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KAVA Interactions

KAVA Interactions

For those considering the use of kava or kava extract, it's essential to be aware of potential interactions. Specifically, avoid mixing kava with alcohol, as this can amplify sedative effects and increase liver toxicity risk. Likewise, combining kava with sedative medications or certain herbs can lead to enhanced drowsiness. It's also crucial to be cautious with drugs that affect liver enzymes, as kava might heighten the risk of liver damage. If you're on medication like levodopa or diuretics, seek professional advice before consuming kava. As always, we recommend consulting with a healthcare expert to ensure safe and informed choices.

Kava (Piper methysticum) is a traditional beverage from the South Pacific Islands known for its sedative and anxiolytic effects. When consuming kava, or kava extract, there are certain substances and medications you should avoid combining with it due to potential adverse interactions:

1. Alcohol: Combining kava with alcohol can increase the risk of liver toxicity and can intensify the sedative effects of both substances.

2. Sedative medications (CNS depressants): Combining kava with medications that cause drowsiness or slow the central nervous system can increase the risk of severe drowsiness, respiratory depression, and other serious side effects. This includes:
- Benzodiazepines (e.g., Valium, Ativan, Xanax)
- Some antipsychotic medications
- Certain antihistamines
- Some pain relievers and sleep aids

3. Drugs affecting liver enzymes: Kava can affect the liver and combining it with medications that also impact liver function can increase the risk of liver damage. Such drugs include:
- Certain antifungals (like ketoconazole or fluconazole)
- Some antibiotics (like erythromycin)
- Certain antidepressants
- Statins (cholesterol-lowering medications)
- Acetaminophen in high doses

4. Levodopa: Used to treat Parkinson's disease, combining this with kava might reduce the efficacy of levodopa.

5. Diuretics: Kava can increase the amount of potassium in the body, so combining it with potassium-sparing diuretics might result in too much potassium, which can be harmful.

6. Other herbal supplements: Some herbal products can have sedative properties, so combining them with kava might increase drowsiness and CNS depression. This includes:
- Valerian
- St. John’s wort
- Melatonin
- Others

If you're considering taking kava or any other supplement, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you're on medication or have underlying health conditions.

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