GENERIC NAME: KAVA (Piper methysticum) - ORAL
WARNING: This product may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Stop taking this product and consult your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of liver injury, including persistent nausea, loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, stomach/abdominal pain, pale stools, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin. Using this product for a long time or in high doses, using certain other drugs that may harm the liver along with this product, current/previous liver problems, and drinking alcoholic beverages may increase your risk of serious liver problems. See also Drug Interactions section.
USES: Kava has been used for anxiety and stress. Germany, Switzerland, and Canada have banned products containing kava because of the risk of liver injury. The US FDA has issued a public safety alert about kava and liver problems.Some herbal/diet supplement products have been found to contain possibly harmful impurities/additives. Check with your pharmacist for more details regarding the particular brand you use.The FDA has not reviewed this product for safety or effectiveness. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Quick GuidePortion Control Tips: Lose Weight and Stick to Your Diet
HOW TO USE: Take this product by mouth as directed. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.This herbal product should not be used for more than 3 months at a time.If your condition persists or worsens, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, mouth numbness, or blurred vision may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor immediately.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: muscle spasm/stiffness/weakness, uncontrolled movements (especially of lips and tongue), loss of coordination, shakiness (tremor), easy bleeding/bruising, weight loss, red/pink urine.Taking kava continuously for a long time may cause reddened eyes, dry/scaly skin, or yellowing hair/skin/nails. These symptoms usually disappear when kava is stopped. Stop taking kava immediately if you develop any of these symptoms. Yellowing skin may also be a sign of liver problems. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop yellow eyes/skin.A very serious allergic reaction to this product is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking kava, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product: depression, past/current liver disease, Parkinson's disease.This product may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages because alcohol may worsen these effects and increase the risk of serious liver problems.Liquid forms of this product may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, or liver disease. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.Kava is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before using this product.It is unknown if this product passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.This product should not be used with the following medication because a very serious interaction may occur: alprazolam.If you are currently using the medication listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting kava.Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: drugs that can harm the liver (e.g., acetaminophen, amiodarone, carbamazepine, isoniazid, methotrexate, methyldopa, "statins" such as atorvastatin and lovastatin), "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), drugs for Parkinson's disease (e.g., levodopa, bromocriptine).Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone).Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that may make you drowsy. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, inability to move.
NOTES: Tell your doctor that you are taking kava. Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments. Your doctor may order liver function tests to check for side effects.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Refer to storage information printed on the package. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Keep all medications and herbal products away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Related Disease Conditions
Panic attacks are sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep....
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However,...
Liver disease can be cause by a variety of things including infection (hepatitis), diseases such as: gallstones, high...
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Quick GuidePortion Control Tips: Lose Weight and Stick to Your Diet
Daily Health News
Nutrition and Healthy Eating Resources
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Weight Loss/Healthy Living Newsletter
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Top kava (Piper methysticum)-oral Related Articles
Anxiolytics for Anxiety Drug Class
Anxiolytics (anti-anxiety, anti-panic) is a group of drug classes (for example, antidepressants, antihistamines, and benzodiazepines) that are prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Anxiolytics work (mechanism of action) depending upon to which drug class it belongs. Anxiety disorder drugs cause similar side effects, for example:
- Stomach upset
- Weight gain
More serious side effects of anti-anxiety drugs include:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Dry mouth
- Elevated blood pressure
- Blurred vision
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Low blood pressure when standing (orthostatic hypotension)
Some natural herbal products and supplements like St. John's wort, ginkgo biloba, valerian, lemon balm, and chamomile may be helpful in reducing anxiety. Talk with your doctor about taking herbal or other supplement products.
Anxiolytics have several drug interactions. This type of drug is not recommended during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
Liver DiseaseLiver disease can be cause by a variety of things including infection (hepatitis), diseases such as:
- high cholesterol or triglycerides,
- blood flow obstruction to the liver, and
- toxins (medications and chemicals).
- upper right abdominal pain, and
Panic DisorderPanic attacks are sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep. A person experiencing a panic attack may believe that he or she is having a heart attack or that death is imminent. The fear and terror that a person experiences during a panic attack are not in proportion to the true situation and may be unrelated to what is happening around them. Most people with panic attacks experience several of the following symptoms: racing heartbeat, faintness, dizziness, numbness or tingling in the hands and fingers, chills, chest pains, difficulty breathing, and a feeling of loss or control. There are several treatments for panic attacks.
StressStress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However, over-stress, can be harmful. There is now speculation, as well as some evidence, that points to the abnormal stress responses as being involved in causing various diseases or conditions.
Take the Stress QuizStress creeps into everyone's life at one time or another, while some people will suffer from poorly managed chronic stress. If you're suffering, there are things you can do. Take the Stress Quiz to learn what you can do to beat the long-term effects of chronic stress.