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Experiences - Kratom and Liver Toxicity

Discussion in 'Kratom' started by SitDownBrother, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. SitDownBrother

    SitDownBrother Newbie

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    I recently used Kratom in moderate doses to take the edge off the end of a long Suboxone withdrawal. For this purpose, it was excellent.

    I had never read any reports about being Kratom being dangerous, other than some people becoming addicted. Anyway, after pissing dark urine through the second week of use I became concerned and went to the ER. My liver enzymes were off the charts. I also had no record of liver problems and never showed elevated liver enzymes on blood work. I go to see a GI specialist on Monday and hope my liver is recovering.

    After this incident, I found that there are frequent reports of liver damage associated with kratom on the forums. A very small minority, and most seem to have had some pre-existing liver stress. Some, like myself, had no record of liver impairment, but each person is unique.

    I am not trying to get Kratom banned or freak people out. But if you've ever had an abnormal liver exam or reason to suspect your liver is compromised, use with caution. And I would suggest long term users have liver work done to ensure safety.

    Personally, I believe this is safe in most of the population. But the reports of people with liver damage are increasing. Please use with caution, just as you would any medication or herbal supplement. Being informed is a good thing.
     
  2. BreakingGood

    BreakingGood Newbie

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    How scary! Fortunately the liver has amphibian-like abilities of recovery and regeneration. People who donate a lobe regrow the lobe in only a few weeks (Pubmed). Until they go all the way to cirrhosis, which is replacement of functioning cells by scar tissue, alcoholics can completely recover all healthy liver function! So if they weren't freaking out at the ER, it's a good indication of a quick and complete return to good liver health. Was the withdrawal a success?

    Don't you just hate feeling like you've got a week to live?? ;)
     
  3. Cousin Merle

    Cousin Merle Titanium Member

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    I haven't seen any reports of liver damage from kratom. If you have any solid information, please post the links to the studies/reports so that we can see them. The only reports of serious problems I have seen regarding kratom have been when kratom was adulterated with research chemicals (krypton kratom) or when kratom extracts were heavily abused alongside with other drugs...
     
  4. SitDownBrother

    SitDownBrother Newbie

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    Breaking Good - Thanks for the smile! Even better than the one week left to live feeling is the crippled for the rest of my life feeling. Fortunately, I followed up with more research and the symptoms are the same and everyone recovers fairly quickly. Although no one has reported the scared as f*** symptom, which is by far the worst.

    Peace

    SitDownBrother added 14 Minutes and 21 Seconds later...

    Oh yeah, it worked wonders for Suboxone withdrawal. I was 4 weeks in after jumping off at 8mg and still feeling tired and anxious all the time. Had to go back to work so I ate about 8g of capsules a day for two weeks. I felt great and had the energy I needed. The withdrawals were super mild. Tired the first day and minor RLS for a couple more. It's a shame it jacked up my liver, because it was a godsend.

    This is an abstract from a reputable journal:

    Hepatotoxicity from abuse of kratom: first reported case
    May 26, 2011, 8:40 pm
    ★★★½☆

    Intrahepatic Cholestasis Following Abuse of Powdered Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) Kapp FG et al. J Med Toxicol 2011 April 29. [Epub ahead of print]

    Abstract

    Kratom is a psychoactive leaf from the southeast asian tree Mitragyna speciosa (picture). This tree is related to the plants that produce coffee. Because there are a number of different alkaloids in kratom and because some of its actions are dose related, ingesting the leaf has been associated with a variety of effects, including sedation, analgesia, increased energy, a sense of well being, and improved mood. Of the major alkaloids, mitragynine is a stimulant and 7-hydroxymitragyine a sedative and analgesic, acting primarily as an agonist at the μ-opioid receptor.

