Breaking News
July 21, 2018 - Researchers identify subtypes of retinal ganglion cells using single-cell RNA sequencing
July 21, 2018 - Study uncovers opportunities to reduce death by suicide among cancer patients
July 21, 2018 - Genetic sequencing reveals new clues to aggressiveness of prostate cancer
July 21, 2018 - BioSight Launches a Phase 2b Clinical Trial of BST-236 as a First-Line Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia
July 21, 2018 - First major study comparing robotic to open surgery published in The Lancet
July 21, 2018 - ADHD medications may fail to improve cognition in healthy college students, study shows
July 21, 2018 - Intervention program that includes a personalized app could benefit teens with suicidal thoughts
July 21, 2018 - Researchers identify new compound that protects against neurodegeneration
July 21, 2018 - Gene therapy may hold potential to treat people with spinal cord injuries
July 21, 2018 - FDA Approves Nivestym (filgrastim-aafi), a Biosimilar to Neupogen
July 21, 2018 - Surgeons have substantial impact on genetic testing in breast cancer patients who need it
July 21, 2018 - Species diversity can have positive and negative impacts on disease transmission
July 21, 2018 - Genome research suggests presence of enteric fever in medieval Europe
July 21, 2018 - Risk of Sensory Deficits Drops With Rising Gestational Age
July 21, 2018 - Mum’s sleep matters—the effect of sleep on an unborn baby
July 21, 2018 - UC San Diego researchers awarded two grants for investigating stem cell-based therapies
July 21, 2018 - Cellular ‘garbage disposal’ may actually work on some of the proteins to neuronal development
July 21, 2018 - More Pregnant Women Having Heart Attacks
July 21, 2018 - Acne Breakouts | NIH News in Health
July 21, 2018 - Change health messaging to focus on potential impact to help stop the next pandemic
July 21, 2018 - Frailty associated with poor survival rates in young heart patients
July 21, 2018 - New discovery could save millions of lives from fatal fungal infections
July 21, 2018 - OBD presents latest data on the use of EpiSwitch™ in predicting patient response to immunotherapy and identifying lymphoma subtypes
July 21, 2018 - Childhood adversity increases susceptibility to addiction via immune response
July 21, 2018 - Scientists identify potential target for the treatment of binge eating
July 21, 2018 - Whole-brain LIPUS therapy improves cognitive dysfunction in mice simulating dementia, Alzheimer’s
July 21, 2018 - Digital media use raising risk of ADHD symptoms among the young
July 21, 2018 - Phase 3 study of tanezumab in patients with osteoarthritis pain meets all three co-primary endpoints
July 21, 2018 - Restoring mitochondrial function to reverse aging-related skin wrinkles, hair loss in mice
July 21, 2018 - SP PennTech introduces RW-500 rotary vial washer for biotech, pharmaceutical applications
July 21, 2018 - Researchers to study molecular mechanisms behind susceptibility of males to autism
July 21, 2018 - Researchers study efficacy and safety of new treatment for OUD
July 21, 2018 - Fourth Published Clinical Trial Confirms Long-Term Safety of Niagen Supplementation at High Doses and Shows Potential for Improvement in Liver Health
July 21, 2018 - Study examines effects of a two-day intermittent calorie restriction diet for patients with type 2 diabetes
July 21, 2018 - Greening vacant urban land reduces feelings of depression for surrounding residents
July 21, 2018 - Parents say intense gun violence in PG-13 movies appropriate for teens 15 and older
July 21, 2018 - Collaborative study to assess effects of exercise training for cognitive deficits in MS
July 21, 2018 - FAU researchers find possible cause of Parkinson’s disease in the patients’ immune system
July 21, 2018 - Protective qualities of ‘good cholesterol’ reduce after menopause
July 21, 2018 - Researchers develop new way to uncover hidden breast cancer tumors
July 21, 2018 - FDA approves first drug for treatment of adult AML patients with specific genetic mutation
July 21, 2018 - Top AI companies join hands to discover novel drugs for DMD
July 21, 2018 - Ferring announces FDA approval of ZOMACTON for injection in four new pediatric indications
July 20, 2018 - Researchers design proteins that can self-assemble into complex structures
July 20, 2018 - AVITA Medical expands management team to support launch of RECELL device to treat burns
July 20, 2018 - FDA Approves Tibsovo (ivosidenib) for Relapsed or Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia with an IDH1 Mutation
July 20, 2018 - Developmental screening and surveillance rates remain low, new study suggests
July 20, 2018 - TGen opens tissue donation portal to advance DIPG research
July 20, 2018 - Health impact of highly processed summertime staples
July 20, 2018 - Exergaming can improve health in overweight and obese children, study shows
July 20, 2018 - Postmenopausal factors may impact heart-protective qualities of ‘good cholesterol’
July 20, 2018 - MRI and blood test combination results in improved prostate cancer diagnosis
July 20, 2018 - Update Health Professional and Consumer on Recent Recalled Products
July 20, 2018 - Researchers trace Parkinson’s damage in the heart
July 20, 2018 - Wearable device designed to measure cortisol in sweat
July 20, 2018 - Scientists demonstrate a new regulation mechanism for skeletal muscles
July 20, 2018 - Exposure to mobile phone radiation may negatively impact memory performance in adolescents
July 20, 2018 - SUSU scientists find alternative method to treat post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome
July 20, 2018 - Gestational diabetes may increase offspring’s heart disease risk
July 20, 2018 - New vaccine could protect unborn babies from Zika virus
July 20, 2018 - Researchers find high mercury and methylmercury concentrations in traditional Tibetan medicine
July 20, 2018 - Brief Safety Plan Intervention in ER Can Cut Suicidal Behavior
July 20, 2018 - The Mount Sinai Hospital receives accreditation as geriatric emergency department
July 20, 2018 - Toward a better understanding of Parkinson’s disease
July 20, 2018 - Med school communications office wins four national awards | News Center
July 20, 2018 - Professional baseball players with faster hand-eye coordination may have better batting performance
July 20, 2018 - Study looks into mechanisms that control sleep and wakefulness
July 20, 2018 - Scientists identify melanoma biomarkers that could help tailor immunotherapy treatments
July 20, 2018 - Research reveals long-term efficacy of drug used to treat common cause of kidney failure
July 20, 2018 - Timing of dinner associated with breast and prostate cancer risks
July 20, 2018 - Health Tip: Performing the Heimlich Maneuver
July 20, 2018 - Nearly all adolescents have eating, activity or weight-related issues
July 20, 2018 - Sage launches new web-based tool that helps explore curated genomic analyses of Alzheimer’s
July 20, 2018 - High-performance porous polymeric material for chromatography applications
July 20, 2018 - New molecule shows great promise for future treatment of many cancers
July 20, 2018 - New research project investigates alternative treatments for eye infections
July 20, 2018 - Immune T cells are built to react as fast as possible, shows study
July 20, 2018 - ZHX2 protein could offer a new treatment strategy for kidney cancer
July 20, 2018 - EKF’s Quo-Lab POC HbA1c analyzer meets international quality targets for diabetes testing
July 20, 2018 - Health burdens of very high risk drinking are potentially large, study reveals
Herbal Drug Kratom Contains Opioids, FDA Says

