World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


TGA recalls over counter medicines containing kava

TGA recalls over the counter medicines containing kava

Australia's medicines safety Regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), has initiated a voluntary recall of all complementary medicines containing the herb kava, Ms Trish Worth, Parliamentary Secretary to the Commonwealth Minister for Health and Ageing, announced today.

Ms Worth said the TGA had taken the action following the death of a woman recently in Australia who used a medicine containing kava. Further overseas adverse reaction reports have confirmed concerns about kava in concentrated tablet and capsule forms.

"However, to date, traditionally prepared forms of kava used as a social and ceremonial drink by some Pacific Islander and Aboriginal communities have apparently not been associated with the serious form of liver damage described in the reports of concentrated kava used in medicines.

"We understand that the woman had been taking several complementary medicines. One product she was taking contained kava (Piper methysticum) in combination with two other herbs. She had been taking this product for only four months before she presented with liver failure and the product is suspected to be the most likely cause of her illness.

"There have also been deaths overseas associated with liver failure after the use of medications containing kava. Therefore, the TGA, in consultation with the complementary medicines industry has, as a precaution, initiated a voluntary recall of products containing kava commencing today," she said.

"It is important that such products being promoted as medicines to consumers are safe.

"The voluntary recall means that sponsors and retailers have been asked to remove all products containing kava from the market place immediately. Consumers are urged to check the complementary medicines they have at home to see if they contain kava. If they do, people should not take the product and dispose of it safely.

"In addition, the TGA has given the industry notice that, following the voluntary recall it will undertake a further evaluation of the use of kava to decide if any additional regulatory action needs to be taken."

Ms Worth said she issued a warning to consumers in March this year about the use of over the counter medicines containing kava following international reports linking use of this substance to liver damage.

At that time the TGA had advised that, while there had not been any reports of liver damage related to kava use in Australia, and there was some controversy overseas about its role, consumers taking kava as well as healthcare professionals should look out for any possible early signs of such problems and to seek medical advice if they experienced any unexplained symptoms.

The TGA has 87 products containing kava on its Register that are able to be sold, although not all of these products would necessarily be available on the market.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...

Sudan: 15 Attacks On Health Facilities And Workers In Two Months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday... More>>

Kazakhstan: Bachelet Urges Peaceful Resolution Of Grievances
Amid alarming reports of deadly violence in Kazakhstan, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday urged all, including security forces, protesters and others, to refrain from violence and to seek a peaceful resolution of grievances... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>

Afghanistan: Economy In ‘Freefall’, Threatening To Take Entire Population With It

Afghanistan’s economy is in “free fall”, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told a special meeting on Sunday, warning that if decisive and compassionate action is not taken immediately, it may “pull the entire population with it”... More>>

  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC