St Johns Wort and SAME

What about hypericum, otherwise known as St. John's wort? Many patients are already taking this agent when they first come to our depression clinic (I codirect both the Memory Disorders Center and the Late Life Depression Clinic at our hospital). Some people report minimal to mild improvement on St. John's wort, and others report no change whatsoever in their depression. The National Institute of Mental Health is now supporting a large-scale clinical trial to find out if St. John's wort really works. Another substance called S-adenosyl methionine (SAM-E) is also gaining popularity, but clinical studies with this substance have been very limited. More information from systematic studies is needed before I can recommend these alternative medications as treatments for depression.

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