Can You Combine Kratom and Adderall?

Kratom, a Southeast Asian herbal supplement, and Adderall, an ADHD medication, are both potent stimulants of the central nervous system and are easy to become addicted to. Combining them increases the risk of several mild to severe side effects, making them a combo which should not be combined. This blog summarises the uses of Kratom and Adderall, summarising the side effects of their combination.
Klara Hatinova

Klara Hatinova

Klara is postgraduate researcher in experimental psychology at the
University of Oxford.

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What is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription drug primarily used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It is a combination of two stimulants, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which work by stimulating the central nervous system and increasing the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine, two critical neurotransmitters in the brain. This helps to improve concentration and memory and manage hyperactivity [1].

Depending on the specific formulation, Adderall can be used in children and adults. It is usually prescribed as part of a treatment program that may also include psychological or behavioral therapy

Adderall is a controlled substance that can be highly addictive and has the potential for misuse [1].

Is Adderall a study aid?

No, Adderall does not significantly improve academic performance, as demonstrated by a study of students who took Adderall to improve their cognitive function.

What is Kratom?

Kratom is an herbal drug derived from the Mitragyna speciosa, a plant commonly found in Southeast Asia [3]. Kratom leaves were traditionally used as a stimulant to boost energy levels during labor, as well as an analgesic similar to opioids and ketamine [4, 5].

The main psychoactive components in Kratom are alkaloids known as mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine [3, 6]. These alkaloids have been referred to as atypical opioids because they target the opioid receptors. They also target the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, similar to some antidepressants or weight loss peptides, such as phentermine [4].

What Is Kratom Used For?

Kratom was initially used in Southeast Asia, although its use has, in recent history, expanded to Western populations. The uses of kratom differ in the two cultures. While in Southeast Asia, Kratom is used for prolonged labour pains and in teenagers as an adjunct to cough syrup, in Western culture, it is used by middle-aged people primarily for opioid withdrawal or as a recreational drug.

Indeed, in an online study from an American group, 48% of respondents reported using Kratom for pain relief [7]. Respondents also reported using it for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression (22% of respondents), to increase energy or focus and as an aid when ceasing opioid use [7].

There are several risks when taking kratom. These include the yet unknown impact of regular kratom use on the levels of analgesia that can be achieved using standard analgesics, for example, during surgery [3, 8]. The second is that because it acts on opioid and dopamine receptors, it is easy to become dependent on kratom. Some studies also suggest that Kratom causes side effects in pregnant women.

Hence, kratom is a banned substance in many countries but not in the USA [3].

Kratom and Adderall

Kratom and Adderall have similar pharmacology because they both activate dopamine receptors. Dopamine receptors are essential for reward processing and movement and regulating serotonin release, which can impact mood [9].

Hence, both Kratom and Adderall are potent stimulants with overlapping functions and potential to enhance cognitive performance, motor skills and mood.

Combining Kratom and Adderall

Based on the available information, combining kratom and Adderall is not recommended due to potential safety concerns and drug interactions

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Klara Hatinova

Klara Hatinova

Klara is a postgraduate researcher in experimental psychology at the University of Oxford. She has worked across a spectrum of hot topics in neuroscience, including her current project measuring reinforcement learning strategies in Parkinson’s disease. Previously, she studied the efficacy of psilocybin as a therapy for critical mental health conditions and examined molecular circadian rhythms of migraine disorders. She completed her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow and participated in a year abroad at the University of California, where she worked on a clinical trial for spinal cord injury.