As Kratom is still quite mysterious in terms of pharmacodynamics, there is no medication that is FDA approved for Kratom withdrawal or detox and there are currently no drugs in development or clinical trials for Kratom withdrawal. The experience of Kratom withdrawal has been described as very similar to Opioid withdrawal.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
- Anxiety / Irritability
- Depression (with or without suicidal ideation)
- Dysphoria (a general sense of unease or unhappiness)
- Hypertension (very high blood pressure)
- Incessant Yawning or Stretching
- Rhinorrhea (extremely runny nose)
- Mood Swings
- Muscle, Bone, and Joint Pain
- Diarrhea and Nausea
Kratom Withdrawal Timeline
While there have not yet been enough studies performed to get a clear picture of Kratom withdrawal in humans, we can look at some documented cases¹² to get a rough idea of the time involved in the acute (potentially dangerous) withdrawal phase. Having very similar symptoms to Opioid withdrawal, going through withdrawal from Kratom appears to take a similar amount of time to complete the acute phase. Depending on the amounts and length of time you used Kratom, the acute phase lasts roughly 4 to 7 days. It would be wise to seek medical attention for Kratom withdrawal, especially for the first few days to make sure you undergo this process in the safest way possible.
First 24 Hours
Withdrawal symptoms will begin around 12 hours from the last time you used Kratom. The first symptoms will be diaphoresis (excessive sweating) and weakness with an increase in anxiety. These will start off very mild and escalate dramatically over the first day. From roughly 12 to 24 hours after Kratom use, you can expect to also begin experiencing muscle, joint, or bone pain, abdominal pain and nausea, and visual distortions (not necessarily hallucinations). A fever is also expected to begin during the first day and possibly worsen. Anxiety will increase throughout the day and night and insomnia is extremely common during the first few days. Cravings for Kratom may also begin at this point. Also, mood swings (sometimes very intense) may be expected, but the appearance of mood swings and their intensity varies greatly between people.
Days 2 and 3
The above mentioned symptoms will still be very much present, and may even worsen during the second day. During this time, depression may set in as well as cravings for Kratom beginning or intensifying. The visual distortions that some people experience may disappear during this time. Uncoordinated movements and possibly tremors can begin during this time, and insomnia, lack of appetite, and dehydration can worsen these symptoms. Fever will usually stabilize during this time.
Days 4 – 7
While the physical symptoms begin to lessen over several days anxiety, depression, and cravings can become more pronounced. Typically the pain in the muscles, joints, or bones will decrease substantially during this time. The abdominal pain may go away completely but the nausea may persist for a few more days. Likewise, the tremors, fever, and coordination issues will probably resolve around the fourth day, although a mild tremor may persist for a short time.
Week 2 and Onwards (Post Acute)
The worst of the physical symptoms of acute withdrawal are behind you at this point, although you aren’t completely out of the woods yet. The depression and cravings mentioned earlier will probably persist or maybe even intensify over the next few weeks. Anxiety can also be expected to be present for some time, but generally lessens in the weeks after acute withdrawal.
How Bad is Kratom Withdrawal?
The lack of regulation on Kratom makes it hard to determine the exact doses that a user is taking, however it is known that higher doses of Kratom will produce more intense withdrawal symptoms. Similar to Opioid withdrawal, the longer Kratom is used and the larger the amounts used, the greater the withdrawal symptoms will be. For example, the first study referenced above focused on a user who had been using Kratom for ~2 years, although the medical staff was unable to discern the purity of the Kratom extract she was using. Also, the second study referenced was a man who used Kratom for about 3 1/2 years, and he claimed his withdrawal was less intense than classic Opioid withdrawal, but lasted longer.
For a more exact look, a collaboration study performed by the Universiti Sains Malaysia and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany seems to be definitive on this matter. They surveyed 293 regular Kratom users and found that of those who used Kratom for more than 6 months, more than half developed severe dependence on Kratom, while just under half had moderate Kratom dependence problems. The average amount of the active metabolite Mitragynine in the Kratom drinks these subjects were taking was 79mg per drink. Those that had 3 or more Kratom drinks per day had a much higher chance of developing Kratom addiction, withdrawal, and cravings. Finally, the withdrawal symptoms become more intense the longer the drug is used as well as the amounts that are used¹.