In this Article
- What other names is Khat known by?
- What is Khat?
- How does Khat work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Khat.
Khat 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 led to infections that can cause problems such as pain below the ribs, changes in white blood cells, and an enlarged liver.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to take khat by mouth if you are pregnant. Khat may lower birth weight. It is also POSSIBLY UNSAFE to take khat by mouth if you are breast-feeding. Some of the active chemicals it contains can pass into breast-milk.
Diabetes: Using khat seems to lower appetite, causing people to skip meals. When eating becomes less routine, people with diabetes may stop following their recommended diet. This could lead to higher blood sugar levels.
High blood pressure: Khat might increase blood pressure. This might be especially unsafe in people who already have high blood pressure. Avoid use.
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.
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