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Efficacy of kava extract for treating anxiety: systematic review and meta-analysis.
J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2000 Feb; 20(1):84-9.JC

Abstract

Synthetic anxiolytic drugs are effective for treating anxiety, but they are burdened with adverse effects. Constraints on resources and time often render therapies such as psychologic interventions impracticable. Thus, an effective oral medication with few adverse effects would be a welcome addition to the therapeutic repertoire. This systematic review and meta-analysis was aimed at assessing the evidence for or against the efficacy of kava extract as a symptomatic treatment for anxiety. Systematic literature searches were performed in the computerized databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, BIOSIS, AMED, CISCOM, and the Cochrane Library (all from their respective inception to June 1998). The search terms used were kava, kawa, kavain, Piper methysticum, and Rauschpfeffer (German term for Piper methysticum). Experts on the subject were contacted to provide further information. There were no restrictions regarding the language of publication. Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials of oral kava extract for the treatment of anxiety were included. All publications were blinded before assessment by a person not involved in the study. Data were extracted in a standardized, predefined fashion independently by the two reviewers. The methodologic quality of all trials was assessed. Superiority of kava extract over placebo was suggested by all seven reviewed trials. The meta-analysis of three trials suggests a significant difference in the reduction of the total score on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety in favor of kava extract (weighted mean difference, 9.69; 95% confidence interval, 3.54-15.83). These data imply that kava extract is superior to placebo as a symptomatic treatment for anxiety. Therefore, kava extract is an herbal treatment option for anxiety that is worthy of consideration.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Complementary Medicine, School of Postgraduate Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, United Kingdom. M.H.Pittler@exeter.ac.ukNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Systematic Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

10653213

Citation

Pittler, M H., and E Ernst. "Efficacy of Kava Extract for Treating Anxiety: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis." Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, vol. 20, no. 1, 2000, pp. 84-9.
Pittler MH, Ernst E. Efficacy of kava extract for treating anxiety: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2000;20(1):84-9.
Pittler, M. H., & Ernst, E. (2000). Efficacy of kava extract for treating anxiety: systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 20(1), 84-9.
Pittler MH, Ernst E. Efficacy of Kava Extract for Treating Anxiety: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2000;20(1):84-9. PubMed PMID: 10653213.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Efficacy of kava extract for treating anxiety: systematic review and meta-analysis. AU - Pittler,M H, AU - Ernst,E, PY - 2000/2/1/pubmed PY - 2000/3/18/medline PY - 2000/2/1/entrez SP - 84 EP - 9 JF - Journal of clinical psychopharmacology JO - J Clin Psychopharmacol VL - 20 IS - 1 N2 - Synthetic anxiolytic drugs are effective for treating anxiety, but they are burdened with adverse effects. Constraints on resources and time often render therapies such as psychologic interventions impracticable. Thus, an effective oral medication with few adverse effects would be a welcome addition to the therapeutic repertoire. This systematic review and meta-analysis was aimed at assessing the evidence for or against the efficacy of kava extract as a symptomatic treatment for anxiety. Systematic literature searches were performed in the computerized databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, BIOSIS, AMED, CISCOM, and the Cochrane Library (all from their respective inception to June 1998). The search terms used were kava, kawa, kavain, Piper methysticum, and Rauschpfeffer (German term for Piper methysticum). Experts on the subject were contacted to provide further information. There were no restrictions regarding the language of publication. Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials of oral kava extract for the treatment of anxiety were included. All publications were blinded before assessment by a person not involved in the study. Data were extracted in a standardized, predefined fashion independently by the two reviewers. The methodologic quality of all trials was assessed. Superiority of kava extract over placebo was suggested by all seven reviewed trials. The meta-analysis of three trials suggests a significant difference in the reduction of the total score on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety in favor of kava extract (weighted mean difference, 9.69; 95% confidence interval, 3.54-15.83). These data imply that kava extract is superior to placebo as a symptomatic treatment for anxiety. Therefore, kava extract is an herbal treatment option for anxiety that is worthy of consideration. SN - 0271-0749 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/10653213/Efficacy_of_kava_extract_for_treating_anxiety:_systematic_review_and_meta_analysis_ L2 - http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00004714-200002000-00014 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -