FDA Warns About 'Deadly Risks' Of Taking Kratom For Opioid Addiction

Leaves from the kratom tree, which grows in Southeast Asia and is distantly related to coffee plants, have been touted as a potential treatment for opioid withdrawal, among other conditions. The warning comes amid an increase in popularity in the US, where kratom is touted as a treatment for pain, anxiety, depression and even as an opioid alternative.

Last year, the US Drug Enforcement Administration announced its plans to name the substance a Schedule I drug, the most restrictive classification alongside heroin and LSD which restricts medical research.

The potential safety risks for kratom raise "significant concerns", according to the FDA.

But in a statement, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said there is no "reliable evidence" to support the use of kratom as a treatment for opioid-use disorder, and that there are no other FDA-approved uses of kratom.

The FDA says it's aware of 36 deaths linked to kratom, as well as a tenfold increase in calls to US poison control centers about the substance between 2010 and 2015.

The drug is kratom, and despite failing to gain FDA approval, it continued to be available for sale online and in stores - including inside a vending machine in Arizona.

The herb gives its users a euphoric feeling when used recreationally, but it's also proven to be just as addictive and, in some cases, deadly as opioids. People who are taking the product to treat depression and opioid addiction may be putting themselves at risk, the agency says.

Dr. Gottlieb concluded, "While we remain open to the potential medicinal uses of kratom, those uses must be backed by sound-science and weighed appropriately against the potential for abuse [.] In the meantime, based on the weight of the evidence, the FDA will continue to take action on these products in order to protect public health". That way the product can be assessed for its safety and effectiveness.

So far, no marketer has tried "to properly develop a drug that includes kratom", Gottlieb said.

Additionally, the FDA said it has identified kratom products on two import alerts, and is working to prevent shipments of the substance from entering the USA, as well as detained hundreds of shipments at worldwide mail facilities. Hundreds of shipments have been detained and product has been seized and destroyed.

Nevertheless, the drug has continued to pop up in supplements, prompting the FDA to issue a health alert in 2014 about kratom-containing dietary supplements and bulk dietary ingredients. The DEA will review the FDA's assessment and make a determination, says DEA spokesperson Wade Sparks.

Related Articles

  • Coffee lowers risk of heart failure, stroke drastically

    Coffee lowers risk of heart failure, stroke drastically

    The findings were presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions meeting in Anaheim, California. The new study was observational, meaning it can identify an association, but cannot prove cause and effect.
    Jon Stewart says people like Louis CK are endemic in comedy

    Jon Stewart says people like Louis CK are endemic in comedy

    Stewart said he was "stunned" and "angry" to learn that his friend engaged in sexual misconduct involving masturbation. Stewart co-hosts the annual charity benefit " Night of Too Many Stars " on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
    Is Mahira Khan's 'Verna' in trouble days before its release?

    Is Mahira Khan's 'Verna' in trouble days before its release?

    According to reports, Pakistan's Federal Censor Board has objected to the film's release on Friday. Its subject tackles with rape and how the protagonist, played by Khan fights for her rights.
  • Risk Paradigm Group, LLC Bought A Lot More Nextera Energy (NEE) Stock

    NextEra Energy's payout ratio is now 44.16%. (NYSE:NEE) by 11.8% during the third quarter, Holdings Channel reports. California Public Employees Retirement Systems has 0% invested in CYANOTECH CORP (NASDAQ:CYAN) for 19,300 shares.
    La Liga president confirms Lionel Messi has already signed new Barcelona deal

    La Liga president confirms Lionel Messi has already signed new Barcelona deal

    On 5 July the Catalans announced they had reached an agreement to tie the five-time Ballon d'Or victor him to Nou Camp until 2021. And La Liga president Javier Tebas has claimed the reports are accurate, despite the club having yet to confirm it.
    West Brom defender Evans: O'Neill would be great for Scotland, but

    West Brom defender Evans: O'Neill would be great for Scotland, but

    The Northern Ireland boss has remained tight-lipped on his future following the country's World Cup qualifying failure. After three years in charge of Irish side Rovers, O'Neill was appointed as Northern Ireland manager.
  • Olly Murs 'secretly dating' tv presenter Melanie Sykes in 'year long romance'

    Olly Murs 'secretly dating' tv presenter Melanie Sykes in 'year long romance'

    Both Olly and Mel are huge Manchester United fans - with the pop star even owning his own box at Old Trafford. They went on to explain that the showbiz pair had been texting for a while, before it became "saucy".

    Jimmy Kimmel Makes Fun Of Matt Damon's Role In Thor: Ragnarok

    The team included Muscle Man and Crayon Kid - plus there's an Oirish superhero in the mix in leprechaun hero Lucky Lad. They teamed up with a slew of familiar actors and comedians to create the ultimate superhero team: the Terrific Ten .
    PH thanks Trump for offering to mediate maritime row

    PH thanks Trump for offering to mediate maritime row

    An worldwide tribunal has also ruled against China's maritime claims but Beijing has refused to recognize the court's ruling. Trump's surprise proposal to insert himself into the decades-long row risked backlash from China.
  • 'The Talk' sees rare panel shake up as Eve replaces Aisha Tyler

    'The Talk' sees rare panel shake up as Eve replaces Aisha Tyler

    Eve rounds out the panel that includes show creator Sara Gilbert , Julie Chen , Sharon Osbourne , and Sheryl Underwood . As an actress, Eve has had roles in "xXx", the "Barbershop" franchise, "Glee", and her self-titled UPN sitcom.
    GameStop Pauses Its Unlimited Used Games Service

    GameStop Pauses Its Unlimited Used Games Service

    Assuming PowerPass is relaunched in a functional manner sometime in 2018, this is still not the outcome GameStop wanted right now. The retail giant announced the program at the end of October, with sign-ups set to begin November 19.

    A Look at 2 Trending Stocks: Nokia Corporation (NOK), NetEase, Inc. (NTES)

    According to their observations and findings, the stock could provide a high EPS of $0.14/share and a low EPS of $0.05/share. Tiedemann Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Nokia Corporation during the 3rd quarter worth $114,000.