St. John's wort for depression:
a meta-analysis of well-defined clinical trials

by
Kim HL, Streltzer J, Goebert D
Department of Psychiatry,
University of Hawaii,
John A. Burns School of Medicine,
Honolulu 96813, USA.
J Nerv Ment Dis 1999 Sep; 187(9):532-8


ABSTRACT

Studies concluding that St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is an effective antidepressant can be challenged due to questionable methodology. We attempt to correct this by a meta-analysis utilizing only well-defined clinical trials. Controlled, double-blind studies using strictly defined depression criteria were analyzed by the rate of change of depression and by the number of "treatment responders." Rates of side effects and dropouts were also analyzed. Hypericum was 1.5 times more likely to result in an antidepressant response than placebo and was equivalent to tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). The meta-analysis also showed that there was a higher dropout rate in the TCA group and that the TCAs were nearly twice as likely to cause side effects, including those more severe than hypericum. Hypericum perforatum was more effective than placebo and similar in effectiveness to low-dose TCAs in the short-term treatment of mild to moderately severe depression. However, design problems in existing studies prevent definitively concluding that St. John's wort is an effective antidepressant.


TCAs
Hyperforin
Natural drugs
St John's wort
Hypericin : structure
St John's wort and OCD
St John's wort and mania
St John's wort and stress
St John's wort and adenosine
St John's wort for depression
"Prozac from the plant kingdom"
St John's wort and depressed animals
St John's wort and elderly depressives
Hypericum/St John's wort (Kira, Alterra)
St John's wort as an antidepressant: mechanisms
St John's wort reduces cortisol and corticosterone



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