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Does Kratom Cause Seizures

Does Kratom Cause Seizures?

As you navigate the dense forest of natural supplements, kratom stands out like a towering, enigmatic tree, its leaves casting a shadow filled with both healing promises and whispers of danger.

You’ve turned to this herb for its potential benefits, yet you can’t ignore the murmurs about its darker side—particularly the risk of seizures. The question of whether kratom can seize control of your nervous system, much like a storm overtakes a calm sky, is one that requires your careful attention.

Does kratom cause seizures? In this discussion we will find the answer deeper. you’ll uncover the layers of evidence surrounding kratom’s safety and examine the conditions under which it may become a threat to your well-being. As you weigh the benefits against the risks, remember that the path to knowledge is fraught with complexities, and it’s your responsibility to tread carefully.

Key Takeaways

  • Kratom use can increase the risk of seizures, especially with frequent use or excessive dosage.
  • Stopping kratom abruptly can lead to seizures and other withdrawal symptoms.
  • Dependence on kratom increases the likelihood of experiencing seizures.
  • Mixing kratom with other substances like cough syrup or methamphetamine can further increase the risk of seizures.

Read: Does Kratom Lower Testosterone?

Understanding Kratom

exploring the benefits of kratom

Before you consider kratom’s potential health implications, it’s crucial to grasp what it is: a plant from Southeast Asia containing psychoactive alkaloids, primarily mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.

You’ll find it’s used both for its stimulant properties at low doses and for its sedative effects at higher doses, often cited for pain relief and opioid withdrawal management.

Yet, you must be aware of its adverse side effects, which range from nausea and constipation to more severe conditions like seizures, warranting careful scrutiny of its safety profile.

What is Kratom?

Kratom is a tree from Southeast Asia that’s known for affecting the brain in a way similar to opioids. Because of this, some people use it for pain relief or to help with mood disorders.

However, not everyone agrees that kratom should be legal. This is because there aren’t clear rules on how much to take, which can lead to people using too much. Doctors are starting to worry about people getting addicted to kratom.

What is Kratom Used For?

Kratom is often used as a substitute for pain relief medications and to help people manage symptoms when they stop using opioids. It’s important to know that the effects of kratom can change depending on how much you take. Small amounts can make you feel more alert and cheerful, which might help you do better at work or during other activities. On the other hand, taking a lot of kratom can make you feel very relaxed and numb pain, but it can also cause serious side effects like trouble breathing and constipation.

Studies on kratom show that using it a lot over time can lead to addiction and health problems like seizures. This means that even though kratom can have some good effects, it’s also possible to misuse it, which is why people should be careful and why we need more research on how it works.

For example, if someone is looking for a natural way to manage pain without the side effects of prescription drugs, they might try kratom. But, they should start with a low dose to reduce the risk of negative effects and consider discussing it with a healthcare professional. It’s also worth noting that not all kratom products are made the same, so finding a reputable supplier is key.

What Are Side Effects of Kratom?

Understanding the side effects of kratom is crucial, as its use can lead to a range of adverse reactions, from mild discomfort to severe health risks such as seizures. Kratom addiction is a significant concern, with potential risks escalating upon prolonged use. The side effects of kratom can vary depending on the dose, individual sensitivity, and frequency of use. Some reported side effects include:

  1. Nausea and Vomiting: These are common side effects, especially at higher doses.
  2. Constipation: Similar to opioids, kratom can lead to gastrointestinal issues, including constipation.
  3. Dizziness and Drowsiness: Users may experience dizziness, sedation, or drowsiness, which can be hazardous when performing tasks that require alertness.
  4. Dry Mouth: Some users report experiencing dry mouth after consuming kratom.
  5. Itching: Kratom can cause itching, which is also a side effect often associated with opioid use.
  6. Sweating: Excessive sweating is another side effect that some users experience.
  7. Increased Urination: Some people might find that they need to urinate more frequently when using kratom.
  8. Loss of Appetite: Kratom can affect appetite, leading to decreased food intake.
  9. Psychological Effects: Anxiety, irritability, mood swings, and hallucinations have been reported, particularly with high doses or prolonged use.
  10. Dependency and Withdrawal: With regular use, kratom can lead to dependence. Withdrawal symptoms can include muscle aches, irritability, emotional changes, runny nose, and aggressive behavior.

Read: Does Kratom Cause Constipation?

Can Kratom Cause Seizures?

kratom and seizures connection

Does kratom cause seizures? some people have had seizures after taking too much kratom [1], especially if they use it often. Kratom might make it easier for some people to have seizures if they’re already at risk. It’s really important to be careful with how much kratom you use because taking too much can cause serious problems, including seizures.

If someone uses kratom a lot and then stops suddenly, they might feel really sick, and they could even have seizures. This happens because their body gets used to the kratom, similar to what can happen with strong painkillers. It’s important to know that if you’ve been using kratom for a long time, stopping can be risky for your brain.

