Severity of Pain and Sleep Problems during Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa Korth.) Cessation among Regular Kratom Users

J Psychoactive Drugs. Jul-Aug 2018;50(3):266-274. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2018.1443234. Epub 2018 Mar 20.


Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa Korth.) is traditionally used in Southeast Asia for its medicinal value and psychoactive properties. Nonetheless, cessation from regular kratom use is reported to cause unpleasant dose-dependent withdrawal symptoms. This study aims to evaluate the severity of pain and sleep problems following the cessation of kratom tea/juice consumption among regular kratom users. A total of 170 regular users were recruited through snowball sampling for this cross-sectional study. The Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scales were administered to assess the severity of pain and sleep problems. Most participants experienced moderate pain intensity (84%) and moderate pain interference (70%) during kratom cessation; 46% experienced more sleep problems during kratom cessation. Individuals who consumed ≥4 glasses of kratom tea/juice (about 76-115 mg of mitragynine) daily had higher odds of reporting some pain interference (OR: 2.0; CI: 1.04-3.93: p < .028), and sleep problems during kratom cessation (OR: 2.0; CI: 1.08-3.68: p < .020), as compared to those who consumed 1-3 glasses of kratom tea/juice daily. However, the effects were still relatively mild. Cessation from regular kratom tea/juice consumption is not associated with prolonged pain and sleep problems, as compared to those reported for opioid analgesics.

Keywords: Kratom; Malaysia; mitragyna speciosa; pain; sleep problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mitragyna / chemistry*
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / complications*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Young Adult


  • Plant Extracts