Author(s): Centers for Disease Control an
Since 1999, health-care professionals in Germany, Switzerland, and the United States have reported the occurrence of severe hepatic toxicity possibly associated with the consumption of products containing kava (i.e., kava kava or Piper methysticum). A total of 11 patients who used kava products had liver failure and underwent subsequent liver transplantation. On March 25, 2002, in response to five such case reports (four in Europe and one in the United States), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a consumer advisory and subsequently completed an investigation already underway of a similar U.S. case. This report presents the investigation of the two U.S. cases of liver failure associated with kava-containing dietary supplement products and summarizes the European cases. FDA continues to advise consumers and health-care providers about the potential risk associated with the use of kava-containing products.