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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2010 Nov;20(11):747-65. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2010.07.005. Epub 2010 Aug 14.

Efficacy and tolerability of Hypericum extract for the treatment of mild to moderate depression.

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  • 1Department of General Psychiatry, Medical University of Wien, MUV, Austria.


Depression is a common condition in the community with a significant impact on affected individuals, their relatives and society. Many patients with depression do not seek treatment and are often concerned about the possible adverse effects of antidepressant drugs. Extract of Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) has long been recognized as a treatment for depression. Several published trials and meta-analyses have demonstrated the efficacy and tolerability of Hypericum extract for mild to moderate depression. Recent comparative trials of Hypericum extract and other antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), provide support for Hypericum extract efficacy. However, since the constituents of Hypericum extract differ between the individual manufacturers, the efficacy cannot be extrapolated from one extract to another. In this review, WS 5572, LI 160, WS 5570 and ZE 117 Hypericum extracts have been shown to be significantly more effective than placebo with at least similar efficacy and better tolerability compared to standard antidepressant drugs.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

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