Skip to main content

Table 2 Evidence table

From: A systematic review of St. John’s wort for major depressive disorder

Study Details Participants Intervention
Behnke, 2002 [17],
Country: NR
Funding: unclear, industry author, provided SJW
Number of participants: 70
Diagnosis: clinical rating scale for depression, MDD (ICD)
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): 18–73 overall; 51.4 (10.9) SJW; 48.0 (12.6) fluoxetine, gender (% male): 29 % SJW; 34 % fluoxetine; (1 participant missing from SJW group)
Extract: Hypericum perforatum
Dosage: 150 mg (0.450–0.495 mg total hypericin), 6 weeks
Comparator: fluoxetine
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Bernhardt, 1993 [16],
Country: Germany
Funding: unclear, not reported
Number of participants: 55
Diagnosis: clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): 54.5 (11.6), gender (% male): 29 %
Extract: hypericin
Dosage: 0.25 mg extract/3 times per day (morning/noon/night), 4 weeks; Comparator: 0.25 mg extract/3 times per day (2 in the morning, 1 at noon)
Follow-up time: 4 weeks
Bjerkenstedt, 2005 [18],
Country: Sweden
Funding: no industry funding
Number of participants: 174
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): 49.1 (12.0) SJW; 50.4 (11.6) fluoxetine; 51.4 (11.8) placebo; gender (% male): SJW 20 %; fluoxetine 24 %: placebo 18 %
Extract: hypericum LI 160
Dosage: 300 mg, 3 times per day, daily, 4 weeks
Comparator: fluoxetine, placebo
Follow-up time: 4 weeks
Brenner, 2000 [19],
Country: USA
Funding: no industry funding
Number of participants: 30
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM) and clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): 45; gender (% male): 37 %
Extract: LI 160
Dosage: 600 mg per day during week 1, followed by 900 mg per day for the remainder of the trial
Comparator: sertraline
Follow-up time: 7 weeks
Fava, 2005 [20],
Country: USA
Funding: no industry funding
Number of participants: 135
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression, other diagnosis, SCID
Severity: moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): 37.3 (11.0)
Gender (% male): 43 %
Extract: LI 160
Dosage: 300 mg, 3 times a day
Comparator: fluoxetine, placebo
Follow-up time: 12 weeks
Gastpar, 2005 [21]
Country: Germany
Funding: unclear, industry author, provided SJW
Number of participants: 241
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression, MDD (ICD)
Severity: moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): 48.3 (12.7) SJW; 49.5 (13.8) sertraline
Gender (% male): SJW 21 %; sertraline 31 %
Extract: STW3
Dosage: 612 mg/day/12 weeks
Comparator: sertraline
Follow-up time: 24 weeks
Gastpar, 2006 [22],
Country: Germany
Funding: unclear, industry author, provided SJW
Number of participants: 388
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression, MDD (ICD)
Severity: moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 50.8 (12.1); citalopram 49.3 (10.7); placebo 49.4 (12.7)
Gender (% male): SJW 34 %, citalopram 35 %, placebo 27 %
Extract: STW3-VI
Dosage: 900 mg/day/6 weeks
Comparator: citalopram, placebo
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
HDTSG, 2002 [23],
Country: USA
Funding: no industry funding
Number of participants: 338
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: not reported
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 43.1 (13.5); sertraline 43.9 (13.9); placebo 40.1 (12.2)
Gender (% male): SJW 35 %; sertraline 33 %; placebo 34 %
Extract: LI 160
Dosage: 300 mg/3 times a day/8 weeks
Comparator: sertraline, placebo
Follow-up time: 8 weeks
Hangsen, 1994 [48],
Country: Germany
Funding: unclear, industry author, provided SJW
Number of participants: 108
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: not reported
Age (years, M (SD)): 53.0 (7.5) SJW; 53.5 (10.3) placebo
Gender (% male): SJW 42 %; placebo 32 %
Extract: LI 160
Dosage: 300 mg/3 times a day/6 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 5 and 6 weeks
Harrer, 1994 [24],
Country: Germany
Funding: unclear, not reported
Number of participants: 102
Diagnosis: clinical rating scale for depression, MDD (ICD)
Severity: moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 43.8 (13.4); maprotiline 47.6 (10.9)
Gender (% male): SJW 25 %; maprotiline 31 %
Extract: LI 160
Dosage: 300 mg/3 times a day/4 weeks
Comparator: maprotiline
Follow-up time: 4 weeks
Harrer, 1999 [25],
Country: NR
Funding: unclear, not reported
Number of participants: 228
Diagnosis: MDD (ICD)
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 68.4; fluoxetine 69.1
Gender (% male): 13 %
Extract: LoHyp-57
Dosage: 400 mg/two times a day/6 weeks
Comparator: fluoxetine
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Kalb, 2001 [26],
Country: Germany
