FDA Adds to Kratom Safety Concerns Linking Multistate Salmonella Outbreak

The CDC's announcement comes two weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released detailed information about 36 people who died after taking kratom and declared that the product likely contains opioids. The outbreak has affected individuals in multiple states, according to the CDC, which says it is recommending that people abstain from kratom use until further notice.

It said 11 people were sick enough to have been hospitalized.

The federal agency had received confirmation of 28 people across 20 states with infections from Salmonella I 4, [5], 12:b:- as of February 16, according to the outbreak notice posted today.

Kratom has been the focus of a storm of controversy.

The substance has also been blamed for the deaths of at least 36 people, according to warnings issued the Food and Drug Administration in November.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is looking at a strong restriction on the sales of kratom, which is now traded freely on the internet and in some stores. 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.

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In previous statements, Gottlieb said the FDA needs to weigh all available evidence and ask whether the use of kratom could increase the opioid epidemic, yet he also acknowledged that if the proponents are right, kratom could be used as an alternate tool to treat the addiction.

"Kratom is not an opiate".

Three people have been sickened in California, where the kratom is legal (except in San Diego, which passed a city ordinance against the substance).

Due to the Salmonella bacteria that causes the foodborne illness salmonellosis, those infected develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. The CDC says it is not clear how it could have gotten into supplies of kratom.

"In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the months before they became ill". Most of the people sickened have reported consuming kratom in pills, powder or tea, according to the CDC, which didn't name any specific brands or suppliers.

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