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      Pharmacokinetics of mitragynine in man

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          Abstract

          Background

          Kratom, known botanically as Mitragyna speciosa (Korth.), is an indigenous tree in Southeast Asia. Kratom is currently easily available worldwide via special shops and the Internet to use as a drug of abuse, opioid alternative, or pain killer. So far, the pharmacokinetics of this plant has been studied only in animals, and there is no such study in humans. The major abundant active alkaloid in Kratom, mitragynine, is one of the promising new chemical substances to be developed as a new drug. The aim of this study was to examine the pharmacokinetics of mitragynine and assess the linearity in pharmacokinetics in chronic users.

          Methods

          Since Kratom is illegal in Thailand, studies in healthy subjects would be unethical. We therefore conducted a prospective study by enrolling ten chronic, regular, healthy users. We adjusted the steady state in each subject by giving a known amount of Kratom tea for 7 days before commencement of the experiment. We admitted and gave different oral doses to subjects to confirm linearity in pharmacokinetics. The mitragynine blood concentrations at 17 times points and the urine concentrations during the 24-hour period were collected and measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method.

          Results

          Ten male subjects completed the study without adverse reactions. The median duration of abuse was 1.75 years. We analyzed one subject separately due to the abnormal behavior of blood concentration. From data of nine subjects, the pharmacokinetic parameters established were time to reach the maximum plasma concentration (0.83±0.35 hour), terminal half-life (23.24±16.07 hours), and the apparent volume of distribution (38.04±24.32 L/kg). The urine excretion of unchanged form was 0.14%. The pharmacokinetics were observed to be oral two-compartment model.

          Conclusion

          This was the first pharmacokinetic study in humans, which demonstrated linearity and was consistent with the oral two-compartment model with a terminal half-life of about 1 day. The pharmacokinetic linearity and parameters reported are necessary pharmacological information of Kratom, and there is a possibility for it to be developed medically as a pain killer or better opioid substitute in the future.

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          Most cited references 33

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          Here today, gone tomorrow…and back again? A review of herbal marijuana alternatives (K2, Spice), synthetic cathinones (bath salts), kratom, Salvia divinorum, methoxetamine, and piperazines.

          Despite their widespread Internet availability and use, many of the new drugs of abuse remain unfamiliar to health care providers. The herbal marijuana alternatives, like K2 or Spice, are a group of herbal blends that contain a mixture of plant matter in addition to chemical grade synthetic cannabinoids. The synthetic cathinones, commonly called "bath salts," have resulted in nationwide emergency department visits for severe agitation, sympathomimetic toxicity, and death. Kratom, a plant product derived from Mitragyna speciosa Korth, has opioid-like effects, and has been used for the treatment of chronic pain and amelioration of opioid-withdrawal symptoms. Salvia divinorum is a hallucinogen with unique pharmacology that has therapeutic potential but has been banned in many states due to concerns regarding its psychiatric effects. Methoxetamine has recently become available via the Internet and is marked as "legal ketamine." Moreover, the piperazine derivatives, a class of amphetamine-like compounds that includes BZP and TMFPP, are making a resurgence as "legal Ecstasy." These psychoactives are available via the Internet, frequently legal, and often perceived as safe by the public. Unfortunately, these drugs often have adverse effects, which range from minimal to life-threatening. Health care providers must be familiar with these important new classes of drugs. This paper discusses the background, pharmacology, clinical effects, detection, and management of synthetic cannabinoid, synthetic cathinone, methoxetamine, and piperazine exposures.
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            Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) dependence, withdrawal symptoms and craving in regular users.

            Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) preparations have been traditionally used in Southeast Asia for its medicinal properties. Lately, Kratom use has spread to Europe and the US, where abuse potential and health hazards increasingly emerge. This study is the first to measure systematically Kratom dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and drug craving in regular Kratom users in Malaysia.
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              Seizure and coma following Kratom (Mitragynina speciosa Korth) exposure.

              Reports of toxicity secondary to Kratom are rare and lack of diagnostic testing in human specimens has prevented confirmatory explanation of observed clinical effects. We present a novel case of serious human toxicity following Kratom use confirmed via quantitative analysis of urine by high performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. A 64 year-old male was witnessed to have a seizure at home following kratom consumption. Upon arrival to the emergency department (ED), the patient was unresponsive. While in the ED, the patient sustained a second seizure. He was intubated to protect his airway. The remainder of his hospital course was uneventful. A urine specimen was collected shortly after admission and sent for analysis. The mitragynine concentration in the urine was 167 ± 15 ng/ml. We report a rare case of Kratom toxicity characterized by a seizure and coma confirmed by urinary analysis of mitragynine by high performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. The proposed mechanism for this reaction is unclear but suggested mechanisms include adenosine binding or stimulation of adrenergic and/or serotonergic receptors similar to tramadol.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2015
                29 April 2015
                : 9
                : 2421-2429
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
                [2 ]Ramathibodi Poison Center, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
                [3 ]Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
                [4 ]Center for Drug Research Discovery and Development, Thammasat Univerisity, Prathumthani, Thailand
                [5 ]Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
                [6 ]Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Winai Wananukul, Ramathibodi Poison Center and Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, 270 Rama VI Road, Ratchatewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand, Tel +66 2 201 1084, Fax +66 2 201 1086, Email winai.wan@ 123456mahidol.ac.th
                Article
                dddt-9-2421
                10.2147/DDDT.S79658
                4425236
                25995615
                © 2015 Trakulsrichai et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Original Research

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine

                human, kratom, pharmacokinetics

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