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.
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.