What is it?
First Aid

What is kratom?

Kratom is the common name for certain types of trees that grow naturally in parts of Southeast Asia. Kratom leaves contain chemicals that act as stimulants at low doses, but create effects similar to opioids at higher doses.

Kratom has been used in traditional medicine in parts of Asia, but it has not been approved for medical use in the United States. Kratom use is illegal in several countries in Europe and Asia, and several U.S. states, including Vermont.

Kratom has been used to treat pain, addiction, high blood pressure, coughs or diarrhea, or to get high. However, kratom has not been shown to be safe and effective, and may cause harmful side effects.

What happens if someone takes too much kratom?

Using small amounts of kratom can raise a person’s blood pressure, cause heart palpitations or make the person agitated.

Larger amounts can cause an upset stomach, vomiting, drowsiness, slowed breathing, hallucinations and even seizures.

What happens if someone uses kratom for a long period of time?

Long-term use of kratom can cause:

  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Sexual problems
  • Mental health problems

Someone who stops using kratom after using it regularly can have withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Weakness
  • Trouble sleeping or tiredness
  • Agitation
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Involuntary movements
  • Diarrhea

What should I do if someone is having symptoms after taking kratom?

If someone is not feeling well after using kratom, call the poison center right away at 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511.

If the person has passed out or is having trouble breathing, call 911.

How can I prevent poisonings from kratom?

Kratom has not been tested for safety and effectiveness and we recommend that people do not use it. If you have pain or are trying to stop using opioids, work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan.

If you still plan to use kratom, talk to your doctor first about possible side effects and interactions. Contact the poison center if you have questions or concerns—call 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511.

Last Updated: Wednesday January 3rd 2018