Skip to content

    Stress Management Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Kava - Topic Overview

    Is kava safe? continued...

    In the United States, the FDA advises people who have liver disease or liver problems, or people who are taking medicines that can affect the liver, to consult a doctor or pharmacist before using products that contain kava. People who use a dietary supplement that contains kava and experience signs of illness should consult a doctor. Symptoms of serious liver disease include brown urine as well as yellowing of the skin or of the whites of the eyes. Other symptoms of liver disease may include nausea, vomiting, light-colored stools, unusual tiredness, weakness, stomach or abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.

    The FDA does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medicine. A dietary supplement can be sold with limited or no research on how well it works.

    Always tell your doctor if you are using a dietary supplement or if you are thinking about combining a dietary supplement with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on a dietary supplement. This is especially important for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

    When using dietary supplements, keep in mind the following:

    • Like conventional medicines, dietary supplements may cause side effects, trigger allergic reactions, or interact with prescription and nonprescription medicines or other supplements you might be taking. A side effect or interaction with another medicine or supplement may make other health conditions worse.
    • The way dietary supplements are manufactured may not be standardized. Because of this, how well they work or any side effects they cause may differ among brands or even within different lots of the same brand. The form of supplement that you buy in health food or grocery stores may not be the same as the form used in research.
    • Other than for vitamins and minerals, the long-term effects of most dietary supplements are not known.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: /2, 14 1
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1 | 2
    1 | 2
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Hands breaking pencil in frustration
    Quiz
    stethoscope and dollars
    Article
     
    Woman with stressed, fatigue
    Article
    fatigued woman
    Article
     
    hand gripping green rubber ball
    Article
    family counseling
    Video
     
    stress at work
    Article
    frayed rope
    Quiz
     

    WebMD Special Sections