St Johns Wort receives pharmacists' attention
interactions of St Johns Wort with prescribed medicines has been
published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain this
A new information sheet for pharmacists entitled, 'Herb-medicines interactions: St John's Wort(Hypericum perforatum)' has been published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain this month.
The information sheet was prompted by several recent reports in the national and health media of interactions between St John's Wort and many prescribed medicines, said the society. Most products containing St John's Wort for oral use do not have a marketing authorisation and are supplied as herbal remedies exempt from licensing under the Medicines Act, it claimed.
It added that evidence from controlled clinical trials suggests that St John's Wort extracts are effective in treating mild to moderate depression but that it is not considered appropriate for the treatment of major depression.
The information sheet was commissioned by the Science Committee of the Society and waswritten by Dr Jo Barnes from the School of Pharmacy, University of London, withassistance from members of the Working Group on Complementary Medicine.
Nicola Gray, chair of the Society's Science Committee, said: "As well as highlightingmedicines known to interact with St John's Wort, this information sheet is also a usefulinformation source for advising patients who may be planning to take St John's Wort. Thishighlights yet again how pharmacists, as scientists in the high street, can increase patientsafety by offering professional advice that reflects the public's interest in both conventional andalternative remedies."
The information sheet is also available on the society's website : www.rpsgb.org.uk