Nov 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday raised concerns about kratom, saying there is no reliable evidence to support its use to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms, citing reports of 36 deaths associated with the use of kratom-containing products.
Kratom is a naturally growing plant in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and is being marketed as a "safe" treatment option for certain diseases, including opioid addiction, the FDA said. (http://bit.ly/2iUGNiL)
The health regulator said kratom has similar effects to narcotics like opioids, and carries similar risks of abuse, addiction and in worst cases, death.
The FDA has exercised jurisdiction over kratom as an unapproved drug, and has also taken action against kratom-containing dietary supplements. (Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto)