Do you take kratom for ADHD ?
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Do you take kratom for ADHD ?

Do you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and consume kratom? Or have you tried kratom for ADHD symptoms or side effects of medications? How did it make you feel? Did kratom interact positively or negatively with other meds? We’d love to hear from you. Please leave a reply at the bottom of this page to share your story.

There is very little in the scientific literature about kratom and ADHD. Analyzing the results of an online survey conducted by Oliver Grundmann in 2017, researchers found:

The highest percentage of responses among mental health conditions with “significant improvement” were for ADHD/ADD (60.3%). To date, no studies have addressed the use or effectiveness of Kratom in the treatment or management of ADHD, and only few qualitative studies have indicated potential benefits of Kratom in mitigating or managing anxiety disorders (Swogger and Walsh, 2018). Prescription medications for ADHD/ADD primarily target dopaminergic transmission; however, there is presently conflicting information on affinity and activity of Kratom and its alkaloids for dopamine receptors (Stolt et al., 2014; Vijeepallam et al., 2016). One potential mechanism by which Kratom alkaloids can mediate dopaminergic signaling is through disinhibition of GABAergic interneurons that leads to increased release of dopamine from neighboring neurons in the same manner to classical opioids (Steidl et al., 2017). Increased dopamine levels mediated by opioid receptor agonists may also contribute to the observed stimulant effects of Kratom products as they have been seen in other opioid agonists (Shim et al., 2014).

Bath R, Bucholz T, Buros AF, Singh D, Smith KE, Veltri CA, Grundmann O. Self-reported Health Diagnoses and Demographic Correlates With Kratom Use: Results From an Online Survey. J Addict Med. 2020 May/Jun;14(3):244-252. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000570. PMID: 31567595; PMCID: PMC7446542.

In one case study, a 27 year old with “a psychiatric history of unspecified anxiety disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), benzodiazepine use disorder, and opioid use disorder” had suffered tonic-clonic seizures. At the time he was drinking “three to four 8-mL bottles of kratom” per day. The case study does not describe the kratom product beyond this vague description. Was it tea? Extract? What was the alkaloid content? The patient also admitted to alcohol and diphenhydramine use at the time, leaving the question open as to whether kratom truly induced the seizures, as the article’s title, “A Case of Kratom-induced Seizures”, suggests.

Still, the study suggests that smaller amounts of kratom in someone not so prone to addiction may help ADHD symptoms:

While it is possible that mitragynine’s stimulating postsynaptic alpha 2 adrenoceptor activity could theoretically have been beneficial for the patient with regard to ADHD symptoms, consuming high doses daily would have likely canceled out any potential benefits…Furthermore, this patient presented with an impairment in reward processing evidenced by his co-morbid benzodiazepine use disorder and opioid use disorder history. His risk of developing an addiction to kratom was therefore elevated.

Afzal H, Esang M, Rahman S. A Case of Kratom-induced Seizures. Cureus. 2020 Jan 7;12(1):e6588. doi: 10.7759/cureus.6588. PMID: 32051800; PMCID: PMC7001130.

In another case study, a patient with ADHD developed a high tolerance for kratom. He was consuming 30 grams per day at peak and was no longer experiencing beneficial effects. He had also been taking 15 g per day of the ADHD medication dextroamphetamine, but discontinued its use due to tachycardia and heart palpitations, symptoms that can be caused by dextroamphetamine alone, but attributed in this study to the combination of the amphetamine and kratom. The patient was prescribed burprenorphine/naloxone (brand name Suboxone) to treat his kratom addiction. For the majority who have benefited from kratom to mitigate opioid addiction, replacing kratom with this less manageable synthetic risks making the problem worse.

The takeaway here is that kratom may interact with stimulant drugs in a way that may increase the likelihood of common stimulant side effects.

Our patient was unable to take his prescribed stimulant medication while using kratom due to the combined effects and adverse cardiac reactions associated with it. We found that after discontinuation of kratom, the patient was able to take his prescribed stimulant medication without consequences.

Schmuhl KK, Gardner SM, Cottrill CB, Bonny AE. Home induction and outpatient treatment of kratom use disorder with buprenorphine-naloxone: A case report in a young adult. Subst Abus. 2020;41(3):311-314. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2019.1671945. Epub 2019 Oct 23. PMID: 31644379.

Unlike the patient in the previous case study, some have managed to successfully consume kratom along with ADHD medication with beneficial results. In a comment on a KratomScience.com page, “KBarker” says:

I use kratom to supplement my ADHD medication. It has a tendency to cause me anxiety on the backside of the medication effects, among other side effects.

Kratom balances out the negative side effects of my ADHD meds very well. My wife said she’s never seen me as even keeled as since i added kratom to my daily supplement routine.

I also get much farther along in my prescription cycle than i used to because before the kratom i would end up taking another dose of ADHD med to counter those bad side effects.

Another commenter on KratomScience.com, “Matthew Salter Michigan”, has ADHD and finds kratom beneficial:

I use Kratom with marijuana…I have severe pain problems along with adhd, anxiety, manic depression, ankylosing spondylitis, an[d] many other issues. I am not [on] a single dr prescription anymore or on any illegal drugs.

KratomScience.com reader “Scotty Blaine” comments:

I’m in my second year of researching [kratom]. I have lost over 100 lbs. And have not had a cigarette in just under 2 years…It works with my lifestyle and ADHD.

What’s your experience with kratom and ADHD? Leave a comment below.

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Debra

    Have you done any studies of the affects of kratom on people with the CP2D6 UM chromosome abnormality? I am a *CYP2D6 UM and based on the fact that a small percent of humans are this* find very little research, however, for the people who are impacted by it, as well and even more importantly, the people who are impacted by being a CYP2D6 Poor metabolizer, it is an important distinction in the dosage and or effectiveness of kratom and/or in combination with pharmaceuticals.