In simple terms, using kratom can be risky, and it’s important to pay attention to how it affects your body. If you’re thinking about stopping after using it for a while, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor to do it safely.

Why Does Kratom Cause Seizures?

  1. Overstimulation of the nervous system: Kratom’s stimulant effects, particularly at lower doses, suggest that it may lead to overstimulation of the nervous system, which could potentially lower the seizure threshold in susceptible individuals.
  2. Interaction with other drugs: Kratom might interact with other substances, including prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, or illicit substances. These interactions could increase the risk of seizures, especially if the other substances also have the potential to lower the seizure threshold or if they are known to interact negatively with the central nervous system.
  3. Contaminants or adulterants: Some kratom products may be contaminated with other substances that could independently increase the risk of seizures. These contaminants could be present due to poor manufacturing practices or intentional adulteration.
  4. High doses: Consuming kratom in high doses may lead to toxic effects, including seizures. High doses can overwhelm the body’s ability to process the alkaloids, leading to adverse reactions.
  5. Individual susceptibility: Certain individuals may be more prone to seizures due to genetics, underlying health conditions, or concurrent use of other substances that lower seizure thresholds. These people might be more at risk when using kratom.
  6. Withdrawal: There is some evidence that suggests abrupt discontinuation of kratom in dependent individuals could lead to withdrawal symptoms, including seizures. This is similar to what is observed with withdrawal from other substances that act on the opioid receptors.

How Common is Seizures With Kratom?

frequency of seizures with kratom

Seizure incidents related to kratom aren’t uncommon. Reports to American Poison Centers show that seizures are a side effect in about 9% of cases involving kratom. This is a considerable concern for those using it. Similarly, in Thailand, seizures are reported in 16-18% of kratom cases handled by Poison Centers.

It’s important to know that using kratom for a long time can lead to a dependence on the substance. This can increase the chance of having more seizures. These can be mild or very severe, affecting both sides of the body. We don’t fully understand why kratom can cause seizures, but they can happen to anyone, even those who’ve never had seizures before.

Seizures from kratom can happen quickly after taking it or take up to three days to appear. In some situations, they can even cause permanent brain damage. To treat these seizures, stopping the use of kratom is crucial. For example, a 19-year-old stopped having seizures after getting treatment and quitting kratom [2].

Read: Does Kratom Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Seizure From Kratom Withdrawal

kratom withdrawal causes seizures

Does kratom cause seizures? Seizures can happen when you stop using kratom, a substance some people use for its effects. If you’ve been taking kratom for a while, your body might depend on it, and quitting could make you have seizures more often. It’s important to be careful about stopping kratom to avoid seizures.

To help with withdrawal and lower the chances of having a seizure, you might need medicines that are also used for other kinds of seizures or withdrawal. Always talk to a doctor to get the right treatment plan, which could include medicine and other types of support.

We don’t know all the long-term effects of using kratom or stopping it, but what we do know suggests that seizures could be one of the risks if you’re dependent on it. For example, a person who took kratom every day had seizures that stopped after they got help to quit. To be safe, if you’re thinking about stopping kratom, you should talk to a professional for advice.

Case Studies Reviewed

in depth case study analysis

A 19-year-old Caucasian male with a history of anxiety and no known risk factors for epilepsy was evaluated following a first seizure, which appeared to be a generalized tonic-clonic (GTC) event. At the time of the seizure, he was on lisdexamfetamine dimesylate intermittently for ADHD. Initial investigations including brain MRI, metabolic profile, blood count, and urine drug screen were normal, and he was not started on anti-seizure drugs (ASDs).

A year later, he experienced a second seizure upon awakening, associated with muscle soreness and tongue laceration, during which he admitted to excessive Kratom use for anxiety management. This usage was not considered a reason to start ASDs due to the suspected seizure being provoked.

Following a third seizure, he was prescribed levetiracetam (LEV) at 500 mg twice daily. However, despite adherence to LEV, he experienced another focal to bilateral GTC seizure 21 months after the first. At this point, while the patient had discontinued lisdexamfetamine and alprazolam, he reported ongoing Kratom use. Following a fifth GTC seizure and reported non-compliance with LEV due to mood changes, he was switched to lamotrigine for its mood-stabilizing properties.

Subsequently, the patient had a sixth GTC seizure resulting in a motor vehicle accident, and he disclosed intermittent use of marijuana, lisdexamfetamine, rare alprazolam, and alcohol. Chronic Kratom abuse led to a recommendation for drug rehabilitation. After switching to lamotrigine and ceasing Kratom, he became seizure-free, though breakthrough seizures were noted with Kratom relapse. A follow-up MRI 29 months post-initial seizure showed bilateral symmetric T1 hyperintensity in the diencephalon, but metabolic profiles remained normal [3].

The patient completed a substance abuse rehabilitation program and reported no further seizures on lamotrigine. Further imaging was considered to assess potential resolution of structural brain changes post-Kratom cessation, but the patient was lost to follow-up due to insurance changes.

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