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St. John’s Wort

  • Dean Filandrinos
  • Thomas R. Yentsch
  • Katie L. Meyers
Chapter
Part of the Forensic Science and Medicine book series (FSM)

Abstract

St. John’s wort has demonstrated clinical efficacy for mild to moderate depression and compares favorably to other more potent or toxic antidepressants. Low side effects and potential benefits warrant its use as a first-line agent for select patients with mild to moderate depression or anxiety-related conditions. Benefits related to other reported uses such as an antimicrobial, agent to treat neuropathic pain, antiinflammatory, treatment alternative for atopic dermatitis, and antioxidant are either not well documented or evidence is encouraging but not conclusive and further study is needed. St. John’s wort has an inherently wide margin of safety when taken by itself, with most reported adverse drug reactions (ADRs) being related to skin reactions. Isolated, but more significant ADRs have been reported in relation to neurological effects, impact on thyroid function, and increased prothrombin time. Of greatest concern is the potential for interactions between St. John’s wort and mainstream pharmaceuticals through induction of cytochrome P450. Patients on concomitant treatment with drugs metabolized through this pathway should be monitored closely for altered drug effect.

Key Words

Hypericum perforatum hypericin hyperforin antidepressant anxiolytic P450 enzyme induction 

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© Humana Press Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dean Filandrinos
  • Thomas R. Yentsch
  • Katie L. Meyers

There are no affiliations available

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