    This is “one” study. Pharmacognosy Res. 2013 Oct-Dec; 5(4): 241–246.
    doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.118806

    It would be helpful to *us if you would do a segment on this. (maybe you wont find enough interest?)

    Warmest Regards,
    Debra

  2. ketamine therapy near me

    Hello. To be honest, your article left a rather mixed impression. On the one hand, a lot of useful information, sociological data, and real examples. And on the other hand – no conclusion. So, unfortunately, I could not understand anything for myself.
    But at the same time, thank you for asking questions at the beginning. Because already in the comments I was able to find all the necessary answers. No wonder they say that real stories are better than any scientific facts. I was afraid of addiction and side effects, and now I understand that with the right dosage and use, everything should go smoothly and bring a good result.

    1. Brian

      Thanks for your comment. I’d rather explore the science, which is not conclusive, than offer a guess or a opinion as a conclusion. The more experiences we get the better new hypotheses can be that can lead to factual conclusions.

  3. DW

    I used to be hooked on methamphetamine about 2 years ago. At first it was little binges here and there just for fun. But then I broke up with my girlfriend I was living with at the time and had to move back home with my dad. I didnt want to because his wife is always on my case for anything she can be. We never got along since I was 6 years old. I’m the oldest of 4 in the household and the only child she didnt birth so yeah I’m the least favorite. Anyways, I had a lot of stuff going on and met the girl I ended up being on drugs with all the time and lost my truck, my family, my kids, everything i ever had. Eventually it got bad enough she no longer wanted to put us in her mother’s home where all the drugs would circulate between 4 of us. We were forced too move away and get clean. It was hard for me mentally to just move on and my brain was having a hard time adjusting to not using the same psycho-stimulant I’d been using for the past 2 years at that time. So I got around to getting a prescription for adderal because my body’s chemicals were so unbalanced and out of whack and I had gained 35 pounds in 3 weeks. Which isn’t bad thing but it was starting to be where I was eating every hour of the day and was getting expensive. The Adderall helped me ease my mind and keep focused. I then found Kratom at a gas station next to the CBD bud. I tried the CBD bud, it didn’t really “help” just made things weird. But the next time I went to the gas station, I got Kratom and I could tell the same day how much better I was feeling all around. It was like I never felt the struggle and pain of addiction and gettin clean. That was about March 2019 that I started using Kratom and once you find the perfect strain for yourself, you will find it useful in any situation. It never interacted badly with Adderall, in fact it was like they worked together. If the last dose of my Adderall I had was the last one for the day and I was starting to feel like I was crashing the Kratom really took over helped me get over that craving and not lose myself to my same old ways.

    1. kendell clark

      that’s awesome, so it looks like kratom helps you, lets hope it helps others who have this. I was diagnosed with it back in the 90’s, back when amphetamines were the go to for ADHD, before college kids starting abusing it, and I have no idea how I avoided addiction, I was on both ritalin, and aderol, ritalin first, then aderol, and then stratera. See my comment for more, I’m just glad kratom helps.

    2. Sunny

      Thank you for this. My fiance and I had a very similar story, except I was diagnosed with cancer in the middle of it. I’d been prescribed Adderall and took it normally until I began Strong Chemo treatments. I felt that I needed more in order to deal with my crazy family, with whom we were living at the time. My fiance had a hard time dealing with them, as well, and became addicted to my prescription. Next thing I knew, we blasted through all of our savings & ended up living in my car, by the time I finished chemo and radiation. Kratom really helped us get back on our feet and we are the normal responsible people that we were pre-cancer. However, my ADHD has been pretty bad at times. I take kratom daily and feel that it works some days, but many days it doesn’t. I entertained the idea of going back on ADHD medication, as it worked very well for me before I met him and got diagnosed. My fiance is very upset with me about this idea, though. He’s afraid that I’ll take too much again. He only knew me for 2 months before chemo started. He didn’t even know I was on it until a few weeks after living together (bc I took it as prescribed before he started taking it with me). I guess my q to you is, when you started taking the ADHD medication again, how did your SO deal with it. As they were also taking it, before you both got clean, right?

  4. kendell clark

    I was actually diagnosed with ADHD back in the mid 1990’s, and took ritalin first, followed by aderol, before transitioning over to stratera (ademoxetine) before eventually taking nothing at all so I’m not sure if I still have it. Kratom definitely does not make my ADHD, if I still have it, worse, it may improve it or I may have grown out of it. I take it for chronic pain and moderate depression, but i’ve said that elsewhere. Focusing just on ADHD, if I still have it, kratom does not make things worse and might improve it. The ritalin caused extreme paranoya, I would be riding in a car and would literally hear the tires flattening or the engine sputtering and panic. Of course nothing like that was happening. The aderol and stratera both caused perpetual states of extreme anger, progressing towards actual rage or fury, and I could do little about it other than try to keep from blowing up at people for no reason whatsoever. I still have agressive tendencies but the kratom levels all of that off, but I’m not certain whether this is due to ADHD or just my nature. A former provider (at home care attendent) uses kratom for ADHD, and she says it works, but that’s not even close to scientific evidence. But it is at least hopeful that kratom might help, if it doesn’t cross react with ADHD meds. On a final note, how in the world do you take 15g of dextramphetamine? I don’t remember my dosages of either that or ritalin, but I’m pretty sure they weren’t that high. Putting someone on subs for a supposed kratom addiction irritates me, so all I say is that I don’t think that would help at all, and skip my usual tyrade. We need more comments from people who actually suffer with ADHD and take kratom to manage it, and comments from people who take ADHD meds and kratom.

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