Breaking News
July 17, 2018 - Long-term survival worse for black survivors of in-hospital cardiac arrest
July 17, 2018 - Stanford data analyst’s childhood inspires his research: A Q&A
July 17, 2018 - Preventability of hospital readmissions changes over time, study reveals
July 17, 2018 - Nursing notes can help predict if ICU patients will survive
July 17, 2018 - Okayama University research could improve prognosis of diabetic kidney disease
July 17, 2018 - Study identifies new genes linked to heart function and development
July 17, 2018 - NeuroTrauma Sciences and Henry Ford join hands to advance exosome technology
July 17, 2018 - Improved methods to measure enterococci concentrations in recreational water
July 17, 2018 - White adolescent boys experiencing early puberty have high risk for substance use
July 17, 2018 - Celgene and Acceleron Announce Luspatercept Achieved Primary and All Key Secondary Endpoints in Phase III ‘BELIEVE’ Study in Adults with Transfusion-Dependent Beta-Thalassemia
July 17, 2018 - Roots of leukemia reveal possibility of predicting people at risk
July 17, 2018 - Summer med program embraces low-income students’ potential
July 17, 2018 - New research lays foundation to create standards for RNA sequencing
July 17, 2018 - CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing can cause greater genetic damage than previously thought
July 17, 2018 - Democrats rally against threats to the ACA to block Trump’s Supreme Court nominee
July 17, 2018 - Staggering prices slow insurers’ coverage of CAR-T cancer therapy
July 17, 2018 - How proteins involved in neurodegeneration enter cells
July 17, 2018 - New super-resolution ‘nanoscope’ provides insight into progression of Alzheimer’s disease
July 17, 2018 - FDA Advisory Committee Endorses the Effectiveness and Safety of Single-Dose Tafenoquine for the Radical Cure of P. vivax Malaria
July 17, 2018 - Uncovering the evolutionary history of IBD-associated colorectal cancer
July 17, 2018 - Is nutrition research dependable? Stanford’s John Ioannidis weighs in
July 17, 2018 - New machine learning framework predicts effects of genetic mutations in ‘dark matter’ regions
July 17, 2018 - Plant-based products fail to have positive impact on blood pressure during clinical studies
July 17, 2018 - Electronic system to speed up facial pain diagnosis may improve quality of life and save money
July 17, 2018 - Study delves into the role played by Protein Kinase C in synaptic plasticity
July 17, 2018 - Women Often Unaware of Their Hospital’s Religious Affiliation
July 17, 2018 - New AASM guideline recommends use of actigraphy for sleep disorders
July 17, 2018 - CRISPR editing reduces repetitive behavior in mice with a form of autism
July 17, 2018 - Scientists use magnets to detect cancer
July 17, 2018 - Microfluidic chip to detect sepsis proves successful in clinical study
July 17, 2018 - Research provides better understanding of mechanisms underlying memory storage
July 17, 2018 - A Multi-Modal Approach for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer
July 17, 2018 - Mailing colorectal cancer tests to patients increases screening rates, report researchers
July 17, 2018 - Scientists find possible sources of medicinal and antimicrobial drugs
July 17, 2018 - Molecules formed when the body metabolizes omega-3 fatty acids may inhibit cancer
July 17, 2018 - Efficient communication between hospitals improves patient safety and reduces mortality
July 17, 2018 - Study highlights potential of fetal gene therapy to prevent lethal neurodegenerative disease
July 17, 2018 - For Americans, in Science They Trust
July 17, 2018 - Combating HIV/AIDS | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine
July 17, 2018 - Study shows minorities widely underrepresented in autism diagnoses
July 17, 2018 - Multigene testing replacing BRCA tests for breast cancer risk | News Center
July 17, 2018 - Pre-clinical pilot study shows promising results of ‘concussion pill’
July 17, 2018 - Researchers reduce size of tumors in mice by artificially activating the brain’s reward system
July 17, 2018 - New study documents symptoms of people before they acquire multiple sclerosis
July 17, 2018 - Researchers discover why CRISPR gene editing sometimes fails
July 17, 2018 - New finding may hold key to better understand the complexities of neurological disorders
July 17, 2018 - The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Novel Targets.
July 17, 2018 - Fighting the Flu with a Universal Vaccine
July 17, 2018 - Key social reward circuit in the brain impaired in kids with autism | News Center
July 17, 2018 - Insight into causes, types and treatment of aphasia
July 16, 2018 - Quark Pharmaceuticals, Inc Announces First Patient Dosed in Phase 3 Clinical Trial of QPI-1002 for Prevention of Acute Kidney Injury Following Cardiac Surgery
July 16, 2018 - NSAIDs shown to have causal role in cardiovascular risk of patients with osteoarthritis
July 16, 2018 - PET scan tracer predicts success of cancer ‘vaccine’ | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Parents struggle with what to do when their child has headache, shows study
July 16, 2018 - Outrageous or overblown? HHS announces another round of ACA navigator funding cuts
July 16, 2018 - Weight loss surgery may impact individual’s risk of developing cancer, shows study
July 16, 2018 - Alexion Submits Application for Priority Review and Approval of ALXN1210 as a Treatment for Patients with Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) in the U.S.
July 16, 2018 - Restoring epigenetic balance reinstates memory in flies with Alzheimer’s disease symptoms
July 16, 2018 - Magnetized wire could be used to detect cancer in people | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Non-surgical management found to be feasible option for penetrating kidney trauma
July 16, 2018 - California clinic screens asylum seekers for honesty
July 16, 2018 - FDA Approves Xtandi (enzalutamide) for the Treatment of Men with Non-Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (CRPC)
July 16, 2018 - Can nanotechnology help treat Alzheimer’s?
July 16, 2018 - Researchers identify protein essential for making stem cells | News Center
July 16, 2018 - Severe childhood infections linked with lower school achievement in adolescence
July 16, 2018 - Radiologist discusses causes, treatments of varicose veins
July 16, 2018 - Researchers develop nanostructured surface to accelerate wound healing after dental implants
July 16, 2018 - New non-invasive procedure to reposition kidney stones could benefit astronauts
July 16, 2018 - Attending Surgeon Influences Genetic Testing in Breast Cancer
July 16, 2018 - Medical doctors with addictions fear professional repercussions if they seek treatment
July 16, 2018 - 5 Questions: John Ioannidis calls for more rigorous nutrition research | News Center
July 16, 2018 - University of Illinois buys 3D-Bioplotter for regenerative biology, tissue engineering research
July 16, 2018 - Charité’s researchers integrate open-source platform into the ‘Human Brain Project’
July 16, 2018 - SUSU scientists develop rehabilitation device for people with lower limbs injuries
July 16, 2018 - Researchers find definite increase in scooter-related injuries
July 16, 2018 - Researchers solve mystery of final blood group system
July 16, 2018 - Researchers develop near-infrared fluorophores-based PDT to cure cancer with less side effects
July 16, 2018 - Traumatic brain injury biomarker could help predict patient prognosis
July 16, 2018 - Researchers to investigate role of hormones in mosquito’s ability to use human blood for egg production
July 16, 2018 - AHA: Doctor Makes Lifesaving House Call in His Own Home
FDA warning against Kratom strengthened

