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St. John’s wort vs. Paxil

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals' St. John's wort extract WS 5570 is "at least as effective as" GlaxoSmithKline's antidepressant Paxil (paroxetine) "over six weeks of acute treatment in out-patients with moderate or severe unipolar major depression," a Schwabe-funded study finds. The results "support the use of [St. John's wort] as an alternative to standard antidepressants in moderate to severe depression, especially as well-tolerated," A. Szegedi, Charite Universitatsmedizin, Berlin, et al., report in the Feb. 11 British Medical Journal. The study's 251 participants, who ranged in age from 18-70, were randomized to either 900 mg/day WS 5570 or 20 mg paroxetine once daily for six weeks. Response to treatment was measured by change in score on the Hamilton scale from baseline to day 42. The lead author has received consultancy fees from the firm, and two other study authors are employees of Schwabe...

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