How does Khat work?
Khat contains stimulants similar to amphetamines.
Are there safety concerns?
Khat is possibly unsafe for use. Although it isn't associated with physical addiction, it can cause psychological dependence. It can cause many side effects including mood changes, increased alertness, excessive talkativeness, hyperactivity, excitement, aggressiveness, anxiety, elevated blood pressure, manic behavior, paranoia, and psychoses. Trouble sleeping (insomnia), loss of energy (malaise), and lack of concentration usually follow. Other effects include rapid heart rate, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, faster breathing rates, increased body temperature, sweating, eye changes, mouth ulcers, inflammation of the esophagus and stomach, gum disease, jaw problems (TMJ), and constipation. Regular use in young people is linked to high blood pressure. Severe side effects include migraine, bleeding in the brain, heart attack, lung problems, liver damage, changes in sex drive, and inability to get an erection (impotence). Chewing khat leaves has lead to infections that can cause problems such as pain below the ribs, changes in white blood cells, and an enlarged liver.
Do not use khat if:
- You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- You have diabetes.
Dosing considerations for Khat.
The appropriate dose of khat depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for khat. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.