Medicine/Healing

FDA’s kratom ban would harm the public and damage the agency’s credibility

If the FDA secures a global kratom ban, countless people could die by suicide and unintentional overdose… why does the FDA vilify [whole botanical] kratom when so many stakeholders identify deficiencies in its arguments? Could it be that drug companies are commercializing synthetic versions of kratom and banning the plant would protect their interests? Companies with a financial stake in Schedule I substances have benefitted from their prohibition. When drug makers gain DEA and FDA permission to commercialize drugs that are otherwise illegal, prohibition shields them from potential competition. It strengthens government-granted monopolies provided by patents and marketing exclusivity…

…a causal link between [whole botanical] kratom and death has not been established. In 2019, the CDC analyzed 27,338 overdose deaths that occurred over an 18-month period. Kratom was detected in 152 (less than 1%) of these deaths, but in most of those cases tests also revealed the presence of drugs known to cause overdoses. Only seven tested positive for kratom alone, and the researchers concluded that “the presence of additional substances cannot be ruled out.” …through a phenomenon called biased agonism, the mu-opioid receptor causes different intracellular effects when it binds different molecules, allowing opioids and the mitragynines to have different physical effects. Specifically, opioids activate an intracellular signaling protein called beta-arrestin, while the mitragynines do not. This distinction is important because beta-arrestin activity is linked to dangerous side effects of opioids, including slowed, shallow breathing that cannot sustain life. The FDA’s analysis lacks this level of detail.

Original Article (Stat News):
FDA’s kratom ban would harm the public and damage the agency’s credibility
Artwork Fair Use: Thehealingeast

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