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Khat

What is it?

Khat is an herbal medicine that has been used for weight loss, depression, and ulcers.

Other names for Khat include: Catha edulis, Cat, Chat, Gad, Kaht, Miraa, and Tschut.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Khat you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Khat. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take Khat without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Amoxicillin (Amoxil(R)), Augmentin(R))
  • Ampicillin

Warnings:

  • Before taking Khat, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Chewing Khat has been associated with mouth cancers (1)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Call your doctor right away if you have eye problems (bilateral optic atrophy); heart problems including skipped beats, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and fast heart beats, and stroke; aggressiveness, mania, and hallucinations (seeing things that are not there) (1)
  • Loss of libido (sex drive) in men, upset stomach, constipation (difficulty having a bowel movement), sweating, headaches, and loss of appetite (hunger) (1)
  • Decreased sperm count and loss of testicular tissue in men (2)

References:

1. Fetrow C & Avila J: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999.

2. Islam MW, Tariq M, Ageel AM et al: An evaluation of the male reproductive toxicity of Cathinone. Toxicology 1990; 603:233-34.

3. Attef OA, Abdul-Azem AA & Ali HM: Effect of Khat chewing on the bioavailability of ampicillin and amoxicillin. J Antimicrob Chemother 1997; 39(4): 523-525.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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