What is the correct dosage?
· 3 capsules / day (300mg each)
· Smaller people – 2 capsules
· Teens – 1 or 2
· Children – not more than one
When should I take it?
· This depends on you. It is recommended that you take it an hour before bed, a full dose in the morning can make you feel fatigued during the day.
· You may want to supplement your regimen with vitamins, for e.g. Vitamin B12, or a normal Vitamin B complex.
Side Effects of St John’s Wort
You may experience one of all of the following:
· Sensitivity to light, beware of too long exposure to the sun
· Fatigue - take full dosage before bedtime
- get some fresh air, regular exercise, eat healthily
- try taking Ginkgo Biloba (up to 120mg per day) in the morning. Ginkgo Biloba is a herb which may boost energy levels and in some cases improve concentration. It also has anti-depressive attributes of its own.
· Stomach Upset
· Weight loss/weight gain
· SJW has no impact on your weight. It may be that a lift in mood may result in some eating more or less.
· Hypertension, racy heart, chest pains
· This is very unlikely, but if you do experience these symptoms, stop taking the medication and consult your doctor immediately.
What are the long term effects?
There are no known long term side effects. However, for moderate depression, perhaps 2-3 years should be sufficient.
Can SJW be used in cases where you currently “just feel” depressed?
SJW, like any other anti-depressant is prescribed for purposes of depression as it is diagnosed by a doctor. It is generally not taken simply because you feel depressed for the moment.
What foods should I avoid?
It is now believed that SJW does not exhibit MAOI properties. MAOI is an older group of antidepressants which react severely to certain foods such as red wine, aged cheeses, sausage etc.
· If you are pregnant, don’t take SJW. With regard to breast-feeding, there is little know in relation to SJW. If possible, try to avoid breast-feeding while on SJW.
· If you are taking any heart medication, consult your doctor before taking SJW.
· If you are currently taking multiple antidepressants (besides SSRI based ones, such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Serone, etc), consult your doctor before stopping them all and taking SJW,.
If you are currently on prescription medication and it is working well for you, rather not switch.
If you’re experiencing intolerable side effects or would like to switch for some or other reason:
· Never abruptly stop your current medication – this could cause the onset of depression. If you decide to switch, rather slowly wean off one and go onto the other.
· Consult your doctor.
· Perhaps try reducing the dosage of both at the same time. The decision lies with you. If you decide to do so, do it over a few weeks so that your body can readjust.