FDA scientists analyzed the chemical structures of the 25 most common compounds in kratom and concluded that all of the compounds share structural characteristics with controlled opioid analgesics, such as morphine derivatives. They also found that compounds in kratom bind strongly to mu-opioid receptors, comparable to opioid drugs.
The scientific data and adverse event reports have “clearly revealed” that compounds in kratom make it “not just a plant — it’s an opioid,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said in a statement.
“And it’s an opioid that’s associated with novel risks because of the variability in how it’s being formulated, sold, and used recreationally and by those who are seeking to self-medicate for pain or who use kratom to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms,” added Dr Gottlieb.
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