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July 4, 2001

St John's Wort and Major Depression

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;286(1):42-45. doi:10.1001/jama.286.1.42

To the Editor: Dr Shelton and colleagues1 conducted an 8-week intervention trial comparing St John's wort extract with placebo for the treatment of major depression. Ironically, their study was limited by the same criticisms they leveled against previous studies of St John's wort—a flawed protocol and inappropriately generalized findings. Shelton et al concluded that the herbal extract was not effective for treatment of major depression, but their trial did not include a prescription antidepressant arm to indicate whether the study was sensitive enough to detect effectiveness.

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