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Kava KavaNatural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using kava, also known as kava kava (Piper methysticum). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.
Note: Kava kava is sometimes called cava cava.
Warning 1 - Contraindications: Endogenous depression, pregnancy and lactation. There is a concern that kava may affect the uterus and some of the chemicals in kave pass into breast milk.
Warning 2 - Liver problems: Taking kava with some medications that are changed or metabolized by the liver may increase the effects, side effects, and the length of time these medications remain in your system. Some of the drugs that are changed or metabolized by the liver include:
Warning 3 - Sedative medications (CNS depressants): Because kava can cause drowsiness, taking it with CNS depressants may cause too much drowsiness. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use. Examples of sedative medications include:
Warning 5 - Activity: Kava is known to affect the ability to safely operate machinery. "Driving-under-the-influence" citations have been issued to people found driving erratically after drinking large amounts of kava tea.
Warning 6 - Surgery: Since kava affects the central nervous system it may increase the effects of anesthesia and other medications used during or after surgery. Experts recommend discontinuing use at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Warning 7 - Antipsychotics: Using kava with these drugs may result in neuroleptic disorder.
Warning 8 - Barbiturates: When used with barbiturates Kava increases sedation.
Warning 9 - Antiparkinson medications: Kava increases the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Warning 10 - Benzodiazepines: Kava increases sedation and may result in coma. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.
Warning 11 - Drug/herb interactions: Kava interacts with certain types of drugs, including, but not limited to, anticonvulsants, alcohol, and anti-anxiety medications. Consult with your doctor if you are using these types of drugs before using kava.
Used as a natural health remedy: kava is used externally for skin diseases including leprosy, to promote wound healing, and as a painkiller. It is also used as a mouthwash for toothaches and canker sores.
Used as a natural health remedy: kava is used internally for the following benefits:
Side Effects of kavaThe known side effects of using kava include:
As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.Return to the Herb List.
For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum
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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright © 2011 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on kava and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.