The woman had used oxycodone for almost a decade but told her doctors that she had been sober for two…
The woman had used oxycodone for almost a decade but told her doctors that she had been sober for two years. She never touched drugs during her pregnancy, she said and had completed rehab.
But her newborn son was in retirement: Jittery, screaming and requiring an infusion of morphine to keep alive. The infant needed drugs, but why?
In an opioid epidemic, the doctor’s doctors did not blame heroin, fentanyl or other illegal substances. Instead, they said that the child had become addicted to a controversial herbal supplement: kratom.
A false sense of security
According to a report published on Wednesday in the journal Pediatrics, the abovementioned woman and her infants passed urine screen monitors that looked specifically for oxycodone and other opioids. But these tests did not search for kratom, a legal drug that has opioid-like effects at high doses.
The plant, which is native to Southeast Asia, is usually used to treat pain and cure opioid needs. Regarding the same brain receptors as morphine and similar drugs, it is acclaimed by some as a solution to opioid epidemic, but was emptied by the United States food and drug administration as a potentially dangerous psychoactive drug.
The mother refused to use any substance during her pregnancy ̵
1; legal or otherwise – but her husband told a doctor that she drank cratomte daily to treat her withdrawal symptoms and help with sleep.
“I’m afraid that women who make genuine commitments to overcome their addiction can develop a false sense of security by using a substance that is advertised as a non-opioid alternative,” said Dr. Whitney Eldridge, a neonatologist for BayCare Health System in Florida, which was the leading author of the case report.
The mother could have been benevolent, but as tests did not show any other drugs in her or the infant, her doctor said that kratom probably caused the condition of the son, known clinically as neonatal withdrawal syndrome. On his eighth day, after he had turned away from opioids and observed without any medication, the boy was released to his parents.
It’s rare, but the FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement that “this case is not unique.” He said the FDA “is aware of four other cases where newborns are exposed to kratom in utero who experienced neonatal opioid depression syndrome after delivery.”
Gottlieb, whose authority has issued a series of warnings on kratom, called the new report “a tragic case of injury” and said it “further illustrates the concerns the FDA has identified about kratom, including the possibility of addiction and addiction.”
And although Eldridge hopes more research will help legislators to better regulate kratom, she believes that doctors today “need to consult women who are pregnant about the risk of kratom, like having any other legal substance that may get sick effects on their newborns. “
[1 9459004] Experts Call For Warning, Doubt
Some experts are doubtful to draw any conclusions from the report. They note that, although maternal crate use can theoretically cause neonatal withdrawal syndrome, the case did not explicitly cite the infant’s withdrawal symptoms.
“I’m not surprised that this is possible,” says Dr. Andrew Kruegel, an associate researcher at Columbia University, “because kratom really has opioid effects and can induce tolerance among users, especially at higher doses.”
But Kruegel, who has studied the plant for seven years, noted that doctors could not test the alleged kratom himself. “The main limitation is that we do not know anything about the dose the mother took,” he said. “Without that information, you can not extrapolate too much.”
And the mother could not have kratom at all, said Dr. Edward W. Boyer, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and a physician at the Department of Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“It’s the man who reported the crash abuse,” he said. “The wife who actually took the product, who thought it was kratom and the authors of the case herself, did not actually verify that she was taking kratom.”
Kratom’s Stone Past and Uncertain Future
Despite the FDA’s warnings, kratom is easy to buy and sometimes sold as tea in cafes. The United States Crater Association’s nonprofit organization estimates that 3 million to 5 million Americans use the subject, and the group says it is open to warning labels on crate products.
“We think that, as in many supplements, should be a warning that pregnant women should not take this,” said Dave Herman, chairman of the association. “It’s not because we think it’s harmful. That’s because it’s a security measure. “
Kratom acts on opioid receptors, as the FDA says is evidence of its potential for abuse. The agency points to 44 deaths associated with kratom, but Kruegel said that” if you look at the 44 deaths, most of the other subjects include , including other strong opioids. “
Boyer said that kratom may have other risks, such as seizures, but he noted that it can be safer than most opioids because” it does not appear to be breathing depression when kratom is used alone. “
Respiratory depression – slow and ineffective breathing – does what makes opioidoses so deadly. Therefore, Boyer believes that well-regulated kratom can be used one day in the fight against opioid dependence and direct users away from more dangerous drugs.
” If you do right do the rigorous studies, so there is no reason why [kratom] should not be prescription drug that serves as a bridge for formal drug treatment, especially for people s if unable to get into therapy, says Boyer.
Challenges for Developing Crate-Based Drugs ]
The American Craters Association says that it is a small incentive for pharmaceutical companies to study Kratom as a potentially prescription drug, especially because they can not patent the rich plant.
“If I’m a drug company, I think it costs somewhere, depending on who you speak, between $ 1.2 and 1.8 billion to get a new drug on the market,” Herman said. “Who would spend it type money when another guy can only get on a boat, ride down a river and catch a tree? “
Because kratom is considered a dietary supplement, manufacturers do not need FDA approval to sell it as long as their products do not claims to cure or treat specific conditions or symptoms.
But some companies have just done it and threw the FDA’s ears to say that their products can “relieve opioid withdrawal” or “treat a myriad of diseases.” “The union says these cases are anomalies.
” The reality is, our belief is, this is America, “said Herman.” And if a product is useful for your health and well-being, you should be entitled to take it, as long as it does not hurt you. And we have not seen any evidence of the damage. “
However, the FDA continues to warn against kratom, which indicates that it can exacerbate the opioid epidemic.
” Kratom has never been studied in humans. “Gottlieb said in the statement.” What consumers and caregivers need to understand is that there are no proven medical uses for kratom. Instead, as the FDA has warned, kratom can cause serious damage and contribute to the opioid crisis. “