    This case report, from Germany, describes a 25-year-old man who developed intrahepatic cholestasis after taking an overdose of kratom powder over the course of several weeks. The product had been purchased at an internet site. A pattern of pure drug-induced cholestatic injury was seen on liver biopsy, other potential causes were ruled out, and alkaloids consistent with kratom ingestion were detected in the patient’s urine. In addition, the kratom powder itself was analyzed and found to contain components of M. speciosa but no adulterants or contaminants.

    Using the Naranjo algorithm to analyze this adverse drug reaction, the authors’ claim that kratom was the probable cause of this patient’s hepatic toxicity is reasonable. They are to be commended for the analytical work that went into supporting that claim.



    If you browse the forums you'll find scattered reports and the symptoms, enzyme levels, type of toxicity (choleostasis), time of onset, etc. are all similar. Like i said earlier, a few people end up in the hospital but almost everyone is fine in a week or two. I think a lot more people have had the same problem and not known it, since the kratom covers the fatigue and pain all you know is you're pissing orange.

    SitDownBrother added 3 Minutes and 30 Seconds later...

    I wish they had given info on much he was taking, though. What is an "overdose" of Kratom? But they did rule our contaminants.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  5. Jabbawaya

    Jabbawaya Newbie

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    It seems that liver toxicity is a very rare side effect of kratom use in some people. This isn't dissimilar from other prescription drugs. If anyone reading this is concerned, I recommend you take Milk Thistle, especially if you drink. It's a safe and effective supplement that is known to help the liver regenerate and stay healthy.
     
  6. AbbaZabba

    AbbaZabba Silver Member

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    The reports of liver toxicity regarding Kratom online have no back ground information about the patient. That being said there could be a number of things other than Kratom that caused the toxicity like what other substances the person was on if they had prior liver damage or if they even had normal liver function at all. I would take these reports with a grain of salt unless they are highly detailed with the persons history of health. Just saying.
     
  7. Tenebrae

    Tenebrae Newbie

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    A friend of mine was using kratom legally in his state. He took maybe 3-4 pills a day of bali. Within 2 months he was feeling pain in his right side and severe pain in the upper abdomen. With no previous liver trouble he now has an enlarged liver and he has liver enzymes 2-3 times the normal amount. He told me he quit and will get more tests from his dr in a week.
    Be careful people. This no attempt to stop people from taking this herb but my buddy says he is done and he is pretty freaked right now.
     
  8. Panacee

    Panacee Silver Member

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    I have read this paper also, and in what I read in this paper and this thread, it seems that these individuals with liver problems take kratom daily for 2 weeks or much longer. Maybe the dose of powdered kratom we use here in the West is much higher then the leaf-chewing method in East-Asian countries?
    I know from myself that if I take kratom for 4 days (my max) I want to quit because of the hangover. I can't imagine doing this for 2 weeks. Although my dose then is much higher per day (15 g).
     
  9. SitDownBrother

    SitDownBrother Newbie

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    Just to follow up, I went back to the GI doc today and tested negative for any type of viral infection or pre-existing liver condition. So the news was good for me, except that Kratom fucks my liver. Just five days after stopping Kratom (only medication change), my liver enzymes dropped by half. This is almost always a sign of a toxic liver reaction to a medication, herb, etc. Even green tea extract has appeared in medical journals as a source of liver toxicity, so it's not a stretch.

    Many people are trying to write off Kratom induced liver damage to random occurrences, pre-existing conditions, contamination, etc. I can't say for sure that those aren't the cause of the problem in some people, but I've researched liver toxicity to the point of obsession over the past two weeks and anyone saying this can't cause liver problems in SOME people is in complete denial.

    There is a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Toxicology, which is THE journal on this subject. Erowid and other forums, including this one, are full of reports similar to mine. And the pattern is often similar. Dark urine, jaundice, elevated ALT, nausea, pain around the kidneys followed by resolution once the Kratom is stopped.

    Think of it like this. Weed has been around forever and I've never heard anyone say they had liver damage from it. If the Kratom reports are coincidence or contaminants, wouldn't we be hearing the same thing about almost every recreational herb or chemical?
     
