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The use of St John's Wort in the treatment of depression

  • Ian Maidment (a1)
Extract
Aims and Method

To assess and update the data on the use of St John's Wort as an antidepressant. A Medline search was conducted for the period January 1985 to December 1999. The search included other aspects of the usage of St John's Wort, such as side-effects, mechanism of action and drug interactions.

Results

While two overviews and four clinical trials have recently been published, there is little data comparing St John's Wort against therapeutic doses of standard antidepressants.

Clinical Implications

St John's Wort is generally well tolerated, and an effective antidepressant. The current evidence indicates that it is less effective than standard antidepressants for severe depression. While some of the available data suggests equivalent efficacy as subtherapeutic doses of tricyclic antidepressants in mild to moderate depression this requires further confirmation. One recently published paper suggests that St John's Wort has equivalent efficacy to fluoxetine in mild to moderate depression. The appropriate therapeutic dose needs clarification.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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The use of St John's Wort in the treatment of depression

  • Ian Maidment (a1)
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