Can You Mix Kratom & Alprazolam (Xanax)?

Mixing alprazolam (Xanax) and kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) can cause alprazolam (Xanax) to stop working.

In low doses, all strains of kratom run the risk of counteracting the effects of Xanax — preventing it from effectively managing symptoms.

In higher doses, kratom has the opposite effect and could make the effects of Xanax too strong — potentially leading to side effects and overdose.

Mixing kratom and Xanax (or other brands of alprazolam) is not recommended.

Last updated 3 weeks ago by Dr. Devin Carlson

Can You Mix Kratom & Alprazolam (Xanax)?

Does Kratom Interact With Alprazolam?

Yes, kratom has a high chance of interacting negatively with alprazolam.

Xanax is metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzymes. Kratom also uses CYP3A4 during metabolization [1], which means it could prevent Xanax from being metabolized and cleared from the body efficiently.

Low doses of kratom could counteract the relaxing benefits of Xanax as well. Kratom is a stimulant in lower doses, while Xanax is a relaxant. This means the stimulating effects of kratom could negate the beneficial, relaxing action of Xanax.

If you’re using Xanax to manage symptoms of anxiety or insomnia, this interaction could prevent the medication from doing its job.

To be safe, you shouldn’t take Xanax and kratom together for any reason. 

Kratom & Benzodiazepine Interactions

Alprazolam is just one of many drugs classified as benzodiazepines. The primary function of this drug class is to lower brain activity by boosting the effects of GABA — the brain’s primary neuroinhibitory compound. They’re prescribed for the management of anxiety, seizures, and insomnia. 

Kratom will interact with all benzodiazepine drugs in a similar fashion, but some have a higher risk than others.

Other, related benzodiazepines kratom will interact with include:

  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Clorazepate
  • Diazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Midazolam
  • Clonazepam
  • Clobazam
  • Estazolam
  • Flurazepam
  • Quazepam
  • Temazepam
  • Triazolam

Is It Safe to Take Kratom With Alprazolam?

It’s not safe to mix Xanax with kratom.

There are no good reasons to mix these substances together. Both offer anxiolytic benefits but should be used separately from one another. Stacking them together won’t improve the anxiolytic benefits but will dramatically increase the risk of side effects.

Can Kratom Help With Benzodiazepine Withdrawal?

Some people will use kratom for benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms.

While there’s plenty of anecdotal reports of people doing this successfully, it’s not recommended unless you’ve spoken with a doctor first. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be severe — in some cases even leading to death. Medical attention is necessary when detoxing from severe benzo addiction.

For mild addiction, kratom may be safe but should never be used at the same time as benzos, and there are still significant risks to be aware of.

Related: Will kratom help with opiate withdrawal?

What is Alprazolam?

Alprazolam was patented in 1971 and approved for usage in the U.S. a decade later. It’s a short-acting tranquilizer that’s intended only for short-term usage.

Due to alprazolam’s status as a commonly abused drug, it has been listed as a Schedule IV controlled substance [2]. Despite this, it is prescribed very frequently.

In 2019, it was in the top 50 drugs prescribed within the U.S. More than 17.5 million people use this substance in the U.S. alone.  

Alprazolam (Xanax) Specs:

NameAlprazolam
Trade NameXanax
Other NamesAlprazolam
ClassificationBenzodiazepine
CYP MetabolismCYP3A4
Interaction with KratomMetabolic competitor
Risk of InteractionModerate to high

What is Alprazolam Used For?

Alprazolam is prescribed for the short-term treatment of generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder.

This medication should not be used for long-term anxiety support. Tolerance and dependence build up quickly with this medication — leading to problems with addiction after just a few weeks of use.

What Are the Side Effects of Alprazolam?

Alprazolam is a powerful pharmaceutical medication. As such, it brings a high level of risk for producing side effects. The most common side effect is sedation or drowsiness, but there are many other adverse effects to watch out for.

