The Thai Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences


The plant Mitragyna speciosa Korth. is receiving increased attention as a therapeutic substitution for opioid use disorder (OUD). The active alkaloids constituents of the plant, particularly mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, have been shown to modulate opioid receptors, acting as agonists at mu-opioid receptors. Given this pharmacology, several studies have examined the abuse and dependence potential of M. speciosa and its alkaloids in various animal models of dependence. In addition to action on opioid receptors, the Mitragyna alkaloids also appear to exert diverse activities at other receptors in the central nervous system which may explain the complex pharmacological profile of these alkaloids. Hence, this review aims to provide an overview of the preclinical studies used to study M. speciosa dependence potential and describe recent progress made in assessing whether the plant or its active alkaloids can offer alternatives to opioids in the management of OUD. In conclusion, M. speciosa Korth. or its compound mitragynine may offer alternatives as a replacement therapy to opioid.


Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University

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