Herbal Drug Kratom Contains Opioids, FDA Says

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7, 2018 — The popular botanical drug kratom essentially is an opioid, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared Tuesday.

Nearly all of kratom’s major compounds bind to opioid receptors in the human brain, and two of the top five most prevalent compounds activate those receptors, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

In addition, there have been 44 reported deaths associated with the use of kratom, often in combination with other substances, Gottlieb said.

Kratom grows naturally in the Southeast Asian countries of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It has been sold as a dietary supplement to help manage pain and boost energy.

“Kratom should not be used to treat medical conditions, nor should it be used as an alternative to prescription opioids,” Gottlieb said. “There is no evidence to indicate that kratom is safe or effective for any medical use.”

Claims that kratom is harmless because it’s just a plant are “shortsighted and dangerous,” Gottlieb continued, noting that heroin also is derived from poppy plants.

Gottlieb urged people to seek help from a health care provider if they are using kratom to self-medicate for pain or to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms.

“There are safe and effective, FDA-approved medical therapies available for the treatment of opioid addiction,” Gottlieb said. “Combined with psychosocial support, these treatments are effective.”

Concerns over kratom have been growing in recent years. For example, calls to poison centers regarding kratom increased tenfold between 2010 and 2015, rising from 26 to 263, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than one-third of the poison center calls reported use of kratom in combination with other substances, such as illicit drugs, prescription opioids or over-the-counter medications, the CDC said.

“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.

To assess the potential risks of kratom, FDA researchers used 3-D computer technology to evaluate the chemical constituents of the plant and simulate how they would affect various receptors in the brain.

Computer analysis predicted that 22 of the 25 most prevalent compounds in kratom bind to mu-opioid receptors, which have been linked to pain relief and a feeling of euphoria, Gottlieb said. Those receptors also have been implicated in the addiction process.

“The computational model also predicted that some of the kratom compounds may bind to the receptors in the brain that may contribute to stress responses that impact neurologic and cardiovascular function,” Gottlieb said. “The agency has previously warned of the serious side effects associated with kratom, including seizures and respiratory depression.”

The analysis also revealed that kratom’s compounds form a strong bind to opioid receptors, comparable to controlled opioid medications, Gottlieb said.

In a statement, the American Kratom Association said that the FDA analysis is “an unprecedented abuse of science to create a new computer program that is clearly garbage in/garbage out, avoiding the rules of the Controlled Substances Act and making unproven claims that have been proven to be untrue.”

The FDA’s claims also have been questioned by kratom researcher Scott Hemby, chair of the department of basic pharmaceutical sciences at High Point University in North Carolina.

Hemby has found that kratom’s principal chemicals do bond to opioid receptors and cause opioid-like effects such as pain relief and a euphoric rush from a release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. At least one of the chemicals may also have some addictive properties.

However, Hemby told CNN that kratom acts much less effectively than prescription opioids or heroin, and that the total amount of these compounds in the plant as a whole is so low that it’s unlikely to lead to abuse or addiction.

“Just because it binds, it doesn’t mean it has the same efficacy” as an opioid, Hemby explained.

Hemby also questioned the FDA’s use of computer analysis to arrive at its conclusion.

“They make a lot of hay of using a computer model, but it’s really nice to validate the findings with actual science,” Hemby told CNN. “When it comes to drugs for cancer, we wouldn’t rely on a computer model to drive policy. People would find that unacceptable.”

More information

To read the kratom statement, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: February 2018

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles