The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is continuing its crackdown on the herbal supplement kratom announcing this week that it, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other state and local officials are investigating a multi-state breakout of Salmonella infections linked to products reportedly containing kratom. Because of this health risk, the FDA is advising consumers to avoid kratom and kratom-containing products.
Salmonella infections cause symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people recover without treatment, but the diarrhea may be so severe for some people that they need to be hospitalized. In some cases, the infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites and cause death, unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The rare type of Salmonella linked to kratom has infected 28 people in 20 states, 11 of whom have been hospitalized.
Kratom is a plant that grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. It is marketed in many forms, including as leaves, pills, capsules, powder, and tea. The herb creates a feeling of euphoria. Earlier this week, the FDA issued a news release notifying the public that it has determined that kratom is structurally similar to highly addictive opioids, a heightened concern in light of the country’s growing opioid epidemic.
The FDA, CDC, and state and local health officials are working to identify specific brand names or suppliers of kratom products to learn more about the possible source and route of the Salmonella contamination and will share more information once it becomes available.
To date, the 28 kratom-related Salmonella infections were reported in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina North Dakota, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah. The age of those infected ranges from 6 years to 67 years. To date, no deaths have been reported.
Anyone who experiences side effects after consuming kratom products should seek medical attention and tell their health care provider of any products that have been used, especially if they contain kratom. Consumers should be aware that some products may not list kratom on the labeling.
Source: FDA Update