The herbal supplement kratom is marketed as a treatment for a wide variety of health problems. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Federal health officials Tuesday issued a warning about kratom, a herbal product being promoted as a safe alternative to opioids for pain that is also marketed for treating addiction, anxiety and depression.
The Food and Drug Administration says there’s insufficient evidence the supplement works to treat addiction or other problems and cited growing evidence it can be dangerous. Kratom may cause seizures, liver damage and withdrawal symptoms.
“It’s very troubling to the FDA that patients believe they can use kratom to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement, adding that not only is there no reliable evidence that kratom is an effective treatment for opioid