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kava and reversible MAOI's


Kava Curious
I have been trying to obtain any info on this that I can, very varied info, first, kava has maoi activity, very light however, but I am curious if someone were consuming small amounts of reversible maoi in the morning, specifically micro amounts of harmala's, than brewed up some kava later that evening, would there be any sort of negative reaction? Ive heard if full mao inhibition is reached, than kava is allways thrown on the list of absolute no no's, but no one seems to have more of an explanation or really know for sure. since kava acts somewhat differently on the cns than other classic similar acting chemicles, I think its just thrown on the list as a just in case safety precaution, yet I somehow doubt that it would interact that negatively. does ANYONE have any input at all on there thoughts of having maoi in your system while drinking kava?

Prince Philip

Duke of Edinborogu
If you're taking any medication that may interact negatively with kava, please consider telling your doctor or pharmacist that they need to explore other options, because kava is in your blood and in your soul.


Kava Curious
A long time ago, I was prescribed a classic irreversible MAOI, Parnate. I have also been a mental health worker, certified to dispense medications, so I had to know about MAOIs. The hazards of interactions with such medications is much more serious than naturally occurring substances with reversible MAOI activity.  They seem to get mixed up quite a bit, though, especially in warnings against tyramine containing aged foods and beverages. Also, many people don't recognize there are two different monoamine oxidase- A and B.  The old MAOI inhibitors inhibit both (nonspecific), The newer MAOI Moclebimide selectively inhibits MAO-B and is much safer.  Harmala only inhibits MAO-A, it is a reversible inhibitor of monoamine oxidase A (RIMA)
I find it hard to believe there would be any interaction. I would be a lot more cautious if in addition someone was also taking an SSRI or other such medication. 
As you said however, kava is "thrown on the list" and people still give warnings and suggest caution. After all, there's no downside to being overcautious.