ROANOKE, Va.- – U.S. Poison Control Centers are seeing an increase in people using an herbal to ease people off their opioid addiction.
But they say the product called Kratom can cause severe adverse effects including death. Kratom comes in many forms capsules, powders and crushed leaves.
People can buy it over the counter or on the internet. The FDA said they still don't know if Kratom is effective in treating addiction anxiety and depression.
In the meantime, the Blue Ridge Poison Center in Charlottesville is joining the FDA in issuing an alert about Kratom. The center is asking people to talk with a medical professional before taking the product.
"It's an interesting substance that are still being studied. In lower doses it can have more of a stimulant effect. We've seen in our population that in larger doses it has an opioid effect. In fact, it has been used historically to keep people from going in withdrawal from opioids. So it can be from anything from agitated to being sedated, " said Dr. Christopher P. Holstege.