St. John's Wort

An option for the primary care treatment of depressive patients?


This article reviews the historical background, active ingredients of St. John's Wort and the major double-blind placebo-controlled studies. Despite the two major failed clinical trials conducted in American Research Centers, most of the data reviewed support that hypericum extracts are more effective than placebo for the treatment of mild to moderate depressive illness. The authors examine the likely reasons for the failed studies and also describe drug interactions and the side effects of St. John's Wort. Those patients who are prescribed St. John's Wort should be closely monitored.

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Correspondence to Prof.Dr. H.-J. Möller.

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Gupta, R., Möller, H. St. John's Wort. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 253, 140– 148 (2003).

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Key words

  • St. John's Wort
  • Hypericum
  • randomised double-blind controlled studies
  • depression