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St John's wort was not better than placebo for reducing depression scores
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QUESTION: In patients with major depression (MD), is St John's wort (Hypericum extract) better than placebo for reducing depressive symptoms?

Design

Randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded {clinicians, patients, outcome assessors, and statisticians}*, placebo controlled trial with 8 weeks of follow up.

Setting

11 academic medical centres in the US.

Patients

200 physically healthy outpatients who were ≥18 years of age (mean age 42.4 y, 64% women); had MD (single episode or recurrent) without psychotic features according to DSM-IV for ≥4 weeks; and scored ≥20 on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). Exclusion criteria included current cognitive, post-traumatic stress, eating, or substance use disorders in the past 6 months; panic disorder in the past year; and bipolar, psychotic, or primary personality disorders. Patients who improved …

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