plant can cause in human health.

The US FDA conducted a scientific analysis using a computational model to determine the compound in
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According to Hunter, both fentanyl and loperamide are opioids, but fentanyl is a very strong painkiller which is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, which can cause drug dependence. Loperamide does not cause euphoric effects unless taken in extra large doses. In kratom-related deaths, experts cannot precisely determine if the herb alone caused it because the people took something else after kratom consumption.

“Cases of mixing kratom, other opioids, and other types of medication is extremely troubling because the activity of kratom at opioid receptors indicates there may be similar risks of combining kratom with certain drugs, just as there are with FDA-approved opioids,” said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the US FDA.

People who are taking kratom may experience one or more adverse effects such as nervousness, nausea and vomiting, sweating, itching, lethargy, and aggressive behavior. Chronic users exhibit severe adverse effects including thinness of the body, darkened skin, dryness of the mouth, constipation, and frequent urination. Abrupt cessation of kratom use or stopping cold turkey can cause withdrawal symptoms like joint and muscle pain, hostile behavior, watering of the eyes, and spastic limb movements. Kratom drug dependence can be treated in several ways including detoxification and cognitive behavioral
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