Drug Interactions, Kratom Guides

Can You Mix Kratom & Lorazepam (Ativan)?

Kratom, Mitragyna speciosa, is a medicinal plant that has recently made its way to the Western world.

In Southeast Asia, where it grows naturally, the plant has been used for its benefits for centuries, usually by chewing the leaves for energy and pain relief.

This potent plant also acts as an anxiolytic, reducing anxiety for many people.

Ativan (lorazepam) is a prescription drug that helps with anxiety and painful muscle spasms.

Because these two are similar, it might be tempting to use them both to increase their effects.

Learn why taking kratom with Ativan may not be such a good idea.

Last updated 2 months ago by Dr. Devin Carlson

Can You Mix Kratom & Lorazepam (Ativan)?

Does Kratom Interact With Ativan (Lorazepam)?

Yes, kratom may slow the metabolism of Ativan and increase its sedative effects. This combination of effects could be dangerous — extreme caution is advised.

Here are two ways kratom and Ativan may interact if used at the same time:

1. Kratom & Ativan: Metabolic Competitors (Slowed Elimination)

All drugs have to be metabolized. Specific enzymes handle this job. If the same enzyme metabolizes two drugs, the process is slowed down, making each stay in the system longer than usual.

Drugs that are used on a recurring basis (like Ativan) may eventually build up to toxic levels in the bloodstream if it isn’t metabolized efficiently. This means that taking kratom with Ativan becomes more dangerous the more often you do it.

2. Kratom & Ativan: Agonistic Interactions (Increased Effect)

Because kratom and Ativan have similar effects, this combination could cause some actions to become too strong.

When doctors prescribe Ativan, the goal is to give the patient just enough for the drug to offer benefits without going overboard. This means the dosage prescribed is specifically chosen for the individual.

If Ativan is taken with substances that boost its effects, it could cause harm.

If you’re going to mix kratom with Ativan, speak to your doctor about the dosage first. They may recommend a smaller dose of Ativan to account for the agonistic effects of kratom.

Is It Safe to Take Kratom & Ativan (Lorazepam) Together?

Because of how kratom and Ativan (lorazepam) interact, they are not safe to use together; a combination of the two puts you at risk of overdose and heightens the side effects of both.

Combining kratom and benzodiazepines like Ativan is high-risk and potentially fatal. 

Ativan is a quick-acting tranquilizer that slows down brain functions, bringing on feelings ranging from deep relaxation to euphoria.

Kratom can slow down Ativan’s metabolization, reduce or increase its effectiveness — situations that should be avoided.

If you take both drugs, make sure it is only under the guidance and supervision of your doctor.

Is Kratom a Viable Alternative to Ativan (Lorazepam)?

Are the two interchangeable? In some cases, maybe — but for the most part, these are entirely different substances. Kratom is not viewed as a viable alternative to Ativan for most applications.

If you’re prescribed Ativan (lorazepam), it’s crucial that you continue to use it as prescribed until you talk to your doctor.

Reducing the amount or suddenly stopping can cause suicidal thoughts and severe withdrawal symptoms like seizures and hallucinations.

However, many people seek an alternative to Ativan. As a drug that alleviates anxiety-related symptoms, Ativan (lorazepam) is beneficial, yet the side effects and dangers are quite considerable. Ativan may result in physical and psychological dependence when taken long-term.

Some people find relief using kratom for anxiety instead.

If you want to use kratom instead of Ativan, talk to your doctor about it first. Don’t try to self-treat, alter your dose, or use kratom in an attempt to wean off of Ativan.

What Is Ativan (Lorazepam)?

Drug Name Lorazepam
Trade Name Ativan
Classification Benzodiazepines
CYP Metabolism Cytochrome P450
Interaction With Kratom Agonistic
Risk of Interaction High

Ativan is employed to treat anxiety and anxiety-related symptoms. It belongs to a category of medication referred to as benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to provide a relaxing effect.

This drug works by enhancing the results of a particular natural chemical within the body, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

What’s Ativan (Lorazepam) Used for?

Ativan (lorazepam) is employed to manage anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of anxiety-related symptoms.

Anxiety or tension related to the strain of lifestyle usually doesn’t require treatment with benzodiazepines like Ativan.

It’s also prescribed for painful muscle spasms and life-threatening seizures.

What’s the Dose of Ativan (Lorazepam)?

Ativan (lorazepam) is administered orally. For optimal results, the dose, frequency of administration, and duration of therapy should be individualized in line with patient response.

To facilitate this, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and a couple of mg tablets of Ativan are available.

The usual range is 2-6 mg/day given in divided doses; the biggest dose is taken before bedtime, while the daily dosage may vary from 1-10 mg/day.

For anxiety, most patients require an initial dose of 2-3 mg/day given twice each day or thrice every day.

Doctors may provide a single daily dose of two to 4 mg for insomnia because of anxiety or transient situational stress, usually at bedtime.