Funding: industry funding
Number of participants: 72
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 48 (11); placebo 49 (10)
Gender (% male): SJW 30 %; placebo 37 %
Extract: WS 5572
Dosage: 300 mg/3 times a day/6 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Kasper, 2006 [27],
Country: Germany
Funding: unclear, industry author, provided SJW
Number of participants: 332
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 600 mg 46.3 (11.5); SJW 1200 mg 46.1 (10.7); placebo 46.9 (11.8)
Gender (% male): SJW 600 mg 44 %; SJW 1200 mg 34 %; placebo 31 %
Extract: WS 5570
Dosage: 600 or 1200 mg/day/6 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Kasper, 2008 [28],
Countries: Germany and Sweden
Funding: industry funding
Number of participants: 570
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression, MDD (ICD)
Severity: mild
Age (years, M (SD)): 47.5 (10.7); placebo 47.4 (11.8)
Gender (% male): SJW 27 %; placebo 24 %
Extract: WS 5570
Dosage: 300 mg/3 times a day/26 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 32 weeks
Laakmann, 1998 [29],
Country: Germany
Funding: unclear, industry author, provided SJW
Number of participants: 196
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW WS 5572 47.3 (11.8); SJW WS 5573 48.7 (11.8); placebo 51.0 (12.7)
Gender (% male): SJW WS 5572 18 %; SJW WS 5573 14 %; placebo 29 %
Extract: WS 5572; WS 5573
Dosage: 3 × 300 mg/day/6 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Lecrubier, 2002 [30],
Country: France
Funding: industry funding
Number of participants: 375
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 40.2 (11.7); placebo 41.2 (11.4)
Gender (% male): SJW 24 %; placebo 23 %
Extract: WS 5570
Dosage: 300 mg/3 times a day/6 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Lenoir, 1999 [31],
Countries: Switzerland and Germany
Funding: unclear, industry author, provided SJW
Number of participants: 348
Diagnosis: MDD (ICD)
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): 19–94 (range)
Gender (% male): 26 %
Extract: hypericin
Dosage: 0.17 mg, 0.33 mg, or 1 mg/day (divided into 3 doses)/6 weeks
Comparator: other doses of SJW
Liu, 2010 [32],
Country: China
Funding: no industry funding
Number of participants: 170
Diagnosis: clinical rating scale for depression, other diagnosis, ISFC and WHO criteria
Severity: not reported
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 67 (2.7); Deanxit 68 (2.8); psychotherapy 68 (3.0); placebo 67 (2.5)
Gender (% male): 50 %
Extract: NA
Dosage: 300 mg/3 times a day/12 weeks
Comparator: Deanxit 10.5 mg/daily, cognitive therapy, suggestion therapy, supportive therapy and rational emotive therapy/twice per week, placebo (oryzanol 20 mg)/3 times a day
Follow-up time: 12 weeks
Mannel, 2010 [33],
Country: Germany
Funding: industry funding
Number of participants: 201
Diagnosis: clinical rating scale for depression, MDD (ICD)
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 47.0 (13.1); placebo 46.6 (13.8)
Gender (% male): 17 %
Extract: LI 160
Dosage: 300 g/2 times a day/8 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 8 weeks
Montgomery, 2000 [34],
Country: UK
Funding: unclear, not reported
Number of participants: 248
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM)
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): NA
Gender (% male): NA
Extract: LI 160
Dosage: 300 mg/3 times a day/12 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Moreno, 2005 [35],
Country: Brazil
Funding: industry funding
Number of participants: 66
Diagnosis: clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): 40.5 (10.7)
Gender (% male): 17 %
Extract: NA
Dosage: 300 mg/3 times a day/8 weeks
Comparator: fluoxetine, placebo
Follow-up time: 8 weeks
Pakseresht, 2012 [36],
Country: Iran
Funding: no industry funding
Number of participants: 40
Diagnosis: clinical rating scale for depression, other diagnosis, diagnosed depression, method unspecified
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 29.8 (6.2); placebo 30 (16.6)
Gender (% male): SJW 50 %; placebo 45 %
Extract: NA
Dosage: 300 mcg/3 times a day/6 weeks
Comparator: nortriptyline 75–100 mg, imipramine 100–150 mg, amitriptyline 100–150 mg/daily, placebo/daily
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Philipp, 1999 [37],
Country: Germany
Funding: industry funding
Number of participants: 263
Diagnosis: clinical rating scale for depression, MDD (ICD)
Severity: not reported
Age (years, M (SD)): 47 (12)
Gender (% male): 25 %
Extract: STEI 300
Dosage: 350 mg/3 times day/8 weeks
Comparator: imipramine, placebo
Follow-up time: 8 weeks
Rahman, 2008 [38],
Country: Pakistan
Funding: industry funding
Number of participants: 225
Diagnosis: clinical rating scale for depression, MDD (ICD)
