Hypericum for depression. An update of the
Stevinson C, Ernst E.
Department of Complementary Medicine, School of Postgraduate
Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, UK.
This review is aimed at providing an updated evaluation of the
clinical evidence regarding Hypericum perforatum (St. John's
wort) as an antidepressant, based on recently published
randomised controlled trials. Computerised literature searches
revealed six trials published since the metaanalysis by Linde
et al. (1996) [Linde, K., Ramirez, G., Mulrow, C.D., Pauls,
A., Weidenhammer, W., Melchart, D., 1996. St. John's wort for
depression--an overview and meta-analysis of randomised
clinical trials. Br. Med. J. 313, 253-258]. The results of
these studies provide further evidence that hypericum is
superior to placebo in treating mild or moderate depression.
However, there is still insufficient evidence to assess the
efficacy of hypericum in comparison with conventional,
particularly modern, antidepressants. Furthermore, there
remains a lack of trials assessing long-term effects, other
types of depression and different preparations and doses. It
is concluded that recent clinical trials strengthen the case
for hypericum as an antidepressant, but more work needs to be
done to answer the remaining questions.
PMID: 10625118 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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