FDA warning against Kratom strengthened

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Dr Ananya Mandal, MD

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has amped up its warnings against popular herbal drug kratom. The new warning mentions the deadly risks associated with kratom including a case of a teenager who hanged himself under influence.

Mitragyna speciosa,mitragyna speciosa korth (kratom) a drug from plant to a category 5 in Thailand. Image Credit: sarintra chimphoolsuk / Shutterstock

Mitragyna speciosa,mitragyna speciosa korth (kratom) a drug from plant to a category 5 in Thailand. Image Credit: sarintra chimphoolsuk / Shutterstock

The new warning statement issued by the FDA states that the effects of this herbal concoction is yet to be understood clearly. The effects of kratom in the cases of fatalities are being investigated to see the extent of damage this drug can cause.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, in a press release this Tuesday (6th of February 2018), said that this was a reinforcement of an earlier health advisory that was released last November. The earlier advisory stated that there was “clear data on the increasing harms associated” with kratom. This was because of the 36 deaths associated with kratom at the time. In this new statement Gottlieb said that the present death count is up to 44 deaths. He explained that the FDA has classified the substance as an opioid and this would require further “scientific analysis”. He said, “This new data adds to our body of substantial scientific evidence supporting our concerns about the safety and abuse potential of kratom… As the scientific data and adverse event reports have clearly revealed, compounds in kratom make it so it isn’t just a plant — it’s an opioid.”

Kratom is derived from a plant that grows in South east Asia. It is related to coffee and the leaves are used to make the drug. It is available at online portals and websites in the form of powder packaged within capsules or as tea. Kratom can act as a mood enhancer or as a sedative. Its effects as a stimulant or a sedative depend on the variety of the plant or on the dosage taken. It has been claimed to treat long term pain, depression and anxiety disorders effectively. It has also been used by heroin abusers who wish to step down from their addiction. It is being touted as a “non-opioid” alternative to traditional opioids. However, being an unregulated drug available for use and made by multiple manufacturers in a non-standardized manner, the quality of the drug is not assured as it its dosage, composition and packaging. This may lead to adulteration and overdosage on self-medication, says the FDA. The FDA warns that as of now the claims in favour of kratom have not been verified scientifically and the potential harms are known.

Gottlieb added in his statement that kraton has a potential for “abuse, addiction, and serious health consequences; including death.” The 36 death reports earlier, he said were reported in academic research, adverse event reports from Accident and Emergency Departments and from the reports of the Medical Examiners. Reports of the eight new cases are also to be rel;eased shortly, he said. These victims were all on multiple substances at the time of death he said. These were all illicit and harmful drugs. The teenager who hanged himself for example tested positive for kratom, alcohol and several other prescription drugs. Another person who feel out of a window under influence showed high blood levels of mitragynine. This is the main psychoactive substance that is present in kratom. Another middle aged man who died of overdose, was found to have opioids, benzodiazepines as well as kratom in his blood. Only one of the deaths was due to kratom alone states the FDA. Gottlieb said that this case was being investigated and also that it was not an absolute proof that kratom could be causing these deaths alone.

“Many of the cases received could not be fully assessed because of limited information provided,” Gottleib said, adding, “a few cases raise concern that kratom is being used in combination with other drugs.” “Cases of mixing kratom, other opioids, and other types of medication is extremely troubling because the activity of kratom at opioid receptors indicates there may be similar risks of combining kratom with certain drugs, just as there are with FDA-approved opioids,” Gottlieb said.

After this statement, kratom could be facing a ban under federal law say experts. FDA sent the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) an “8 factor analysis” to place the drug under a schedule and reduce its free availability and increase user awareness.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles