Herbal remedy kratom linked to seizures, addiction and deaths

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Image: AFP

The herbal remedy kratom, often touted as an alternative treatment for opioid withdrawal or chronic pain, is in for more bad publicity. This week, scientists published yet more research showing that the plant is linked to reported dangerous side effects like seizures and deaths. Some people also appear to go through withdrawal when off kratom, much like conventional opioids.

The researchers looked at data from the National Poison Data System, which tallies up calls made to the 55 poison control centers in the U.S. They found that just over 2,300 people had called a center worried that their or someone else’s recent kratom use caused illness.

Parts of the government have lobbied for kratom to be classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, which would block the plant from being legally used by anyone.

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But so far, the agency responsible for such a move, the Drug Enforcement Agency, has not made a final decision.

“Kratom may have a role in treating pain and opioid use disorder, but more research is needed on its safety and efficacy. Our results suggest it should not be available as an herbal supplement,” said lead author William Eggleston.

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Read full, original post: Kratom Linked to Serious Side Effects and Deaths in New Study

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