There are multiple interactions reported between these two agents.

Interaction Details

Ergotamine, Belladonna, Phenobarbital is classified as belonging to the following category: Cns Depressants

Combining kava with CNS depressants can have additive sedative effects.
Kava has CNS depressant effects. Concomitant use of kava with other CNS depressants can increase the risk of drowsiness and motor reflex depression. Clinical practice guidelines from a joint taskforce of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) and the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) recommend that CNS depressants, including alcohol and benzodiazepines, not be used with kava.

Interaction Rating


Likelihood of Occurrence


Interaction has not been documented in well-controlled studies, however, the interaction has been demonstrated in some small human studies or in controlled animal studies in conjunction with multiple case reports.


  • Pittler MH, Ernst E. Efficacy of kava extract for treating anxiety: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Psychopharmacol 2000;20:84-9.
  • Munte TF, Heinze HJ, Matzke M, Steitz J. Effects of oxazepam and an extract of kava roots (Piper methysticum) on event-related potentials in a word recognition task. Neuropsychobiology 1993;27:46-53.
  • Cairney S, Maruff P, Clough AR, et al. Saccade and cognitive impairment associated with kava intoxication. Hum Psychopharmacol 2003;18:525-33.
  • Sarris J, Kavanagh DJ, Byrne G, et al. The Kava Anxiety Depression Spectrum Study (KADSS): a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial using an aqueous extract of Piper methysticum. Psychopharmacology 2009;205:399-407.
  • Sarris J, Ravindran A, Yatham LN, et al. Clinician guidelines for the treatment of psychiatric disorders with nutraceuticals and phytoceuticals: The World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) and Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety T

Interaction Details

Ergotamine, Belladonna, Phenobarbital is classified as belonging to the following category: Cytochrome P450 3A4 (Cyp3A4) Substrates

It is unclear if kava inhibits CYP3AA; research is conflicting.
Although in vitro research suggests that kava inhibits CYP3A4, more robust clinical evidence shows that kava has no effect on CYP3A4. In a clinical study in healthy volunteers, taking kava 1000 mg twice daily (containing a daily dose of 138 mg kavalactones) for 28 days had no effect on CYP3A4 activity.

Interaction Rating


Likelihood of Occurrence


Interaction has been demonstrated in animal or in lab research but has been shown not to occur in humans.


  • Mathews JM, Etheridge AS, Black SR. Inhibition of human cytochrome P450 activities by kava extract and kavalactones. Drug Metab Dispos 2002;30:1153-7.
  • Unger M, Frank A. Simultaneous determination of the inhibitory potency of herbal extracts on the activity of six major cytochrome P450 enzymes using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry and automated online extraction. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 2004;1
  • Gurley BJ, Gardner SF, Hubbard MA, et al. In vivo effects of goldenseal, kava kava, black cohosh, and valerian on human cytochrome P450 1A2, 2D6, 2E1, and 3A4/5 phenotypes. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2005;77:415-26.
  • Asher GN, Corbett AH, Hawke RL. Common Herbal Dietary Supplement-Drug Interactions. Am Fam Physician. 2017;96(2):101-107.

Kava Overview

Kava Kava is a tropical plant native to the Pacific Islands. The roots of the plant contain kavalactones, which are known to have sedative and relaxing effects. Kava has traditionally been used in social and cultural settings for its relaxant effects and is available as a dietary supplement to help with symptoms of anxiety and stress. It is important to note that Kava has been linked to causing liver damage and must be used cautiously, although the results of studies in this regard are mixed. Nevertheless, kava is banned in some parts of the world (e.g., the UK).
See More Information Regarding Kava

Kava - More Interactions

Kava interacts with 1126 drugs

Interaction Rating Key

These severity listings are for informational use only. Never start, stop or otherwise change your therapy before speaking with your provider.

Major The combined use of these agents is strongly discouraged as serious side effects or other negative outcomes could occur.
Moderate Use cautiously under the care of a healthcare professional or avoid this combination. A significant interaction or negative outcome could occur.
Minor Be aware that there is a chance of an interaction. Watch for warning signs of a potential interaction.
Unknown No interactions have been reported or no interaction data is currently available.

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Parts of this content are provided by the Therapeutic Research Center, LLC.

DISCLAIMER: Currently this does not check for drug-drug interactions. This is not an all-inclusive comprehensive list of potential interactions and is for informational purposes only. Not all interactions are known or well-reported in the scientific literature, and new interactions are continually being reported. Input is needed from a qualified healthcare provider including a pharmacist before starting any therapy. Application of clinical judgment is necessary.

© 2021 Therapeutic Research Center, LLC

Drug descriptions are provided by MedlinePlus.

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