Do not take kava unless you are under the supervision of a qualified health care provider, especially if you are being treated for any disease. Do not take kava with any prescription and non-prescription medications.
Kava kava may interact with the following:
Anticonvulsants -- Kava may increase the effects of medications used to treat seizures.
Alcohol -- Do not use kava and alcohol together. The risk of impairment and the risk of liver damage are greatly increased.
Anxiety agents -- Kava may increase the effects of CNS depressants such as benzodiazepines, used for sleep disturbances or anxiety (particularly alprazolam), and barbiturates (such as pentobarbital) which are used for sleep disorders and seizures.
Antipsychotic medications -- Kava may increase the risk of side effects associated with phenothiazine medications (often used for the treatment of schizophrenia), including chlorpromazine and promethazine.
Levodopa -- There has been at least one report that kava may reduce the effectiveness of levodopa, a medication used to treat Parkinson's disease. Therefore, you should not take this herb if you are taking any medications containing levodopa or if you have Parkinson's disease.
Ernest B. Hawkins, MS, BSPharm, RPh, Health Education Resources; and Steven D. Ehrlich, N.M.D., private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.