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, 22 (6), 292-7

St John's Wort: Prozac From the Plant Kingdom


St John's Wort: Prozac From the Plant Kingdom

G Di Carlo et al. Trends Pharmacol Sci.


Conventional antidepressants are associated with a range of adverse drug reactions. The herb Hypericum perforatum (St John's wort) might offer another approach to the treatment of depression. Biochemical and animal studies suggest that the phloroglucinol derivative hyperforin is the main active ingredient of St John's wort, and inhibits the synaptosomal uptake of 5-HT, noradrenaline, dopamine, glutamate and GABA. St John's wort has been shown to alleviate symptoms of mild to moderate depression, and seems to offer significant advantages over conventional antidepressants because it is associated with fewer adverse reactions. However, important herb--drug interactions have been described. In view of its efficacy and safety records, St John's wort should be considered for the first-line treatment of mild to moderate depression.

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