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[Hypericum extract for treatment of depression: what's new?].
The use of Hypericum as an herbal medicine was first described in the time of Hippocrates and Hypericum has been used as an antidepressant since the 1500s. In the last 20 years, the use of Hypericum for treating depression has entered the arena of conventional medicine. In Germany, for example, Hypericum is prescribed four times as often as Prozac for depression. Many articles have been published on the efficacy and safety of Hypericum in treating mild to moderate depression, including a meta-analysis that was published in 2005 in the British Journal of Psychiatry. This meta-analysis summarized the results of 37 studies, that were conducted on 5,000 subjects, comparing Hypericum to placebo and other antidepressants. The authors of the meta-analysis concluded that Hypericum products are effective in the treatment of mild to moderate depression with fewer side effects compared to traditional antidepressants. In cases of severe depression, insufficient evidence was found of Hypericum's efficacy. The current review provides details of the results of the clinical trials on Hypericum that were published in 2005-2006, and presents information on the novel mechanism of action of Hypericum. The safety and possible drug interactions of Hypericum are also reviewed.
Abarbanel Mental Health Center. firstname.lastname@example.org
MeSHClinical Trials as Topic
Pub Type(s)English Abstract