FDA Calls Kratom an Opioid


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that the supplement known as “kratom” is an opioid and has been linked with 44 deaths, The Washington Post reports. Kratom, an unregulated botanical substance, is used by some people to relieve pain, anxiety and depression, as well as symptoms of opioid withdrawal. The FDA recently conducted a scientific analysis that provided even stronger evidence of kratom’s opioid properties, the agency said in a statement. “We have been especially concerned about the use of kratom to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms, as there is no reliable evidence to support the use of kratom as a treatment for opioid use disorder and significant safety issues exist,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. The analysis has “contributed to the FDA’s concerns about kratom’s potential for abuse, addiction, and serious health consequences; including death.”

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FDA Issues Advisory About Deadly Risks Associated With Herb Kratom


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised consumers to avoid using the herb kratom, citing 36 known deaths associated with products containing the substance. Kratom comes from a plant in Southeast Asia. It is used to treat pain, anxiety, depression, and symptoms of opioid withdrawal, The Washington Post reports. It is also used recreationally, because it produces symptoms such as euphoria, the article notes. “There is no reliable evidence to support the use of kratom as a treatment for opioid use disorder,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “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.” The FDA noted that there have been reports of kratom being laced with other opioids like hydrocodone. The use of kratom is also associated with serious...

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Medically Supervised Opioid Withdrawal an Option for Pregnant Women


While medication-assisted treatment is the recommended therapy for pregnant women addicted to opioids, medically supervised withdrawal is an option if a woman does not accept treatment, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) said this week. Medically supervised opioid withdrawal should be done under the care of a doctor experienced in perinatal addiction treatment, ACOG stated in a news release. In the past, it was thought that stopping opioids during pregnancy was too risky for the fetus and mother, CNN reports.

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