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Posted February 6, 2018

FDA Links 44 Deaths to Kratom

On February 6, 2018, FDA announced it is now aware of 44 deaths associated with the use of kratom, an herb often promoted for pain relief, energy and for treating opioid withdrawal symptoms. This is an increase from the 36 deaths associated with kratom that the agency reported in November 2017.

The active compounds in kratom are opioids which can have effects similar to morphine and heroin. Consumption of kratom has been associated with agitation, irritability, tachycardia, nausea, drowsiness, and hypertension. Risks of using kratom include hepatotoxicity, psychosis, seizure, weight loss, insomnia, tachycardia, vomiting, poor concentration, hallucinations, and death.

According to the FDA's statement, the agency conducted new laboratory research which further confirmed kratom's opioid properties. The agency also warned "it's an opioid that's associated with novel risks because of the variability in how it's being formulated, sold and used recreationally and by those who are seeking to self-medicate for pain or who use kratom to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms."

However, the FDA reported that one of the newly reported deaths associated with the use of kratom was of particular concern because "the individual had no known historical or toxicologic evidence of opioid use, except for kratom."

In August 2016, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced its intent to classify the active compounds (mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine) in kratom as Schedule I controlled substances. However, the agency withdrew its proposal several months later after receiving "numerous comments from members of the public challenging the scheduling action." The agency has taken the public comments into consideration, and will now receive a scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation from the FDA before making a final decision on classification of the herb. However, several states have now classified kratom as a Schedule I substance.

See these related warnings:

36 Deaths Associated With the Use of Kratom Products

Police Officer Dies From Kratom Overdose, Herb Currently Legal in Most States

Seller of Supplements for Opiate Withdrawal Warned for Drug Claims

Kratom To Be Classified a Schedule I Controlled Substance

U.S. Marshals Seize $150,00 Worth of Kratom

Over $400,000 Worth of Kratom Supplements Seized by U.S. Marshals

U.S. Marshals Seize $5 Million Worth of Kratom

Products Containing Kratom Recalled Following FDA Import Alert

To read FDA full statement, use the link below.