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Popular Herbal Supplement Used To Treat Depression Has Its Drawbacks

June 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have determined that St. John’s wort, a popular herbal supplement commonly used to treat mild depression, renders some medications dangerously ineffective when they are combined. Patents get a false sense of safety, the researchers, said, believing that because St. John’s wort is natural, it is safe to use. The researchers analyzed data collected in a national health survey from 1993 to 2010. They found that 28 percent of the St. John’s wort combinations with oral contraceptives, blood thinners, cancer chemotherapy and blood pressure medications were potentially harmful because therapeutic concentrations were reduced by the supplement.
Scott A. Davis et al., "Use of St. John's Wort in Potentially Dangerous Combinations", The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, June 30, 2014, © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
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