  10. ianzombie

    ianzombie Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Sorry to hear that SDB.
    It seems that some people are susceptible to liver damage from kratom, but it does not seem to be a common thing.
    Like many people i have been using kratom daily for close to a decade without issue. I have had liver tests done over the years without any issue.
    I have only read a handful of reports of this on websites dedicated to kratom use, and full of people using kratom for long periods of time like myself.


    Kratom has been in use for the best part of a decade in the west so it says a lot that liver issues seem to be something that only affects a very small minority.
    It would be interesting to have tests done on more people and to see if there are any other things that might be a cause in people who have had issues with it.
     
  11. trdofbeingtrd

    trdofbeingtrd Palladium Member

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    This thread is why people should UTFSE (Use The Freaking/fucking Search Engine), there is another thread that basically is about the same thing as this link https://drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15756 .

    Another reason people want to UTFSE is because if you can find an earlier thread about the same thing it can have information that might not be mentioned in later threads.

    Good luck and cool thing we have members such as IanZombie to help out and give great information about kratom. Hope you get all your answers.
     
  12. SitDownBrother

    SitDownBrother Newbie

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    Sorry to ruffle feathers, I just wanted to share my experience and get feedback. I don't know anything about long term effects, if there are any. Just to be clear, I also agree with IanZombie that this is probably a rare reaction that just happens to some people. The herb has been around for years without much controversy.

    But even if the number of people effected is small, it's still good to know that the potential is there. If I had known I would have quit as soon my urine turned orange and could have saved myself some grief. Fortunately the liver recovers pretty well, but I've had four weeks of labs, ultrasounds and a lot of freaking out.
     
  13. baselined

    baselined Titanium Member

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    Hey SDB,

    You said you were taking "8 grams of capsules" a day. I have to ask, did you get these capsules (without discussing specific sources) from a headshop or legal high site?

    In my experience, the best and most honest of kratom vendors don't offer their product pre-packaged in capsules. For one, it suggest that the product is intended for consumption, which puts kratom in a bad light in the eyes of the DEA/FDA.

    I know many ethnobotanical sites offer a encapsulating machine, but if you have read @ianzombies Kratom Buying Guide, are only middle-of-the-road in the Kratom Aficionado Consumer Purchasing Tier (KACPT, a term I just made up ;)).

    Maybe you didn't and just made them yourself, but I have to wonder if you didn't get the kratom from a more reputable vendor, what kind of other shit they might have slipped into those pills you were taking; which might have caused the elevated liver enzymes.

    Just a hunch, and I bet its still quite possible that in rare cases, it could cause a bad reaction in certain individuals.

    Glad to hear you are getting better!
     
  14. SitDownBrother

    SitDownBrother Newbie

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    This is an experience post, not a thread on Kratom and liver toxicity. I also included info on how I used it to treat Suboxone addiction.

    That being said, I purchased the Kratom from a headshop. Hell, maybe it had mercury in it for all I know. Judging from the number of reports and my own experience, I believe Kratom has the potential to hurt some people. So does alcohol, tylenol, green tea extract and a lot of other stuff, but it's rare.

    In the medical world, the definitive test is whether liver enzymes fall back to normal after stopping the suspect substance. Just like the poster who quit alcohol. Two weeks after stopping Kratom, my liver enzymes dropped by half. And the orange urine and liver pain are pretty good evidence this wasn't a transient occurrence.

    It's awesome you guys are using with no liver damage. Trust me, I would too, but not worth the risk for me.
     
  15. baselined

    baselined Titanium Member

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    Hey man, I wasn't insinuating that you were wrong or lying, and the evidence clearly shows that kratom was the culprit in your elevated liver enzymes.

    What I was implying was the possibility that it was not kratom, but THE kratom you were using. Headshop kratom is notorious for being of sub-par quality, and there have also been a few isolated cases of it containing a lot more than it claimed to be.

