Efficacy and tolerability of Hypericum extract for the treatment of mild to moderate depression

Siegfried Kasper, Filippo Caraci, Bruno Forti, Filippo Drago, Eugenio Aguglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Depression is a common condition in the community with a significant impact on affected individuals, their relatives and society. Many patients with depression do not seek treatment and are often concerned about the possible adverse effects of antidepressant drugs. Extract of Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) has long been recognized as a treatment for depression. Several published trials and meta-analyses have demonstrated the efficacy and tolerability of Hypericum extract for mild to moderate depression. Recent comparative trials of Hypericum extract and other antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), provide support for Hypericum extract efficacy. However, since the constituents of Hypericum extract differ between the individual manufacturers, the efficacy cannot be extrapolated from one extract to another. In this review, WS 5572, LI 160, WS 5570 and ZE 117 Hypericum extracts have been shown to be significantly more effective than placebo with at least similar efficacy and better tolerability compared to standard antidepressant drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-765
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • Depression
  • Efficacy
  • Hypericum
  • Review
  • St. John's wort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Pharmacology


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