Fibromyalgia patients turn to controversial kratom drug
The leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree are better known as kratom and have been used in traditional medicine. However, several countries have banned the controversial drug, and its use in the United States is being debated. Studies show that kratom is capable of opioid-like activity, and some fibromyalgia patients have been using it to fight chronic pain.
According to a paper from the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), Kratom’s opiate-like impact on the human body comes with several potential side effects that include nausea, confusion, constipation and hallucinations. Higher doses of the drug are associated with more severe side effects, but some patients report no side effects. Kratom is often used to fight pain, and it has also been used to manage opiate addiction.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that kratom distributor James Morrissette sees many customers who use the drug to manage their fibromyalgia. Customers also believe kratom helps their insomnia and chronic pain. However, Florida is one of several states that wants to ban the drug. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) labels kratom as a “drug and chemical of concern,” but it is not a federally controlled substance. It is available in pills and powders, and some distributors sell it in teas.
Kratom is banned in Thailand, Malaysia, Australia and Burma. In the United States, kratom is banned in Tennessee, Indiana, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Florida wants to join the list. Some patients who rely on the treatment for pain management claim they will move to another area that has not banned the drug. A study from researchers in Malaysia and Germany found that ongoing use of kratom can lead to withdrawal symptoms if patients try to stop taking the drug. Researchers also believe it is possible to build a tolerance to the drug.
Read more about fibromyalgia:
Memantine drug shows promise for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia study focuses on brain stimulation to fight pain