Recurrent seizures from chronic kratom use, an atypical herbal opioid

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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.




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.

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