FDA issues warning of death, illness over herbal supplement kratom

November 14, 2017 - 4:54 pm

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a public health warning about kratom, an herbal supplement used by some to treat chronic pain, help with opioid withdrawals, and is used recreationally.

There have been 36 deaths associated with kratom in the US, and the FDA says, hundreds of calls made to poison control centers.

The kratom plant grows naturally across Southeast Asia in the countries of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. 

Users have opposed efforts to regulate the plant, saying it could be a safer alternative to opioid pain pills.

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



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