Common side effects of alprazolam may include:

  • Agitation & irritability
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness or sedation
  • Dry mouth
  • Fainting
  • Headaches
  • Impaired muscle coordination
  • Incontinence
  • Insomnia
  • Lapses in memory
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Lower appetite
  • Lower libido
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Weight gain or weight loss

Serious side effects of alprazolam may include:

  • Agranulocytosis
  • Gastrointestinal hemorrhage
  • Hyperammonemia
  • Kidney toxicity
  • Laryngeal edema
  • Liver failure
  • Liver toxicity
  • Low platelet count
  • Low red & white blood cell count
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Steven-Johnson syndrome (SJS)
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis

What is Kratom?

The kratom tree hails from Southeast Asia. Before it was discovered by western culture, it was used for cultural purposes and medicine for many centuries.

The leaves of kratom are generally chewed by people in Southeast Asia. In other parts of the world (including the U.S.), it’s much more commonly taken as a powder or in the pill format.

What’s Kratom Used For?

Kratom is used recreationally and for a variety of medical purposes. Although the validity of medical claims hasn’t been conclusively proven yet, there is enough evidence to suggest that kratom could provide real help for some of these issues [3].

Suggested health benefits of kratom include:

What’s The Dose of Kratom?

If you’re a newcomer to kratom, you should start at the lowest end of the scale (2 grams). The lower end offers a burst of energy, whereas the higher end is sedating.

General dosage guidelines for kratom include:

  • Low-Dose Kratom (2–6 grams of dried powder)
  • High-Dose Kratom (6–12 grams of dried powder)

Be aware that taking a high dose of kratom puts you more at risk of developing an addiction. Don’t take more than 12 grams.

Related: Can You Overdose on Kratom?

What are the Side Effects of Kratom?

Kratom is generally well-tolerated and doesn’t produce a lot of side effects. There is a heightened risk when you take more than the suggested dose, however.

Common side effects of kratom include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sedation
  • Lethargy
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Cognitive impairment

Related: Is Kratom Bad For Your Heart?

What are the Different Types of Kratom?

Kratom comes in many different strains, which can be separated into four main classes — red, white, green, and yellow.

Within each class are dozens of individual strains — each one with its own set of effects, benefits, and side effects.

Here’s a quick run-down of the different kratom strain classes:

  1. White Vein Kratom— Best for focus, energy, and concentration. Effects are energizing and euphoric.
  2. Red Vein Kratom — Best for pain and sleep, fast-acting and powerful. Effects are relaxing and numbing.
  3. Green Vein Kratom— Balanced between white and red (stimulating and sedating).
  4. Yellow Vein Kratom— Made from a combination of white kratom and other strains. Effects cover all ranges of the spectrum (sedating or stimulating).

Key Takeaways: Is it Safe to Mix Kratom & Alprazolam

Xanax (alprazolam) and kratom should never be used in combination. Both low doses of kratom and high doses bring a high risk of negative interaction through different mechanisms.

If you’re taking Xanax and want to try kratom, speak with your doctor first.

Some people use kratom to wean themselves of benzodiazepines like Xanax. While this is possible, and kratom may help with symptoms, it’s important to visit a healthcare professional first. Xanax withdrawal on its own is dangerous — mixing it with other psychoactive substances like kratom only complicates this risk further.

References

  1. Kamble, S. H., Sharma, A., King, T. I., León, F., McCurdy, C. R., & Avery, B. A. (2019). Metabolite profiling and identification of enzymes responsible for the metabolism of mitragynine, the major alkaloid of Mitragyna speciosa (kratom). Xenobiotica, 49(11), 1279-1288.
  2. Ait-Daoud, N., Hamby, A. S., Sharma, S., & Blevins, D. (2018). A review of alprazolam use, misuse, and withdrawal. Journal of addiction medicine, 12(1), 4.
  3. Eastlack, S. C., Cornett, E. M., & Kaye, A. D. (2020). Kratom—Pharmacology, clinical implications, and outlook: a comprehensive review. Pain and Therapy, 9(1), 55-69.