Kratom supplements have a new side effect: Salmonella

Desiree Steele
February 22, 2018

Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is a plant in the coffee family that's native to Southeast Asia.

"At this time, CDC recommends that people not consume kratom in any form".

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control reported that the herbal supplement had also been tied to 28 cases of salmonella- a bacterial infection from contaminated food or water that typically causes diarrhea and abdominal pain lasting up to a week. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] advocated consumers not to utilize Kratom based on the agency's discovery that it contained opioid compounds.

Despite its perceived health benefits, the consumption of kratom has led to a Salmonella outbreak that has affected at least 28 people-ages 6 to 67-in 20 states in the U.S. Eleven of those people have been hospitalized.


The CDC has been unable to trace the recent salmonella outbreak to any particular brands or distributors, and has issued a broad advisory notice against the use of the supplement.

When the FDA began investigating the increase in contamination to imported spice in 2013, the agency warned that "general filth" could allow the bacteria to get into these products.

Kratom is traditionally crushed and made into team but is also chewed, smoked or taken in capsule form.

Last week, the FDA released findings showing kratom acts like an opioid and can be unsafe and addictive.


Gottlieb acknowledged that some may be using kratom to wean themselves off of more powerful opioids.

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.

The FDA said it wants all companies making similar products to take them off the market, and urged all consumers who have kratom-containing products to stop using them and throw them away. "There are three FDA-approved products that are safe and effective for the treatment of opioid use disorder and we encourage patients to seek advice from their health care professional and pursue treatment for addiction". There are now no FDA-approved therapeutic uses of kratom.


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