FDA issues warning of death, illness over herbal supplement kratom

FDA issues warning of death, illness over herbal supplement kratom

The FDA is warning Americans to stay away from kratom, calling its use as an opioid replacement or to treat opioid withdrawals "extremely concerning" and citing 36 deaths connected to the substance, Reuters reports.

In the United States, there are no FDA-approved uses for kratom, which grows naturally in Southeast Asia.

The FDA said it is aware of 36 deaths involving products made with kratom and hundreds of calls to poison control centers. Others use kratom for its euphoric effects, or to wean addicts off opioids such as prescription painkillers or heroin, also without medical say-so.

On Nov. 14, 2017, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, issued a statement regarding the risk of using kratom.

Importers, organized crime or others in the supply chain could be part of conspiracies to distribute illegal opioids, Sharfstein says.

It's listed as an unapproved drug by the FDA and has effects similar to opioids.

"The FDA knows people are using kratom to treat conditions like pain, anxiety and depression, which are serious medical conditions that require proper diagnosis and oversight from a licensed health care provider", Gottlieb said.

"Evidence shows that kratom has similar effects to narcotics like opioids", the FDA statement reads, "and carries similar risks of abuse, addiction and in some cases, death".

Gottlieb also acknowledged that if proponents are right, and kratom could be used alternatively as a tool to treat opioid addiction, the agency owes them clear, reliable evidence to support those benefits.


The DEA almost made it a Schedule 1 drug in 2016, which would have put it in the same category as heroin, marijuana and LSD, but ultimately scrapped the plan.

More than 340 million shipments of kratom reach the USA each year, even though the FDA has seized hundreds more.

In this photo illustration, capsules of the herbal supplement Kratom are seen on May 10, 2016 in Miami, Florida.

Kratom is banned in Australia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand and in several U.S. states - Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

For now, the FDA said it is working to prevent shipments of kratom from entering the country.

"While we remain open to the potential medicinal uses of kratom, those uses must be backed by sound-science and weighted appropriately against the potential for abuse", he wrote.

Gottlieb said that the drug should be studied before people take it for any reason.

"I understand that there's a lot of interest in the possibility for kratom to be used as a potential therapy for a range of disorders", Gottlieb added.

Related Articles

  • McCain threatens to block nominees over Army waiver report

    McCain threatens to block nominees over Army waiver report

    Worse still, mental health problems could present themselves at inopportune times, such as during a combat deployment, she said. Today , more than ever, we need to be recruiting the most mentally and physically resilient recruits possible for our military.
    Erdogan Demands Russia, US to Withdraw their Forces from Syria

    Erdogan Demands Russia, US to Withdraw their Forces from Syria

    He stated that a military solution was not possible in Syria, condemning the ongoing deaths at the hands of the Syrian regime. For his part, Erdoğan also said Turkey's work with Russian Federation and Iran has yielded positive results on the ground.
    Blue House: South Korea to hold summit with China on Saturday

    Blue House: South Korea to hold summit with China on Saturday

    In his remarks, he said that "the culture of tolerance and understanding among us [provides] space for positive dialogue". The countries earlier issued a joint statement vowing to put their ties back on the normal track.
  • Russian Federation  accuses USA  coalition of hampering its anti-IS operation in Syria

    Russian Federation accuses USA coalition of hampering its anti-IS operation in Syria

    The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday accused the USA -led coalition of interfering with the Russian air force to protect retreating Islamic State (IS) militants.

    The Bottom Line on Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC), BB&T Corporation (BBT)

    The shares price go down so far this year; showing a decline of -9.76% and added with positive flow of 0.26% during recent week. According to their observations and findings, the stock could provide a high EPS of $0.15/share and a low EPS of $-0.15/share.
    The Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) Cut to Sell at Vetr Inc

    The Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) Cut to Sell at Vetr Inc

    In the quarter, revenue grew to US$10.1bn, from the US$9.2bn recorded the year before, also beating market consensus for US$9.9bn. Finally, James Investment Research Inc. purchased a new stake in Tyson Foods during the second quarter valued at about $188,000.
  • Android Distribution chart for November shows Oreo at 0.3%

    Android Distribution chart for November shows Oreo at 0.3%

    The notable aspect of the Android Oreo is the Rescue Party feature, which helps the device to recover from constant boot loops. Even forthcoming new Android handsets, like the OnePlus 5T are expected to arrive with Android Nougat rather than Oreo.
    Jerry Jones calls talk of him being forced to sell Cowboys 'laughable'

    Jerry Jones calls talk of him being forced to sell Cowboys 'laughable'

    Suspending an owner for conduct detrimental to the league is an extraordinary step, but it has happened. Punishing Jones might prompt lawsuits and the prospect of an even messier and more public fight.
    Children shot an Northern California elementary school

    Children shot an Northern California elementary school

    An active shooter situation was reported at a Northern California elementary school today, a school official said. Rancho Tehama is a community of about 3,500 northwest of Corning. "Our doors are locked", she said.
  • GameStop Has Suspended Its PowerPass Used Game Rental Service

    GameStop Has Suspended Its PowerPass Used Game Rental Service

    If you were looking forward to becoming one of GameStop's PowerPass subscribers later this month, we have some bad news for you. To sweeten the deal, they can bring home any pre-owned game for free for their troubles.
    OnePlus phones sold with root exploit backdoor

    OnePlus phones sold with root exploit backdoor

    If it's as widespread as it appears to be, there's a good chance you'll see a software update removing EngineerMode. Robert Baptiste, a freelance security researcher who goes by the name Elliot Alderson on Twitter after the Mr.
    Global crude oil demand to ease on warm climate

    Global crude oil demand to ease on warm climate

    That will keep prices down and help make the USA a net exporter of oil - in addition to gas - by the late 2020s. But analysts expect the price to not rise much further in coming months as the USA ramps up production.