Purdue studying kratom to treat alcohol use disorder
- Posted on: 2022-05-03
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By Steve Martin
Purdue News Service
Researchers in Purdue University’s College of Pharmacy, the Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery and Washington University in St. Louis are synthesizing compounds from kratom to treat people affected by Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD, also known as alcoholism). The research was published in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Pharmacology.
The compounds could treat AUD and have less abuse potential than opium-derived opioids, said Richard Van Rijn, who leads the research program along with Susruta Majumdar. Van Rijn is jadjunct associate professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology in Purdue’s College of Pharmacy. Susruta Majumdar is associate professor of pharmaceutical and administrative sciences in the University of Health and Sciences & Pharmacy in St. Louis.
“We can synthesize a derivative of the natural-occurring kratom alkaloid speciogynine, which has superior potency to reduce alcohol intake,” Van Rijn said.
AUD affects about 5.3% of the U.S. population over the age of 12, or about 14.5 million people.
“We used mouse models of alcohol use and assessment of adverse effects, including monitoring for seizures or hyperactivity, said Van Rijn. “Our synthesized compound does not display adverse effects observed with other kratom alkaloids, including abuse potential, hyperactivity and seizures. As such, this molecule may have utility in humans in treating alcohol use disorder.”