Recurrent seizures from chronic kratom use, an atypical herbal opioid

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Abstract

Kratom is an herbal compound that has been used as a recreational drug though is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. We report a 19-year-old male with recurrent seizures that developed during daily Kratom abuse as a self-treatment for anxiety. Following recurrent focal impaired awareness seizures in addition to generalized tonic–clonic seizures, he was begun on anti-seizure drugs. Seizures subsided after completing rehabilitation. Brain MRI at 29 months revealed bilaterally symmetric T1-hyperintensity in globus pallidus, subthalamic nuclei, and cerebral peduncles. Our case suggests Kratom abuse may be associated with structural brain lesions on MRI and symptomatic focal epilepsy.

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Tatum, W. O., Hasan, T. F., Coonan, E. E., & Smelick, C. P. (2018). Recurrent seizures from chronic kratom use, an atypical herbal opioid. Epilepsy and Behavior Case Reports, 10, 18–20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ebcr.2018.04.002

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