Warning against ephedrine, kava kava products issued

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Washington, August 24 : Health Canada has warned that two unapproved natural health products - Life Choice Ephedrine HCL and Life Choice Kava Kava - may cause serious adverse effects.

The department says that Life Choice Ephedrine HCL contains an excessive amount of ephedrine, and may cause potentially fatal reactions when used alone or with other stimulants for weight loss, bodybuilding or increased energy.

Officials at Health Canada insist that this product has been found to be contaminated with bacteria that may cause serious and irreversible adverse health effects, including death.

They also say that the department has had a stop sale order in effect since August, 2002, for kava products because they can trigger serious liver problems.

According to them, kava use has also been associated with an itchy, scaly skin condition known as kava dermopathy, as well as muscle weakness and co-ordination problems.

The department says that those with compromised liver function because of disease, age, or drug or alcohol abuse may be at particular risk of liver toxicity if they use kava.

Health Canada is trying to prevent the two products from entering the Canadian market.

The department suggests that people using either of the products stop immediately, and consult their health-care practitioner if they are concerned about their health.

ANI

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