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posted by Fnord666 on Monday February 12 2018, @05:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the scheduled-for-elimination dept.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has released a new statement denouncing the drug kratom. The statement says that the FDA has learned about new deaths that "involved" kratom use, additional adverse effects associated with its use have been found, and that Public Health Assessment via Structural Evaluation (PHASE) "3-D computer technology" has been used to analyze the chemical compounds in kratom:

Using this computational model, scientists at the FDA first analyzed the chemical structures of the 25 most prevalent compounds in kratom. From this analysis, the agency concluded that all of the compounds share the most structural similarities with controlled opioid analgesics, such as morphine derivatives.

The FDA continues to discourage the use of kratom, which it is calling an opioid.

The American Kratom Association provided a rebuttal of the FDA statement:

Nine leading scientists in substance addiction and safety wrote to White House Opioid Crisis Team Leader Kellyanne Conway and Acting DEA Administrator Robert W. Patterson requesting they disregard the FDA's latest disinformation campaign against kratom. The scientists warned that "four surveys indicate that kratom is presently serving as a lifeline away from strong, often dangerous opioids for many of the several million Americans who use kratom. A ban on kratom that would be imposed by CSA Scheduling would put them at risk of relapse to opioid use with the potential consequence of overdose death. Similar unintended consequences are to be expected in some who would be forced to use opioids to manage acute or chronic pain."

[...] David Herman, Chairman of the AKA, called upon FDA Commissioner Gottlieb to pull back the curtain on the "black box voodoo computer model" that was unveiled by the FDA to justify their continued 'War on Kratom,' this time claiming their computer model conclusively shows kratom is an opioid, and therefore had to be banned.

The nine respected scientists pointed out that "kratom provides a far more favorable safety profile for consumers compared to more dangerously addictive and potentially deadly classical opioid medications." They also pointed out that the FDA's solution – to file a new drug application for kratom – made no sense because "the average time and cost of new drug development is more than 10 years and 2.5 billion dollars."

Previously: DEA Welcomes Kratom to the Schedule I List Beginning September 30
The Calm Before the Kratom Ban
FDA Blocks More Imports of Kratom, Warns Against Use as a Treatment for Opioid Withdrawal

Related: Opioid Commission Drops the Ball, Demonizes Cannabis

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by hemocyanin on Monday February 12 2018, @08:07AM (5 children)

    by hemocyanin (186) on Monday February 12 2018, @08:07AM (#636605) Journal

    Fifteen deaths in the United States between 2014 and 2016 were potentially kratom-related.[15] Examples of other substances found in autopsies along with kratom have included: propylhexedrine; acetaminophen, morphine, and promethazine; temazepam, diphenhydramine, and dextromethorphan. (In this last case, levels of mitragynine were higher than those of other drugs, and there was pulmonary edema and other signs of opioid toxicity, and kratom was declared the possible cause of death). In an additional case, there were high levels of mitragynine and signs of opioid toxicity on autopsy. []

    15 deaths in a three year span is 5/year (assuming it was the kratom and not anything else found along with it). Sounds like the ensuing war on Kratom will be extremely useful. Particularly when compared to the dangers of sleeping in your own bed:

    Deaths in 2014 (From: [] )

    855 people died when they accidentally and unintentionally strangled themselves with their blankets while sleeping.

    In fact, unintentional falls are pretty dangerous: "Fall—In 2014, 33,018 persons died as the result of falls, 16.5% of all injury deaths (Table 18). The age-adjusted death rate for falls increased 3.4%, from 8.8 in 2013 to 9.1 in 2014. The overwhelming majority of fall-related deaths (96.8%) were unintentional."

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  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday February 12 2018, @10:13AM (1 child)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 12 2018, @10:13AM (#636619) Journal

    Quickly, ban sleeping in bed and using blankets or sheets.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @07:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @07:10PM (#636782)

      >> Quickly, ban sleeping in bed and using blankets or sheets.

      It looks like Darwin has taken care of the problem already and will continue to do so?

  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Monday February 12 2018, @10:37AM (1 child)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday February 12 2018, @10:37AM (#636625) Journal

    Wow, I thought drowning in your own bathtub, with only an inch of water present, was the most pathetic way to die. But strangling with your own bedsheets is arguably worse.

    Falls now, those are more respectable. Stairs are much more dangerous than people realize. I've slipped on stairs carpeted with medium length fiber because the nap was oriented upward and flipped downward as I stepped on it.

  • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday February 13 2018, @07:55AM

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Tuesday February 13 2018, @07:55AM (#637039) Homepage Journal

    It's an accident that they die. It's not an accident that they get strangled. It's a sex thing. Let me mention a couple of guys, very famous. Michael Hutchence from INXS. David Carradine from Kill Bill. They died having VERY SPECIAL sex. Be careful, folks. Have a medical guy -- or lady -- around when you do those special things. Not a Fake one. The medical person, if you want, can be special too. Remember -- very important -- a Fake medical person can only do Fake medical. Or just do sex the regular way. I've had so much fun and made so many beautiful children that way!