Pregnancy Use

Not recommended for use in pregnancy.

PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING

• Kava kava is a scientifically proven treatment for the symptoms of anxiety and stress states. Its anxiety-reducing effects are similar to those of 1 5 mg oxazepam or 9 mg bromazepam, yet physical tolerance and reduced vigilance have not been observed.

• It also reduces symptoms of anxiety related to menopause when used together with HRT, and reduces withdrawal symptoms associated with benzodiazepine discontinuation.

• It has anxiolytic, sedative, antispasmodic, analgesic and local anaesthetic activity.

• Although the herb is considered to have a low incidence of adverse effects, long-term use should be carefully supervised because of the possibility of developing adverse reactions.

ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What will this herb do for me?

Kava kava is an effective herbal relaxant that reduces symptoms of anxiety and restlessness. It is also used to relieve anxiety in menopause, insomnia and symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal. When will it start to work?

Anxiety-relieving effects are usually seen within the first few weeks of use. Are there any safety issues?

Taking high doses long term has been associated with a number of side-effects and should be avoided.

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