October 2019

Kratom and Opioid Withdrawal in Infants

Several new case reports suggest that taking kratom during pregnancy leads to opioid withdrawal symptoms in babies (neonatal abstinence syndrome), requiring special addiction treatment for the infants. Kratom contains a chemical called mitragynine. Mitragynine works like other opioids such as codeine and morphine. Pregnant women may assume kratom is safe because it’s marketed as natural, and it’s still available over the counter and online in most states. It’s important to debunk this myth.

Identifying kratom use in pregnant women can be difficult because it doesn’t show up in standard urine tests. Ask about kratom use specifically during prenatal screenings - early detection is crucial. Make sure pregnant women understand that taking kratom will lead to withdrawal symptoms for both her and her unborn child. Any use runs the risk of abuse, overdose, and possible death.

For more details on the risks and side effects associated with kratom, check out our recently updated monograph.

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