Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

St. John's Wort May Help Depression in Children. (More Rigorous Study Needed)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

St. John's Wort May Help Depression in Children. (More Rigorous Study Needed)

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO--Even though two recently published studies have raised doubts regarding the efficacy of St. John's wort in adults with depression (JAMA 287[14]:1807-14, 2002; 285[15]: 1978-86, 2001), the substance appears to be safe and effective in treating children and adolescents with the disorder, results from an open-label pilot study suggest.

But during a poster session at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Dr. Robert Findling Was quick to point out that larger and more rigorously controlled trials are needed to definitively ascertain the safety and effectiveness of St. John's wort for this population of patients.

"Even though this wasn't a cognitive-behavioral therapy study, the cognitions got better in kids who took St. John's wort, and even though it wasn't a family therapy study, family interactions also improved," remarked Dr. Findling, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University Hospitals of Cleveland. "The big caveat is, it's not a double-blind, placebocontrolled study"

In the study, 29 children and adolescents aged 6-16 years who met DSM-IV criteria for major depression and scored 40 or greater on the Children's Depression Rating Scale--Revised took St. …

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