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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Can Kava Kava Be Used With SSRI's? A Look Into The Research. (Kava Kava Interactions List Explored)

"Dear Area-1255, do you believe Kava root's can be safely consumed with SSRI's? Can I smoke Kava Kava when beginning a course of anti-depressant medication?"


I recommend not smoking anything upon beginning a new medication, although most research [1] [2] seems to suggest that Kava Kava is a safe remedy for Anxiety and the uplifting of mood, smoking it is not the best method of administration [3]. Most people find that using a sublingual paste like TE's Kava Kava paste works best, it's also good to remember that you should add in new components to your supplement and / or medication regimen all at once. 

Adding too much at once can distort the benefits of each substance alone.

Also, I don't particularly recommend SSRI's for any condition, including Depression and Anxiety. They have awful side-effects, and most of them, can end up leading to anhedonia (lack of pleasure) and in some cases, severe and lasting sexual and emotional impairment {see}.

If you so choose to continue with the SSRI, be aware of the possible side-effects (nausea, diarrhea, digestive issues, high cortisol levels, Prolactin elevation, cognitive dysfunction and apathy/anhedonia) [4] [5].

As far as Kava Kava, the extract can be safely used on it's own, if after several weeks the SSRI does not improve the condition, you should talk to a Doctor about either switching the medication or changing the dose, Kava Kava should not be used with SSRI's.

If you choose to use Kava Kava products with SSRI's, you should not add it in until after you have been on the medication for at least 2 months. In order to assess how Kava will affect you while on the medication. Additionally, Kava Kava can sometimes cause liver enzyme elevation [6], and in people with weakened livers or in whom have a history of drug abuse, or poor liver function, should not use Kava [7].

It is unclear exactly how Kava may interact with anti-depressants, but it absolutely can not be combined with Benzodiazepines and other GABAergic medications [8]. It should also not be used with mood stabilizers, such as Valproate & Litihum. [9].

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