March 2, 2018 – Kratom and FDA


Anchor lead: Why is the FDA sounding warnings about the herbal supplement kratom? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Kratom is an herbal supplement sold mostly over the internet that is much in the news lately, with the FDA insisting it’s an opioid. Eric Strain, a drug abuse expert at Johns Hopkins, says there really are grounds to this claim.

Strain: I think the FDA is saying there’s concerns with it is legitimate. Most of the concerns related to deaths is somebody has used kratom in combination with some other drugs. Risks increase when you start combining medications or drugs. I think we should be cautious about kratom and we really need more data about kratom. What are its effects in humans, both potential efficacy if it’s something that could be useful for people as well as the risks of side effects or of physical dependence.  :29

Most recently contaminated kratom has been implicated in Salmonella infections and hospitalizations, with some purveyors voluntarily ceasing kratom sales until more is known. Strain notes that for those using the supplement for chronic pain or opioid withdrawal there are options. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.