Enhanced efficacy and reduced side effects of diazepam by kava combination

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© 2013. The long term use of antiepileptic drugs possesses many unwanted effects; thus, new safe combinations are urgently mandated. Hence, the present study aimed to investigate the anticonvulsant effect of kava alone or in combination with a synthetic anticonvulsant drug, diazepam (DZ). To this end, female Wistar rats were divided into two subsets, each comprising 6 groups as follows: group (i) received 1% Tween 80 p.o. and served as control, while groups (ii) and (iii) received kava at two dose levels (100 and 200. mg/kg, p.o.). The remaining three groups received (iv) DZ alone (10. mg/kg p.o.) or kava in combination with DZ (v) (5. mg/kg, p.o.) or (vi) (10. mg/kg, p.o.). Results of the present study revealed that kava increased the maximal electroshock seizure threshold (MEST) and enhanced the anticonvulsant effect of diazepam following both acute and chronic treatment. Moreover, neither kava nor its combination with DZ impaired motor co-ordination either acutely or chronically. Furthermore, kava ameliorated both the reduction in locomotor activity as well as changes in liver function tests induced by chronic administration of DZ. Moreover, no elevation was shown in the creatinine concentration vs. control group following chronic administration of kava or DZ either alone or in combination with kava. In conclusion, the present study suggests the possibility of combining a low dose DZ with kava to reduce harmful effects and might be recommended for clinical use in patients chronically treated with this synthetic anticonvulsant drug.

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