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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2023  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 194-195

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) and COVID-19: How about the current evidence?

1 Private Academic Consultant, Samraong, Cambodia
2 Department of Biological Science, Joseph Ayobabalola University, Ikeji Arakeji, Nigeria; Research Center, Chandigarh University, Ajitgarh, Punjab, India

Date of Submission02-Mar-2023
Date of Decision04-Apr-2023
Date of Acceptance28-Jun-2023
Date of Web Publication01-Aug-2023

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijp.ijp_115_23

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How to cite this article:
Kleebayoon A, Wiwanitkit V. Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) and COVID-19: How about the current evidence?. Indian J Pharmacol 2023;55:194-5

How to cite this URL:
Kleebayoon A, Wiwanitkit V. Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) and COVID-19: How about the current evidence?. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 Dec 4];55:194-5. Available from: https://www.ijp-online.com/text.asp?2023/55/3/194/382567

Dear Editor,

COVID-19 is still a global issue. New data on the drug against COVID-19 after years of its appearance are still interesting. The effect of a local herbal plant is intriguing in ethnopharmacology. The authors would like to discuss an important local tropical plant, kratom, in this article (Mitragyna speciosa). Southeast Asia is rich in this plant. Kratom has stimulant and narcotic effects. Thailand recently issues specific law for legalizing kratom for local business and growth in household, encouraging many local people in numerous locations to set a new business related to kratom amid a period of massive unemployment induced by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 epidemic. The interrelationship between kratom and COVID-19 is a topic worth discussing. There has been no systematic clinical trial of kratom for the treatment of COVID-19. However, there is a case study that shows the potential utility of kratom in COVID-10 pandemic management, but the psychological side effects are also mentioned.[1] We present a case of a post-COVID syndrome patient who developed a mixed cholestatic-hepatocellular liver injury as a result of kratom. Furthermore, there is a case report of kratom being used by a COVID-19 patient and causing liver problems.[2] However, it should be noted that both reports on the pros and cons of using kratom for COVID-19 management lack systematic control of confounders.

COVID-19, like in other locations, is still prevalent in areas where kratom is regularly taken by natives, according to epidemiological data from Indochina [Table 1]. This could imply that kratom has no protective effect against COVID-19. According to the information available, there is no correlation between kratom's chemical constituents and its virus-fighting ability. There should not be a direct antiviral effect as a result. Regarding the anti-pain effect, it might be helpful, but it might also be beneficial in some particular situations when corticosteroids and regular nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are contraindicated.[1] In conclusion, kratom may only be marginally useful as an alternative to opiate painkillers in the therapy of COVID-19 cases. For verification of its precise advantage, additional research is needed.
Table 1: Incidence of COVID-19 in an Indochina country where Kratom is legalized as local herb

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  References Top

Metastasio A, Prevete E, Singh D, Grundmann O, Prozialeck WC, Veltri C, et al. Can Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) alleviate COVID-19 pain? A case study. Front Psychiatry 2020;11:594816.  Back to cited text no. 1
Rogers JM, Smith KE, Schriefer D, Epstein DH. For better or worse: Self-reported changes in kratom and other substance use as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Subst Abuse 2022;16:11782218221123977.  Back to cited text no. 2


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