FDA ramps up warnings about kratom, calling unregulated herb an ‘opioid’

Bastrop Daily Enterprise - The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday intensified its warnings about kratom, saying new research provides strong evidence that the unregulated botanical substance has “opioid properties” and is associated with 44 deaths.

“We feel confident in calling compounds found in kratom, opioids,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. The agency’s conclusion is based on recent computational modeling and on scientific literature and reports of adverse effects in people, he said. The new data, he added, reinforced agency concerns about kratom’s “potential for abuse, addiction and serious health consequences, including death.”