Kratom Products Can Kill You, FDA Says

Kratom Products Can Kill You, FDA Says

Because it produces symptoms, such as euphoria, similar to opiates, it is also used recreationally. In his statement, he wrote that calls to United States poison control centers regarding kratom have increased 10-fold from 2010 to 2015, with hundreds of calls made each year. "At a time when we have hit a critical point in the opioid epidemic", the FDA statement said, "the increasing use of kratom as an alternative or adjunct to opioid use is extremely concerning". Jessica Bardoulas of the American Osteopathic Association tells USA Today there's "anecdotal and scientific evidence indicating kratom could be an effective opioid alternative".

Meanwhile, the FDA is working to prevent shipments of kratom from entering he country, he said.

"Patients addicted to opioids are using kratom without dependable instructions for use and more importantly, without consultation with a licensed health care provider about the product's dangers, potential side effects or interactions with other drugs", he wrote.

"There are now no FDA-approved therapeutic uses of kratom", said Gottlieb. Marketers have been selling kratom, a plant grown in parts of Asia, as a treatment for a variety of conditions including pain, anxiety, and depression.

The FDA says kratom carries similar risks of abuse, addiction and in some cases, death, as opioids.

The FDA says it will seize shipments of kratom and issued a public health warning telling people not to use it.

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A year ago the Drug Enforcement Administration planned to make kratom a Schedule I drug, a category that includes marijuana and LSD, but decided against it after an outcry of opposition.

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

The federal government has not classified kratom as illegal, but some states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin, have banned it, according to the Associated Press.

Gottlieb said he was sympathetic but said distributors have to show that kratom does work as advertised. "To those who believe in the proposed medicinal uses of kratom, I encourage you to conduct the research that will help us better understand kratom's risk and benefit profile, so that well studied and potentially beneficial products can be considered". The agency has already detained hundreds of packages at worldwide mail facilities.

"We've learned a tragic lesson from the opioid crisis: that we must pay early attention to the potential for new products to cause addiction, and we must take strong, decisive measures to intervene", Gottlieb said.

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