Kava: A Comprehensive Review of Efficacy, Safety, and Psychopharmacology

@article{Sarris2011KavaAC,
  title={Kava: A Comprehensive Review of Efficacy, Safety, and Psychopharmacology},
  author={J. Sarris and E. Laporte and I. Schweitzer},
  journal={Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry},
  year={2011},
  volume={45},
  pages={27 - 35}
}
Overview: Kava (Piper methysticum) is a South Pacific psychotropic plant medicine that has anxiolytic activity. This effect is achieved from modulation of GABA activity via alteration of lipid membrane structure and sodium channel function, monoamine oxidase B inhibition, and noradrenaline and dopamine re-uptake inhibition. Kava is available over the counter in jurisdictions such as the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Due to this, a review of efficacy, safety and clinical recommendations is… Expand
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References

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The Neurobehavioural Effects of Kava
TLDR
The context in which kava is used is considered, together with its underlying psychopharmacological mechanisms, to investigate the neurobehavioural effects associated with kava use to gain an understanding of its immediate neuropsychiatric effects and long-term cognitive effects. Expand
A Systematic Review of the Safety of Kava Extract in the Treatment of Anxiety
TLDR
When taken as a short-term monotherapy at recommended doses, kava extracts appear to be well tolerated by most users, and a possible interaction with benzodiazepines has been reported. Expand
Kava extract for treating anxiety.
TLDR
The data imply that kava extract is superior to placebo and relatively safe as a symptomatic treatment for anxiety, and warrant further and more rigorous investigations into the efficacy and safety of kava Extract. Expand
Kava-kava and anxiety: growing knowledge about the efficacy and safety.
TLDR
Although kava-kava has been found to be very effective, well tolerated, and non-addictive at therapeutic dosages, potential side effects can occur when very high doses are taken for extended periods and unexpected high liver toxicity has been reported in two patients. Expand
The Kava Anxiety Depression Spectrum Study (KADSS): A randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial using an aqueous extract of Piper methysticum
TLDR
The aqueous Kava preparation produced significant anxiolytic and antidepressant activity and raised no safety concerns at the dose and duration studied, and appears equally effective in cases where anxiety is accompanied by depression. Expand
Kava kava: examining new reports of toxicity.
Before 1998, extracts of kava kava, Piper methysticum, were considered to be very safe alternatives to anxiolytic drugs and to possibly exert a wide range of other benefits. Major reviews publishedExpand
The Kava Anxiety Depression Spectrum Study (KADSS): a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial using an aqueous extract of Piper methysticum
TLDR
The aqueous Kava preparation produced significant anxiolytic and antidepressant activity and raised no safety concerns at the dose and duration studied, and appears equally effective in cases where anxiety is accompanied by depression. Expand
Therapeutic Potential of Kava in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
TLDR
Clinical studies have shown that kava and kavalactones are effective in the treatment of anxiety at subclinical and clinical levels, anxiety associated with menopause and anxiety due to various medical conditions, and kava should be used with caution. Expand
The controvertible role of kava (Piper methysticum G. Foster) an anxiolytic herb, on toxic hepatitis
TLDR
The incidence of kava toxicity on the liver remains to be investigated; however, some concerns before or during kava use are important, due to the possibility of severe liver dysfunction. Expand
A placebo-controlled study of Kava kava in generalized anxiety disorder
TLDR
Although kava was not superior to placebo, it would be premature to rule it out as efficacious in GAD, and both treatments were well tolerated. Expand
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