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 33.89 (10.884); placebo 36.29 (12.478)
Gender (% male): SJW 23 %; placebo 21 %
Extract: NA
Dosage: 300 mg/3 times a day/6 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Schrader, 1998 [40]
Country: Germany
Funding: unclear, industry author, provided SJW
Number of participants: 162
Diagnosis: clinical rating scale for depression, MDD (ICD)
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 47 (32–59.25, 25–75 % range); placebo 39 (30–59.25, 25–75 % range)
Gender (% male): SJW 28 %; placebo 38 %
Extract: ZE117
Dosage: 250 mg/2 times a day/6 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Schrader, 2000 [39]
Country: Germany
Funding: industry funding
Number of participants: 240
Diagnosis: clinical rating scale for depression, MDD (ICD)
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 46 (19); fluoxetine 47 (17)
Gender (% male): SJW 29 %; fluoxetine 41 %
Extract: Ze 117
Dosage: 250 mg/2 times a day/6 weeks
Comparator: fluoxetine
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Shelton, 2001 [41],
Country: USA
Funding: unrestricted grant/industry funding but no conflict
Number of participants: 200
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: Mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 41.4 (12.5); placebo 43.3 (13.7)
Gender (% male): SJW 35 %; placebo 37 %
Extract: NA
Dosage: 300 mg/a day/8 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 8 weeks
Szegedi, 2005 [42],
Country: Germany
Funding: industry funding
Number of participants: 251
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: moderate-severe
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 49.0 (11.0); Paroxetine 45.5 (11.5)
Gender (% male): SJW 30 %; paroxetine 32 %
Extract: WS 5570
Dosage: 300 mg–600 mg/3 time a day/6 weeks
Comparator: paroxetine
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Uebelhack, 2004 [43],
Country: Germany
Funding: unclear, not reported
Number of participants: 140
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression, MDD (ICD)
Severity: not reported
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 46.4 (12.5); placebo 43.3 (12.6)
Gender (% male): SJW 30 %; placebo 36 %
Extract: STW 3-VI
Dosage: 900 mg/day/6 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Volz, 2000 [50],
Country: Germany
Funding: unclear, industry author, provided SJW
Number of participants: 140
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): 47
Gender (% male): 19 %
Extract: D-0496 (hypericin)
Dosage: 250 mg/twice a day/6 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 6–8 weeks
Vorbach, 1997 [44],
Country: Germany
Funding: unclear, industry author, provided SJW
Number of participants: 209
Diagnosis: MDD (ICD)
Severity: not reported
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 48.8 (12.0); imipramine 50.1 (11.8)
Gender (% male): SJW 27 %; imipramine 25 %
Extract: LI 160
Dosage: 3 × 600 mg/day/6 weeks
Comparator: imipramine
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Wheatley, 1997 [45],
Country: UK
Funding: unclear, not reported
Number of participants: 165
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: Mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 42 (range: 20–64); Amitriptyline 38 (range: 24–65)
Gender (% male): SJW 16 %; Amitriptyline 23 %
Extract: LI 160
Dosage: 300 mg/3 times a day/6 weeks
Comparator: Amitriptyline
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Witte, 1995 [49],
Country: Germany
Funding: unclear, not reported
Number of participants: 97
Diagnosis: clinical rating scale for depression, MDD (ICD)
Severity: Not reported
Age (years, M (SD)): 44.7 (10.9) SJW; 41.6 (12.5) placebo
Gender (% male): SJW 31 %; placebo 37 %
Extract: psychotonin forte
Dosage: 100–120 mg/2 times a day/6 weeks
Comparator: placebo
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
Woelk, 2000 [46],
Country: Germany
Funding: unrestricted grant/industry funding but no conflict
Number of participants: 324
Diagnosis: clinical rating scale for depression, MDD (ICD)
Severity: mild-moderate
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 46.5 (12.7); imipramine 45.4 (12.8)
Gender (% male): SJW 29 %; imipramine 29 %
Extract: Ze 117
Dosage: 250 mg/2 times a day/6 weeks
Comparator: imipramine
Follow-up time: 6 weeks
van Gurp, 2002 [47],
Country: Canada
Funding: unrestricted grant/industry funding but no conflict
Number of participants: 90
Diagnosis: MDD (DSM), clinical rating scale for depression
Severity: not reported
Age (years, M (SD)): SJW 40.9 (11.6); sertraline 39.1 (10.2)
Gender (% male): SJW 36 %; sertraline 42 %
Extract: NR
Dosage: 1–2 300 mg/3 times a day/12 weeks
Comparator: sertraline
Follow-up time: 12 weeks
  1. NA not applicable, NR not reported