Kratom, a plant-based herbal supplement that is being used as a pain reliever, has opioid-like qualities and can potentially be addictive, according to a new warning by the FDA.
Consumers are also using this popular supplement for anxiety and depression.
After analyzing the most common compounds in kratom, the FDA discovered that all of them share structural similarities with opioid painkillers such as morphine derivatives.
The FDA identified 44 deaths that are linked to the use of kratom, up from 36 reported in November 2017.
In a statement, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said, “Kratom should not be used to treat medical conditions, nor should it be used as an alternative to prescription opioids. There is no evidence to indicate that kratom is safe or effective for any medical use.”