FDA releases [alleged] kratom death data, undermines its own claims…

Just one of the FDA’s cases appears to involve the presence of kratom alone, though the report includes no information on the death apart from the subject’s age and ethnicity. The report shows the individual tested positive for high levels of mitragynine [which is a industrialized and processed extract of the Kratom plant, distinct from the Kratom plant in it’s raw, dried form], but as in the rest of the cases, says nothing about how the substance was determined to have contributed to his death. The FDA denied HuffPost’s request for additional information on that case.

FDA’s data* [which Dr. Gottlieb stated on Medscape, “Based on the data we now have, we feel confident in calling these compounds opioids.”] could have severe implications for the future of kratom. The latest press release comes as the agency appears to be leading a push to ban the substance under federal law … Based on the FDA’s recent public actions … it appears to favor outright prohibition, a move that would cut off millions of Americans ― many of whom have struggled with opioids or other prescription drugs ― from their preferred method of treatment. Some drug policy experts and a handful of congressional lawmakers have said the damage caused by forcing people away from kratom, and possibly back onto other prescription or illicit drugs, would far outweigh the current harms. Furthermore, if kratom were to be banned, many individuals would simply continue buying and using it illegally. If feds are worried about controlling kratom now, driving it onto the black market will only make that harder.

*Andrew Kruegel, a Columbia University chemist, has authored a number of studies on the pharmacology of kratom. On Tuesday, he questioned Gottlieb’s conclusion that the substance is simply an “opioid,” a conclusion the commissioner based off the FDA’s use of computational modeling on the chemical structures of kratom’s compounds. “They don’t have to do this to claim that kratom is an opioid, because it is,” said Kruegel. “But the question is whether it’s an atypical opioid, which is my preferred terminology. Does it have a better side-effect profile than the classical opioid drugs like morphine that we use every day? That’s the key question here.” Kruegel added that the FDA’s analysis was “an order of magnitude less rigorous than” many of the studies that had already been conducted on kratom. He said the FDA’s claim was akin to “saying that all opioid agonists have the same effect, which is not true based on what we’ve learned about these compounds.” (Opioid agonists provide pain relief by binding to opioid receptors.)

Original Article (Huffington Post):
FDA releases [alleged] kratom death data, undermines its own claims…
Artwork Fair Use: Redbubble

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