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News From the Food and Drug Administration
August 7, 2018

Kratom Investigation Concludes

JAMA. 2018;320(5):431. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.10791

The FDA’s recently concluded investigation of an extensive salmonella outbreak linked with kratom-containing products showed that 52% of the samples tested were contaminated, a rate that FDA officials called “stunningly high.”

Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia that has leaves containing mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine, which interact with opioid receptors in the brain to produce sedation, feelings of pleasure, and pain relief. The compounds also can produce stimulant effects as well as nausea, seizures, and hallucinations. Kratom usually is consumed as pill or capsule; some people chew the leaves or brew them as tea.