DescriptionKratom is a designer drug which originates from Mitragyna speciosa; an uncontrolled plant found in South East Asia. The designer drug has gained significant popularity in recent years due to its widespread availability on the internet and in head shops. It is marketed as a way to combat fatigue, pain and depression. The new ELISA developed by Randox Toxicology is the world’s first immunoassay drug test for Kratom; providing a rapid solution for the detection of Mitragynine and its metabolites.
As with other designer drugs ‘Spice’ and ‘Bath Salts,’ ‘Kratom’ is marketed as a “legal high,” which can mislead users to believe that the drug is safe to use. In fact, several cases of psychosis resulting from the use of Kratom have been reported, with individuals addicted to the drug exhibiting psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusion, and confusion. Mitragynine and several related alkaloids naturally occur in the Mitragyna speciosa plant, creating psychoactive properties.
From exotic plants to synthetic blends; designer drugs create a difficult task for forensic toxicologists as waves of new compounds with differing chemical properties quickly flood the market. Immunoassays provide a straightforward method for laboratory drug screening, allowing a large number of specimens can be screened relatively quickly. The novel ELISA developed by Randox Toxicology can detect Mitragynine and its metabolites; 9-O-Desmethylmitragynine, 7-alpha-Hydroxymitragynine and 7-alpha-Acetoxymitragynin in urine and blood specimens, providing valuable information for further analysis.
Leading research and development capabilities has allowed Randox Toxicology to quickly respond to the need for reliable assays to detect designer drugs. The UK manufacturer has developed a range of rapid immunoassays on ELISA and Biochip arrays, including Synthetic Cannabinoids and Synthetic Cathinones commonly referred to as ‘Bath Salts.’