Calls to U.S. poison control centers related to the herbal drug kratom have skyrocketed, increasing more than 50-fold in a matter of six years, a new study shows.
Back in 2011, poison centers received about one call a month regarding someone who’d taken too much kratom, a plant that is purported to produce mild opioid-like effects.
These days, nearly two calls a day are received concerning kratom exposures, researchers report in the Feb. 21 issue of the journal Clinical Toxicology.
“We’re now getting literally hundreds of cases a year versus 10 or 20,” said researcher Henry Spiller, director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. He noted that kratom reports underwent a “relatively big spike” sometime between 2015 and 2016.
The researchers identified 11 deaths associated with kratom use, including two in which kratom was used by itself and nine where kratom was used with other drugs.
Read more at drugs.com