Kratom linked to multistate Salmonella outbreak

Frederick Owens
February 22, 2018

In the meantime, the CDC says because the source of salmonella contamination has not been identified, kratom should not be consumed in any form.

According to an official statement released by the FDA, kratom may not appear as an ingredient on those product labels. Known for its stimulant effects, the plant has been considered by governmental agencies as an opioid substitute, a concern that hits home as the United States continues to struggle with an ongoing opioid crisis. The outbreak began in October, and by the end of January, infections cropped up from California to MA, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But because the CDC can't pin down exactly where the salmonella-carrying kratom comes from, it issued a blanket "don't use" recommendation.

Beginning in October, at least 28 people with salmonella infections have reported that they consumed kratom - in capsule, powder or tea forms - prior to developing symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever and chills. "The investigation indicates that kratom products could be contaminated with Salmonella and could make people sick", the CDC says on its website.

According to a bulletin from the CDC, a multistate Salmonella outbreak has been traced to supplements made from the plant. Additionally, kratom should not be used to treat any medical conditions, nor should it be used as an alternative to prescription opioids.

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Those reports loosely connected kratom to 44 deaths, but in all but one case, the people who died were found to have been taking multiple drugs, including other opioids in many cases. The regulator has earlier said it was aware of 36 deaths associated with the plant, however declined to say over what period the deaths occurred.

Kratom is banned in Australia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and several USA states (Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, and Wisconsin).

On February 6, the FDA classified kratom, a botanical substance widely used as a painkiller, despite agency approval, as an opioid.

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