The experience of kratom withdrawal has been described as very similar to opioid withdrawal, although it includes some unique symptoms. The timeline for acute withdrawal is typically 4 to 7 days, followed by a post-acute phase. For a detailed day-by-day breakdown read this guide in it’s entirety.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
Some of the symptoms of kratom withdrawal can include:
- Anxiety and Irritability
- Depression (with or without suicidal ideation)
- Dysphoria (a general sense of unease or unhappiness)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Repeated 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 cases to get a rough idea of the time involved in the acute phase of kratom withdrawal. Having very similar symptoms to opioid withdrawal, going through withdrawal from kratom appears to take a similar amount of time. Depending on the amounts and length of time that someone used kratom, the acute phase of withdrawal lasts roughly 4 to 7 days. It is highly recommended to seek medical help when facing kratom withdrawal.
First 24 Hours
Withdrawal symptoms will begin around 12 hours from the last time someone used kratom. The first symptoms will be excessive sweating with an increase in anxiety. This starts off very mild and usually escalates dramatically over the first day. From roughly 12 to 24 hours after the last kratom use muscle, joint, bone pain, abdominal pain and nausea, and visual distortions may be expected. 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 alongside mood swings, but the appearance of mood swings and their intensity varies greatly between people.
Days 2 and 3
During the next few days, depression may set in as well as cravings for kratom intensifying. The visual distortions that some people experience may disappear during this time, although these may not necessarily be hallucinations. Tremors or shaking and impaired coordination usually appear during the second or third day and insomnia, lack of appetite, and dehydration can worsen these symptoms. Fever will usually stabilize during this time.
Days 4 through 7
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 are usually resolved at this point, although there may still be minor, lingering symptoms. While the physical symptoms may begin to lessen after the first two weeks, anxiety, depression, and cravings may still persist for some time.
How Bad is Kratom Withdrawal?
The lack of kratom regulation or quality control makes it hard to determine the exact doses that someone 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 a more exact look, a collaborative 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. 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.
More About Kratom Addiction
- The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association: Pharmacology of Kratom – An Emerging Botanical Agent With Stimulant, Analgesic and Opioid-Like Effects
- Child Mind Institute: Kratom – A Legal Drug That’s Dangerously Addictive
- Addiction: Self-treatment of Opioid Withdrawal Using Kratom (Mitragynia Speciosa Korth)
- Drug and Alcohol Dependence: Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) Dependence, Withdrawal Symptoms and Craving in Regular Users