In our modern age people often look for something that gives them comfort.
An herbal (tropical plant) alternative “treatment” called kratom has been being used by some people for pain, mood disorders, and even opioid withdrawal without any supervision from a licensed physician who knows about kratom.
That is why the FDA is warning consumers not to use kratom, or mitragyna species, which grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
At least until a lot more is known about how it affects humans.
The main things the FDA is warning people about is trifold.
“FDA is concerned that kratom, which affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine, appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence,” the FDA information page on the plant states at fda.gov.
It goes on to say that there are no FDA approved uses for kratom, while also not making any claims of it being safe for self-medication and saying more research needs to be done.
“FDA is actively evaluating all available scientific information on this issue and continues to warn consumers not to use any products labeled as containing the botanical substance kratom or its psychoactive compounds, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. The FDA encourages more research to better understand kratom’s safety profile, including the use of kratom combined with other drugs,” FDA officials state online.
The FDA issued what they called an “Important Alert” back in 2012 declaring kratom an unapproved drug and a second one in February 2014 about kratom being used in dietary supplements and bulk dietary ingredients prompting numerous actions by the FDA.
First there was the seizure by the U.S. Marshals Office (at the request of the FDA) of 25,000 pounds of raw kratom worth more than $5 million from Rosefield Management Inc. in Van Nuys California in September 2014.
Then in January 2016 the U.S. Marshall’s Office, again at FDA request, confiscated 90,000 bottles of dietary supplements containing kratom being held for Dordoniz Natural Products based in South Beloit, Illinois. Those bottles, marketed under the brand name RelaKspro, were valued at more than $400,000.
In August 2016 the U.S. Marshall’s Office at the request of the FDA got more than 100 cases of products claiming to contain kratom from Nature Therapeutics, also known as and marketed under the brand name Kratom Therapy, located in Grover Beach, California.
That haul was valued at more than $150,000.
While FDA evaluates the available safety information about the effects of kratom, the agency encourages health care professionals and consumers to report any adverse reactions to the FDA’s MedWatch program:
• Complete and submit the report online: MedWatch Voluntary Reporting Form
• Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178,” the FDA website states online.