Published: Thu, February 22, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

CDC warn about Kratom for Salmonella diseases

CDC warn about Kratom for Salmonella diseases

The CDC said kratom should not be consumed in any form because the source of salmonella contamination has not been identified. Additionally, the FDA is taking new steps to bring new, safe and effective, FDA-approved therapies to the market for treatment of opioid use disorder.

Still, concern about kratom is mounting, especially because some people appear to be using the supplement as a way to step down from opioid painkillers like heroin and morphine.

Kratom is the name used for leaves from an evergreen tree found in Southeast Asia.

The outbreak has hospitalized 11 people.

CDC officials report that the epidemiologic evidence collected indicates that products reported to be kratom or contain kratom are a likely cause of the outbreak. When ingested, the drug taps into some of the same brain receptors as opioid painkillers- a finding that prompted the Food and Drug Administration to classify it as an opioid earlier this month.

The FDA has always been skeptical of the benefits of kratom, having placed import alerts on the substance in 2012 and 2014.

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The CDC has interviewed just 11 of the 28 salmonella victims, but of those 11, eight reported using some form of kratom-either a pill, powder, or tea-before falling ill. "Kratom should not be used to treat medical conditions, nor should it be used as an alternative to prescription opioids", said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a statement.

On Feb. 6, the FDA reported that the kratom products have been linked with 44 deaths; these deaths, however, often involved other substances besides kratom.

It says kratom is illegal in Indiana, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Vermont, Arkansas, Alabama and Rhode Island, as well as some local jurisdictions including Sarasota County in Florida, San Diego and Washington, D.C.

Kratom items are inexactly managed by the FDA.

In 2016 the Drug Enforcement Administration touched off a firestorm when it announced that on an emergency basis it was going to unilaterally classify ingredients in the supplement as a Schedule I drug.

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