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Generic Name: st. john's wort

What is this medicine?

ST. JOHN'S WORT (seynt JONZ wurt) is an herbal or dietary supplement. It is promoted to help improve depressed moods. The FDA has not approved this supplement for any medical use.

This supplement may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • immune system problems
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • mental problems like anxiety, depression, mania
  • stroke
  • suicidal thoughts or history of attempted suicide
  • taken an MAOI like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, or Parnate in last 14 days
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to St. John's wort, other herbs, plants, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this herb by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the package labeling, or talk to your health care professional for advice. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this herb in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • amiodarone
  • bosentan
  • cyclosporine
  • digoxin
  • female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills
  • irinotecan
  • linezolid
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
  • medicines for blood pressure or heart disease
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for HIV infection
  • medicines for sleep during surgery
  • methylene blue
  • sirolimus
  • sunitinib
  • tacrolimus
  • theophylline
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

If you are already being treated for anxiety, depression, or other mental state use this supplement only by your doctor's direction. This supplement my interfere with your other treatments. See your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

If you are scheduled for any medical or dental procedure, tell your healthcare provider that you are taking this medicine. You may need to stop taking this supplement before the procedure.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

Herbal or dietary supplements are not regulated like medicines. Rigid quality control standards are not required for dietary supplements. The purity and strength of these products can vary. The safety and effect of this dietary supplement for a certain disease or illness is not well known. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The Food and Drug Administration suggests the following to help consumers protect themselves:
  • Always read product labels and follow directions.
  • Natural does not mean a product is safe for humans to take.
  • Look for products that include USP after the ingredient name. This means that the manufacturer followed the standards of the US Pharmacopoeia.
  • Supplements made or sold by a nationally known food or drug company are more likely to be made under tight controls. You can write to the company for more information about how the product was made.

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All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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