although dozens of people swear by it, st. john’s wort is still considered an alternative therapy by many experts. a wild yellow flower regarded as a weed throughout most of the united states, st. john’s wort has been used for medical purposes in other parts of the world for thousands of years. according to several of these studies, st. john’s wort may be more effective than a placebo (sugar pill), and as effective as prescription antidepressants, in treating mild depression. the true benefits of st. john’s wort are still being explored. depending on the preparation, st. john’s wort can be taken in any of the following ways: st. john’s wort has been associated with very serious and potentially dangerous interactions with many common drugs.
taking st. john’s wort with antidepressants can cause a dangerous increase in levels of serotonin, a hormone that affects mood. always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking st. john’s wort or any other herbal product. st. john’s wort should not be used in place of standard antidepressants. we do not endorse non-cleveland clinic products or services. policy cleveland clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. we do not endorse non-cleveland clinic products or services.
eight studies were identified, found to be of generally good methodological quality, and determined to provide a modest amount of data to suggest that st john’s wort is more effective than placebo in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. there has been concern that hypericum extract might act as a monoamine oxidase (mao) inhibitor and so should be subject to the same restrictions on diet and drug combinations that this class of drugs requires. the 2 most common methodological weaknesses found among these 8 trials were failure to perform an intention-to-treat analysis10-12,14,15 and failure to test the statistical significance of the differences in responder rates between active and placebo groups.10-12,14,15 of 4 trials testing hypericum extract against placebo (table 1), all found a significantly greater improvement in hamd scores in patients taking hypericum extract.
in the 4 trials comparing hypericum with a tca, patients taking low doses of tcas were 78% to 33% more likely to experience adverse effects than patients taking hypericum. there are few data on the safety of hypericum extract in overdose, although in one trial, healthy subjects were given single doses up to 3600 mg with no reported adverse effects.31 the long-term safety of hypericum, or its use in pregnant women, has not been studied. it is surprising that there have been no studies of hypericum extract in the united states. given the low cost of hypericum extract, it may have a role in the treatment of patients with mild depression who cannot afford standard antidepressants or who cannot tolerate standard antidepressants due to adverse effects.
john’s wort with certain antidepressants can lead to a potentially life-threatening increase of serotonin, a brain chemical targeted by antidepressants. antidepressants. taking st. john’s wort with antidepressants might increase the risk of the accumulation of high levels of serotonin in your body. john’s wort may help treat mild depression, and the benefit seems similar to that of antidepressants. but two large studies, one sponsored by, .
studies show that st. john’s wort can be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression u2014 and has fewer side effects. additionally, some evidence supports its use for the treatment of pms, wound healing and symptoms of menopause. most studies show that st. john’s wort may help treat mild-to-moderate depression, and has fewer side effects than most other prescription antidepressants. the first step in treating serotonin syndrome is stopping all medications and nutritional supplements (including st. john’s wort). due to the the researchers examined 66 previously published studies (with a total of 15,161 participants) and found that both antidepressant medications, .
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