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St. John’s Wort “Significantly More Effective” Than Prozac, Study Finds

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

St. John's wort is more effective at treating major depressive disorder (MDD) than fluoxetine (Eli Lilly's Prozac), according to a study published in the October Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.

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Petition To Restrict St. John’s Wort Draws Fire From Industry

Industry trade groups argue the Pharmacists Planning Service’s petition filed Jan. 9 to move St. John’s wort products behind the counter is “not a very viable petition,” but are concerned about its potential implications. Regulatory authority to put a supplement BTC appears to be outside FDA’s powers.

Petition To Restrict St. John’s Wort Draws Fire From Industry

Industry trade groups argue the Pharmacists Planning Service’s petition filed Jan. 9 to move St. John’s wort products behind the counter is “not a very viable petition,” but are concerned about its potential implications. Regulatory authority to put a supplement BTC appears to be outside FDA’s powers.

St. John’s wort vs. Paxil

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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