Friday, November 30, 2018

Beware of the Effects of Kratom

The dangers of kratom have been making headlines for several years, but the concern over the plant remains the same. In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warnings about kratom and since then has identified at least 44 deaths related to its use.  Kratom is a tropical leaf, native to Southeast Asia containing active alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, that when consumed, can cause stimulant and sedative effects. Most importantly, it can lead to psychotic symptoms and psychological addiction. 

The FDA has also provided warnings that some kratom products have been contaminated with salmonella; these products have been since recalled. The newest development on kratom containing products is that they have now been linked to heavy-metal poisoning. Heavy-metals can cause many severe health conditions, some of which include heart disease and stroke, harm to the reproductive system, and damage brain function and development.

How is Kratom Abused?
Even though Kratom is not approved for human consumption by the FDA, it is still being ingested in pill form, as a tea, or chewed in its original leaf form.  According to the FDA, low doses of kratom can produce stimulant like effects.  Users have reported increased alertness, physical energy, and talkativeness. In higher doses, users have experienced the opposite, sedative effects. Regardless of how it is used, it is considered to be potentially addictive.
Several cases of psychosis resulting from ingestion of kratom have been reported where individuals displayed symptoms such as hallucinations, delusion, and confusion. If you or someone you know has ingested kratom, please do not hesitate to contact a poison center at 1-800-222-1222.

Kratom’s side effects may include:
·         Nausea
·         Itching
·         Sweating
·         Dry mouth
·         Constipation
·         Increased urination
·         Loss of appetite
·         Seizures

According to the FDA, there is currently NO legitimate medical use for kratom in the United States. Additionally, the DEA has listed kratom as a Drug and Chemical of Concern. Poison Control Centers in the United States have seen an increase in calls regarding kratom. Since 2010, poison centers have seen a tenfold increase in cases.

If you or someone you know has a potentially poisoning or question about a poisoning, please do not hesitate to contact the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.