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Kava and dopamine antagonism

Kava and dopamine antagonism

  1. Jasim
    Kava is a drink widely used for its calming
    and tranquilising properties by the native
    population in the islands of the south
    Pacific.' The beverage is prepared from the
    roots of the kava plant (Piper methysticum);
    Besides its widespread social use it is also a
    ceremonial drink, and heads of state have
    been reported to drink kava during welcome
    ceremonies in Fiji.' Pharmacological preparations
    of kava are marketed in various
    European countries as mild anxiolytics (for
    example, Laitan or Kavasporal in Germany,
    Potter's antigian tablets in the United
    Kingdom, Viocava in Switzerland, Mosaro
    in Austria), and 547 000 units of preparations
    containing kava were sold in Germany
    during 1993. The basis of kava's action has
    been attributed to a group of a-pyrones
    (dihydrokawain, kawain, dihydromethysticin,
    methysticin, dihydroyangonin, yangonin)
    present in the root extract of the kava
    plant,2 but little is known about the pharmacology
    of these various compounds.
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