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Generic Name: kava

What is this medicine?

KAVA KAVA (KAH vuh KAH vuh) is an herbal or dietary supplement. It is promoted to help the body relax. The FDA has not approved this supplement for any medical use.

This herb may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • drug abuse or addiction
  • if you frequently drink alcohol containing drinks
  • liver disease
  • mental problems like anxiety, depression
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to kava kava, other herbs, plants, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the package labeling, or take as directed by your health care professional. For best results take this medicine with food. Do not take this medicine more often than directed.

Contact your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. This medicine is not recommended for use in children.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol
  • barbiturate medicines for seizures or sleep
  • leflunomide
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for sleep
  • methotrexate
  • muscle relaxants
  • narcotic pain relievers
  • riluzole
  • tacrine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

See your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse. Do not take this supplement for more than 4 weeks unless your doctor tells you to. Long term use of this supplement has not been proven to be helpful and may be harmful.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

If you are scheduled for any medical or dental procedure, tell your healthcare provider that you are taking this medicine. You may need to stop taking this medicine before the procedure.

Herbal or dietary supplements are not regulated like medicines. Rigid quality control standards are not required for dietary supplements. The purity and strength of these products can vary. The safety and effect of this dietary supplement for a certain disease or illness is not well known. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The Food and Drug Administration suggests the following to help consumers protect themselves:
  • Always read product labels and follow directions.
  • Natural does not mean a product is safe for humans to take.
  • Look for products that include USP after the ingredient name. This means that the manufacturer followed the standards of the US Pharmacopoeia.
  • Supplements made or sold by a nationally known food or drug company are more likely to be made under tight controls. You can write to the company for more information about how the product was made.

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All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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