Herbal supplement Kratom linked to serious side effects, deaths: study

Herbal supplement Kratom linked to serious side effects, deaths: study

Kratom — an herbal supplement used to manage chronic pain and treat opioid addiction — is more dangerous than previously suspected, according to a new study linking it to dangerous side …

Kratom — an herbal supplement used to manage chronic pain and treat opioid addiction — is more dangerous than previously suspected, according to a new study linking it to dangerous side effects and even deaths.

Binghamton University researchers reviewed statistics from the National Poison Data System and found over 2,300 people had called poison control centers across the US to report concern over Kratom-linked illness. The most common symptoms reported were agitation, rapid heartbeat, and drowsiness. However, others reported more serious symptoms like seizures, hallucinations, and even comas.

“Kratom is not reasonably expected to be safe and poses a public health threat due to its availability as an herbal supplement,” a June study concluded in the Pharmacotherapy journal.

The supplement was identified by the coroner as a cause or contributing factor to death in four cases, according to records from a county medical examiner’s office in New York State,

Kratom was a cause in 91 overdose deaths in 27 states from July 2016 to December 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited in an April report

“What we found was alarming for something that’s widely available as an herbal supplement,” William Eggleston, lead author of the study told Insider.

In addition, the study’s findings indicated the supplement put patients at risk for withdrawal, respiratory depression, and death.

The study did not examine how much Kratom was taken by users.

In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration issued a health advisory on the “deadly risks” associated with Kratom.

The supplement, which is legal in New York City, is sold as both capsules and powders has recently grown in popularity for what users tout are its myriad benefits.

“Kratom may have a role in treating pain and opioid use disorder, but more research is needed on its safety and efficacy,” Eggleston said in a statement.

“Our results suggest it should not be available as an herbal supplement,” he added.

Kratom is derived from the Mitragyna speciosa plant native to Southeast Asia.

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