You may or may not have heard of kratom before today; however, it has been a major area of focus recently for the FDA. Kratom, also known as Mitragyna speciosa, is a plant which grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. It has been touted as an alternative approach to pain medication and is found in many supplements falsely claiming to be a natural pain medication or treat opioid withdrawl symptoms.
To this day, there are no current FDA-approved uses for kratom and it appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence and has been linked to a multistate outbreak of Salmonella. According to the FDA, neither kratom nor its compounds have been proven safe and effective for any use and should not be used to treat any medical conditions. The FDA has also received concerning reports about the safety of kratom, including deaths associated with its use.
Here’s what you need to know about kratom, and what to do if you currently have some at home.
What recalls have been issued for kratom?
Recently, the FDA issued a mandatory recall for all food product containing powdered kratom manufactured or held by Triangle Pharmanaturals LLC of Las Vegas, NV. There was also a mandatory recall with Triangle Pharmanaturals LLC after the company failed to cooperate with the FDA’s request to conduct a voluntary recall. This is the 1st time the agency has issued a mandatory recall order to protect Americans from contaminated food products.
Do kratom-containing products have any other names I should be aware of?
Yes. Other names for kratom that have been identified by the DEA are as follows:
- Mitragyna speciose
- Mitragynine extract
- Maeng da leaf
- Nauclea speciosa
What should I do if I have a kratom-containing product?
The FDA encourages consumers that have one or more of these products in their homes, to should discard them immediately. As a precaution, kratom no longer stored in its original packaging should be discarded and the containers used to store it should be thoroughly washed and sanitized. In order to prevent cross-contamination, consumers should wash their hands, work surfaces and utensils thoroughly after contact with these products, and not prepare any food in the area at the same time.
Does the FDA have an idea of how many people have gotten sick from kratom at this time?
Sort of. According to the FDA the following information has been provided:
- During interviews conducted by state and local health officials, ill people were asked about the foods they ate and other exposures before they became ill. As of April 5, 2018, 57 of 78 people specifically asked about kratom reported consuming kratom before getting sick.
- As of April 5, 2018, a total of 132 people infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 38 states.
- Thirty-eight people (40%) have been hospitalized.
You can find more information on the kratom Salmonella outbreak here.
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