The herbal opioid substitute kratom has been linked to 28 salmonella infections in the USA, the CDC warned today. Gottlieb compared the substance mixes of kratom to opioids. In the midst of the approval, Scott Gottlieb, FDA commissioner, referenced the FDA's concerns about the plant substance and its health consequences, which could include death.
As it has made its way to the United States, kratom has gained a reputation as an opioid alternative to help people wean themselves off of the unsafe and addictive drugs with milder withdrawal symptoms, but there have not been clinical studies to prove this.
Even though kratom is legal now, 7 states and select counties have banned the drug.
The American Kratom Association has disputed the FDA's findings, saying kratom is an herbal substance similar to tea and coffee and isn't a drug. The agency recently developed a novel scientific analysis using a computer model which demonstrated stronger evidence of kratom compounds' opioid properties, which can lead to serious side effects like seizures and depression. Since then, the FDA has been making efforts to better understand kratom's safety profile.
Confirmed victims range in age from 6 to 67 years old.
A doctor for the Centers for Disease Control told Channel 2 Action News this is the first time they've seen salmonella in Kratom products. Eleven people have been hospitalized, and no one has died.
In health official conducted interviews, ill individuals were asked about the foods they ate and other exposures before they became ill.
Native to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is a plant that is typically crushed and made into a tea as a means to treat pain; it can also be chewed, smoked, or ingested in capsules. The CDC could not identify a common brand or supplier linked with this outbreak.
Salmonella can cause serious illness from getting an infection from a variety of sources, eating contaminated food or water, touching infected animals or not washing your hands. Illness can last from four to seven days, according to the CDC.