For elderly or debilitated patients, an initial dosage of 1-2 mg/day in divided doses is usually recommended, then adjusted as needed.

What Are the Side Effects of Ativan (Lorazepam)?

Most contrary reactions to benzodiazepines, such as CNS effects and breathing depression, are largely influenced by the dose, with more acute effects occurring with high amounts.

Sometimes the effects are similar to alcohol impairment, making activities like driving dangerous.

Side effects of Ativan (lorazepam) are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Amnesia
  • Fatigue
  • Memory impairment
  • Confusion
  • Extrapyramidal symptoms
  • Convulsions/seizures
  • Tremor
  • Apnea
  • Hypothermia
  • Disorientation
  • Depression
  • The unmasking of depression
  • Disinhibition
  • Euphoria
  • Suicidal thoughts & attempt
  • Vertigo
  • Respiratory depression
  • Ataxia
  • Asthenia
  • Slurred speech
  • Impotence
  • Decreased orgasm
  • Headache
  • Coma

What Is Kratom?

Drug Name Kratom
Trade Name Kratom
Classification Opioid
CYP Metabolism Cytochrome P450
Interaction With Ativan Agonistic
Risk of Interaction High

Kratom, a distant relative of the coffee family, is native to Southeast Asia and majorly cultivated in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Its leaves contain alkaloids that have nootropic and opioid-like effects.

In small doses, kratom increases energy and enhances mood. In larger amounts, it tends to possess sedative and euphoric effects.

What’s Kratom Used for?

Kratom leaves contain certain alkaloids — mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine — that may help relieve pain, act as a relaxant, and combat inflammation. Kratom is also used as a natural and more accessible alternative to certain medications for treating opioid withdrawal.

These alkaloids interact with the opioid receptors in the brain. This implies that the effects are about the same as those you experience when taking other opioids, though the risks and side effects are not as severe.

Kratom may help with the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Opiate withdrawal
  • Pain
  • Energy
  • Focus

What’s the Dose of Kratom?

Usually, users take kratom as either a capsule or powder. Many people also chew kratom leaves or brew the dried or powdered leaves as tea. Occasionally, the leaves are crushed and eaten in food.

The dose is contingent on age, health, and several other factors, but make sure to check with your pharmacist or physician first if you’re using other medications.

The general guidelines for dosing kratom are as follows:

  • Microdose — Less than 2 g
  • Small dose — 2-5 g
  • Medium dose — 5-8 g
  • High dose — 8-12 g

Start with a low dose so you can see how kratom affects you. Always use the lowest amount possible and limit how often you take it. Ideally, take a break every four or five days.

Related: Can You Overdose on Kratom?

Kratom Powder

What Are the Side Effects of Kratom?

Kratom has side effects, just like any other medication, herbal or otherwise. If you stick with low doses and avoid using it too often, the side effects should be minimal or non-existent.

Side effects of kratom include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety

Is Kratom Addictive?

Similar to other medications having opioid-like characteristics, kratom can be addictive.

However, this potential for addiction and the addiction itself is not as severe or dangerous as opioid addiction. 

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Muscle Aches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Hostility
  • Aggression
  • Emotional Changes
  • Runny Nose
  • Jerky Movements

Special Precautions & Warnings

Avoid using kratom during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It’s best to err on the side of caution and stay clear of its use. Also, avoid using kratom with alcohol or other drugs.

What Are the Different Strains of Kratom?

To find the kratom strain you need, it is necessary to understand each strain and its unique features.

1. White Vein Kratom

White vein kratom is considered the most stimulating type of kratom. They provide users with significant boosts of energy that can last for hours at a time. This energizing effect doesn’t invoke restlessness or symptoms of tension as other stimulants might.

For this reason, white veins are a good substitute for caffeine. They enhance energy levels without triggering nervousness or tension and can improve mental clarity and focus.

2. Red Vein Kratom

Red vein kratom is among the top popular strains available. The red color is caused by the high alkaloid content, particularly the presence of 7-hydroxymitragynine. These leaves are collected much later than the other strains and are considered more developed and effective.

Alkaloids react directly with the brain’s opioid receptors, providing an agreeable response. The higher the alkaloid concentration, the higher the stimulation effect. As a result, red vein kratom strains are best for pain relief and relaxation.

3. Green Vein Kratom

Green vein kratom is the middle-ground between red and white vein variants. They deliver a stable blend of relaxation and stimulation and are popular because of their balanced effects.

4.  Yellow Vein Kratom

Yellow vein strains are balanced and moderate, giving a harmonious and mild energy boost. As a mix of red and white strains, yellow strains are less likely to be overstimulating.

Key Takeaways: Is It Safe to Mix Kratom & Ativan (Lorazepam)?

These two drugs should not be combined.

Kratom can slow down your body’s ability to metabolize it, resulting in a dangerous buildup of Ativan.

You should never mix kratom with other opioids or benzodiazepines without first consulting with your prescribing physician.