    Google: "o-desmethyltramadol, sweden, kratom". That will pull you up some stories on a few deaths a couple of years ago in Sweden, because, unwittingly, people were consuming massive amounts of the M1 tramadol metabolite, which is far more powerful than tramdol itself.

    It could be that there was something else in the kratom you were buying, maybe not mercury, but something else that was the true cause of your elevated liver enzymes.

    At least with a trusted vendor you know where the kratom is coming from, and have some assurance as to its authenticity. Therefore it is more like: Indonesian forest -> distributor -> reseller -> your stomach; as opposed to Indonesian forest -> distributor -> reseller -> lab -> reseller -> headshop self for x number of years -> your stomach -> your autopsy report

    Okay that last one is a bit ridiculous, but possible.

    Now am I saying that you should attempt to try kratom again? No, I don't think you should be your own test dummy, but it is something to think about; other than the slew of other reasons one should not support headshop/legal high enterprises ;)
     
  16. SitDownBrother

    SitDownBrother Newbie

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    Hi Baselined -

    Thanks for the post. About a month ago my liver enzymes went down to normal, so I'm pretty sure it's the particular Kratom I used that caused the trouble. But I did the search and the results of the Tramadol/Kratom mix are pretty scary. And yeah, there are many possibilities. It could have been a bad strain, pesticides or laced with something. I'd like to try it again, it was a nice clean, mood-enhancing experience. Sort of like a couple of Vicodin but less "buzzed" feeling.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  17. neechinman

    neechinman Newbie

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    i have hep c since 1975 chronic back pain from fracture that said i use kratom daily instead of norco.havent had a liver test for 2 yrs most drugs,alcaloids go through the the liver.i started using wild oregano oil for antiviral properties but it said not to use if you drink booze daily because the o oil goes threw the liver and kratom probably uses the liver.so if you use booze,kratom,oregano oil,tylenol,eat fatty foods etc you tax your liver.overtax means toxicity.google things you consume see if they tax your liver.kratom alone with good food,excersize sounds just fine to me.but thats just me. peace.....
     
  18. Carefree T

    Carefree T Silver Member

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    I'm an alcoholic and I discovered kratom after a long time of medical dead-ends (I'm prescribed tramadol for chronic pain and I've never met anyone who said that crap does anything at all let alone against pain) and found it to be a wonder drug of sorts for pain, and despite my issues with alcohol and stupid adventures with other crap now and then, my liver enzymes have always shown perfect. So I think if your kratom is sourced well there should be no worry, but like others have said, individual chemistry can vary dramatically such that someone may have a serious health reaction to kratom that doesn't reflect the plant's effect on the majority of users. We all know what politicians will latch to, though...
     
  19. pizt

    pizt Newbie

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    Im sure the suboxone use had something to do with it as well as ive read up on ppl having liver issues with it.
     
  20. SitDownBrother

    SitDownBrother Newbie

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    I tried Kratom again several months later, long after my GI doc said all was well and long after I kicked Suboxone. I took 2g, small dose, from a completely different vendor for three days. About a week later I started showing the same signs of jaundice. I didn't go to the doctor this time, because I knew the cause and the only cure is to wait and avoid anything harmful to the liver.

    For those who haven't had toxic hepatitis, you turn somewhat yellow, experience all kinds of weird stomach pain and discomfort, and have no energy for weeks. Frightening and also very difficult to explain to an employer or spouse.

    If my liver could handle it I'd use it. For all you who are certain Kratom is harmless in all instances, just google the terms "kratom" and "liver" or "hepatitis". Do the same for other drugs of choice (except for alcohol, of course). You'll find that people everywhere are reporting liver issues with Kratom, but not so with cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, heroin, DMX and so on. It's sort of a common sense "meta-analysis".

    But no one on this board wants to hear any of this, so I've stopped posting regarding Kratom. Still a good place to find support for recovery, though.