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Kava Preparation Introduction and questions

Discussion in 'New Members Forum' started by Alfred, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. Alfred

    Alfred Member

    Hey all. I've been reading through the forum and you all seem like genuinely great people. So new to kava and had a few questions about interactions and or use while on SSRI'S and also tapering off klonopin for the next 4 weeks. (Was only on it 8 weeks at .5mg twice a day) So my doc prescribed celexa low dose of 10mg per day to help with the taper and my history of panic and anxiety disorder. I've never been on an SSRI so its completely new to me but from what I've read it seems safe. I've been on benzos in the past and hate them because they are so addicting. In the past I used alcohol to self medicate but have not touched a drink in 13 years and have no desire to go back to that demon. So my question is has anyone had any adverse effects from drinking kava while on antidepressants and or anti anxiety meds? Is it advisable to avoid kava altogether. I purchased some KWK Vanuatu borongu root and the label said not to use if on anti-anxiety etc ..but sometimes I think manufacturers place warnings just to cover all the bases. Has anyone used kava while on any type of these drugs? Thanks in advance!

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  2. Kapmcrunk

    Kapmcrunk The Kaptain of Crunk KavaForums Founder

    Hello! Welcome aboard :)

    The warnings against mixing with prescriptions is advised due to the possible interaction during the drugs breakdown stage in your body. Kava has an ability, similar to grapefruit juice, to inhibit certain enzymes that break down certain drugs. It's not universal, and many drugs do not use the same enzymes, but it can cause a situation that would play out with the drug you're taking sticking around in your system for an extended time. In short, kava can affect the half-life of some drugs in your system. Do you have the generic name of this SSRI? We could look up if there are interactions.

    Edit: I see celexa. Sorry about that! Reading too fast obviously.


    Kava's interaction with benzos would most likely be limited to excessive sedation and daytime drowsiness. Stacking sedatives can make you a zombie at best. I'd say a rule of thumb is that if you feel the benzo's, you're going to have a sleepy sleepy time mixing it with kava. If you're on a maintenance dose, I highly doubt the interaction would be intense or even noticeable. This is completely up to you, though. I encourage each individual to be as informed as possible. We've been around since 2014 and haven't had many people at all report negative interactions with SSRIs, but each person is different.

    Congrats with the 13 years off of alcohol! Kava is shaping up to be a really great weapon in a users's arsenal against alcohol addiction. There's something about kava that makes alcohol almost unappealing.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  3. fait

    fait Position 5 Hard Support

    I'm not even an alcoholic and I haven't wanted to drink alcohol has much when I've had kava as a regular habit. I enjoy a good beer or a good wine every once and a while, but these days, I feel no pressure to drink it. So it's not just an alcoholic thing!
    Alfred likes this.
  4. Alfred

    Alfred Member

    Kapmcrunk thanks so much for your reply! The generic name of the SSRI is citalopram.

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  5. Alfred

    Alfred Member

    And also yes I am on a maintenance dose of the klonopin and in the midst of a 4 week taper. (.5mg twice a day then week four .5 once a day.) I don't really feel anything from them as far a drowsiness I just feel like I am maintaining if that makes sense. I went through a vicious alcohol and xanax addiction 13 years ago and the WD from xanax was horrible and lasted a few months. Thanks again!

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  6. Kapmcrunk

    Kapmcrunk The Kaptain of Crunk KavaForums Founder

    Gotcha. Apparently I was reading too fast and missed "celexa" doh! Here we go. This comes from wellrx.com

    "Advise patients that are therapeutically stable on citalopram not to alter their consumption of grapefruit juice. Patients who are newly started on citalopram should not consume grapefruit juice. The inhibition of CYP3A4 via grapefruit juice may lead to elevated serum concentrations of citalopram, but the clinical significance of this interaction is not known."

    In other words, celexa happens to be one of those drugs. What this means is that I would suggest against drinking kava concurrently with it on a regular basis. Edit: A non-regular basis would probably do absolutely nothing, but drinking kava daily can be additive to the inhibition of the enzyme.

    Kava blocks the enzyme by 42%
    https://www.researchgate.net/public...0_Activities_by_Kava_Extract_and_Kavalactones

    whereas grapefruit does by 62%
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1873672/

    Anyone more knowledgeable than I, please feel free to chime in and correct me.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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  7. Alfred

    Alfred Member

    Got it! Thanks so much. I was not planning on daily kava consumption but just on those occasional times at night when I need to unwind. This forum is great. Thanks again

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    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  8. Alfred

    Alfred Member

    Good articles and thanks for posting! I did a search on this forum about the subject and it seems several members have drank kava while on SSRI's at varying doses with little side effects. According to some it may increase the potency of the SSRI but usually negligible. If one feels jittery just stop the kava and like you said do not drink kava daily or excessive etc... I prepared a small amount of the KWK Borongu last night using the traditional method straining and kneading etc. I used 3 tablespoons with about 12 oz of water. Felt a very mild calming effect and clarity. I just started the celexa so I will be mindful of that as well in terms of how often I drink. All and all a pleasant experience. Thanks again to all on this forum!

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  9. Alfred

    Alfred Member

    Thought I would post an update after talking to my PCP about kava and any interactions with celexa and other SSRI'S. She said there is a potential reaction where kava could cause higher levels of celexa in my body but was not concerned as I am on a low dose but added to be careful and pay attention to signs of agitation, irritability, confusion, vomiting, diarrhea and sweating . I am assuming these would be symptoms of serotonin syndrome? So similar to what the articles that kapmcrunk posted (thanks again) well thankfully I have not experienced any of those and the kava has been helping with anxiety while also tapering off friggin klonopin (ugh hate benzos!) That being said I use kava about three times a week maybe 2 servings 8oz per session with no side effects. Thanks again everyone. I don't think that's excessive, thoughts? Thanks again everyone.

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  10. I met with a therapist the other night and he didn’t feel the need to discuss it with me. I meet my PCP Monday night and I will be having the exact same conversation that you had. I’m on Lexapro. I’ll update after
    Alfred likes this.