FDA warns of injury, death with herbal supplement kratom - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

FDA warns of injury, death with herbal supplement kratom

Posted: Updated:

By MATTHEW PERRONE
AP Health Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal health authorities are warning about reports of injury, addiction and death with a herbal supplement that has been promoted as an alternative to opioid painkillers and other prescription drugs

The supplement, kratom, made from a plant native to Southeast Asia, has gained popularity in the U.S. as a treatment for pain, anxiety and drug dependence. Users have opposed efforts to regulate the plant, saying it could be a safer alternative to opioid pain pills that have caused an epidemic of abuse.

But the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that kratom carries similar risks, including addiction and death, and the agency is working to block shipments.

The FDA said it is aware of 36 deaths involving products made with kratom and hundreds of calls to poison control centers, which increased tenfold between 2010 and 2015. In some cases, kratom is mixed with opioids like oxycodone, the ingredient in OxyContin, according to the agency.

"The FDA must use its authority to protect the public from addictive substances like kratom, both as part of our commitment to stemming the opioid epidemic and preventing another from taking hold," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, said in a statement .

Gottlieb said the agency has seized and destroyed shipments of kratom at international mail facilities.

Kratom remains legal under federal law although some states have banned the plant, including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin. It is sold in various forms, including capsules and powders.

The Drug Enforcement Administration had planned to ban the plant by adding it to a list of illegal drugs that includes marijuana, heroin and LSD. But the agency backed away from that plan last October after a flood of public complaints including a letter signed by 62 members of Congress and a protest at the White House organized by the American Kratom Association.

A spokesman for the group could not immediately provide comment Tuesday morning.

The group has said categorizing kratom as an illegal substance would stymie medical research into its potential therapeutic uses. The DEA said last October it would delay a decision until the FDA issued a recommendation.

Despite Tuesday's warning about the risks of kratom an FDA spokeswoman said the agency's scientific review is ongoing. There is no timetable for completing the review.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Logan Hunters Frustrated with DNR ATV Enforcement

    Logan Hunters Frustrated with DNR ATV Enforcement

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 9:01 PM EST2017-11-23 02:01:16 GMT

    A coalition of Logan County hunters are taking their concerns to the capitol after the Department of Natural Resources chained up gates at hunting trail heads. ATVs are banned on Wildlife Management Areas, but the land has been owned by the DNR for about two years, and it's just this month that the rule has started to be enforced.  Eddie Lawson grew up riding ATVs on hunting trails, that is until the last three weeks. "I'm 64, 40+ years in the mines and I...

    A coalition of Logan County hunters are taking their concerns to the capitol after the Department of Natural Resources chained up gates at hunting trail heads. ATVs are banned on Wildlife Management Areas, but the land has been owned by the DNR for about two years, and it's just this month that the rule has started to be enforced.  Eddie Lawson grew up riding ATVs on hunting trails, that is until the last three weeks. "I'm 64, 40+ years in the mines and I...

  • Mother charged after putting recording device in daughter’s backpack

    Mother charged after putting recording device in daughter’s backpack

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 11:07 AM EST2017-11-22 16:07:26 GMT

    A mother is facing charges after hiding a recording device in her daughter’s backpack after hearing she was being bullied.

    A mother is facing charges after hiding a recording device in her daughter’s backpack after hearing she was being bullied.

  • Police: Prostitution ring run out of senior living facility

    Police: Prostitution ring run out of senior living facility

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 4:24 PM EST2017-11-22 21:24:12 GMT

    Police have arrested two men they say ran a prostitution ring out of an apartment at a senior living facility.

    Police have arrested two men they say ran a prostitution ring out of an apartment at a senior living facility.

Powered by Frankly