Transition from SRIs to hypericum:
The best way to make the transition to hypericum from SRIs --
Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and Effexoris is not known. Medical studies
exploring this question are sorely needed.
If hypericum acts as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor in the same way as
prescription SRIs, then it would appear that a gradual introduction of
hypericum while tapering off the prescription antidepressant would be in
One must at the same time be careful not to take too many SRIs, to avoid
the medical condition known as serotonin syndrome. Here the brain has
too much serotonin -- the opposite of what happens in depression -- and
symptoms include sweating, agitation, confusion, lethargy, tremor, and
muscle jerks. If such symptoms occur, consult your doctor immediately.
Of course, the possibility always exists that the hypericum may not
treat the depression as successfully as the prescription antidepressant.
It should not and cannot be assumed, just because one found successful
treatment with prescription antidepressants, that hypericum will prove
equally successful. A certain percentage of people will not respond to
hypericum as well as they responded to prescription antidepressants.
The Recommended Dosage of Hypericum
The optimum dosage of hypericum, based on the majority of
medical studies, is 300 mg of hypericum extract three times a day. This
300 mg dosage fits comfortably into a single tablet or capsule.
One might, for example, take the first 300 mg on arising, the second 300
mg three hours later, and the final 300 mg three hours after that. Some
find that taking two 300 mg doses at breakfast and a third at lunch
works best. For those who find hypericum is an aid to restful sleep, the
doses can be spread throughout the day, saving the final dose for dinner
As the side effects of hypericum are few even in significantly higher
doses, one can, for example, take four 250 mg capsules daily if only 250
mg capsules are available.
Small children should take a total of 300 mg of hypericum daily, while
larger children should take 600 mg per day. For adolescents, the full
adult dose is recommended.
Hypericum's effectiveness in treating depression should not be
evaluated until at least six weeks of a 900 mg daily antidepressant
dose. As with prescription antidepressants, the effect of hypericum
takes place gradually. Studies generally indicate that hypericum
takes longer to reach full effectiveness than do prescription
Hypericum tends to take longer to reach maximum effect in the body than
do prescription antidepressants. This may indicate that a gradual
building up of hypericum over four to six weeks should precede a
significant reduction in the prescription antidepressants. One should
not be too anxious for an immediate "cure," as one might expect from
aspirin or a decongestant. The best course is to be watchful for
possible side effects, take hypericum "as directed," and make an
objective evaluation of benefits six weeks after starting.
It is important to give hypericum a chance. To decide after one or two
weeks, "This isn't working for me," and discontinue treatment is ill
Certainly if side effects occur, you should consult your healthcare
provider. Often, the side effects of hypericum -- especially milder side
effects disappear on their own as the body becomes accustomed to the
hypericum. Sometimes a slight reduction of the dosage is called for
while the body adjusts.
If the symptoms are severe, stop taking hypericum at once and contact
your healthcare professional. All symptoms should fade entirely within a
few days after you stop. If the side effects of depression become worse
or you are having suicidal impulses, please see your doctor
After six weeks, one might decide to take slightly more or slightly less
hypericum, depending on the results. Hypericum is not a "more is better"
herb. The goal is alleviating the symptoms of depression. For most
people, this is accomplished with three 300 mg doses per day.
If a satisfactory effect is not achieved in six weeks, one should
consult with a physician and discuss taking a prescription
Besides Hypericum effectiveness in treating
various types of depression with considerable success, it is also
credited with the following:
Hypericum ingredients are thought to relieve ulcers
The herb is said to soothe the digestive system.
The herb was called on as a folk medicine for
diarrhea and nausea.
Bruises and hemorrhoids are said to respond well to
It has served as a sedative, painkiller, and
The blossoms have been added to sweek oil (a refined
olive oil used medicinally) for a soothing dressing for cuts.
Herbalists credit it with increasing and inducing a
sense of well-being.
> 1 >
2 > 3 >