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Kava hepatic toxicity. (Clinical Capsules).

Kava-containing dietary supplements have been linked to 10 cases of liver failure requiring transplantation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Eight weeks after starting use of the supplement, a previously healthy 45-year-old U.S. woman had nausen and weakness. She took rabeprazole for 4 days after it was prescribed initially for acid reflux symptoms, and quit the supplement. Several days later, hospitalization for jaundice and hepatitis prompted a liver biopsy that identified subfulminant hepatic necrosis (MMWR 51[47]:1065-67, 2002).

A previously healthy 14-year-old U.S. girl had nausea, vomiting , decreased appetite, weight loss, and fatigue at the end of 4 months of intermittent kava use. She developed scleral icterus and acute hepatitis 1 week later. She had markedly abnormal liver-function test and active fulminant hepatitis with extensive centrilobular necrosis. Eight patients in Europe reported similar symptoms after taking kava-containing supplements for from 8 weeks to 12 months; all developed fulminant hepatic failure and later underwent liver transplantation.
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Author:Evans, Jeff
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:160
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