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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Antidepressants

Question: st. johns wort as anti-depressant

 mscrystallia - Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:35 pm

I have dysthymia and I'm not sure how long I've had it, but I had started taking medication earlier last year. I started out with bupropian but then changed to Wellbutrin XL 100mg. In about August I stopped taking the medication to see if I could deal with my problem. It's been about 5 months now and it's definately taking an effect on me. The syptoms are starting to come back.

So, I've decided to start my medication up again. The thing is, right now I don't have health care so I was looking into herbal remedies. St. John's wort sounds nice, but I'm worried about its effect on my birth control. I've been using the Nuvaring since June or July of last year and haven't had any problems with it.

So my questions is, is it safe to take st. john's wort with my birth control. I don't want my birth control to become less effective in preventing pregnancy.

 mscrystallia - Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:41 pm

also, i'm an 18 year old female. And have probably been affected with dysthymia before i was 12. I remember that sometime around the age of 12, I attempted to hang myself. And also in the 3rd grade (I was about 9) I had really low self-esteem.

regarding my family history, my mother and my (17 yr old) brother both have been diagnosed with bipolar, but I'm pretty sure theres a lot more people in my family that have had some form of depression.
 Dr. K. Eisele - Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:17 am

User avatar Ms Crystallia:

St. John's Wort is known to be an effective antidepressant that is similar to fluoxetine, or Prozac. The problem with herbal remedies, in the US, is that they are not regulated by anyone. No matter what the label says, you do not know that each capsule contains the actual active ingredient or that it has the same amount as all the other capsules in the bottle. You don't know anything about what contaminants there may be, because there is no particular labeling requirement.

To answer your question about oral contraception, St. John's Wort may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills.

I understand the problem of having no health insurance. Medicines are expensive. However, there are many good antidepressants available as generic drugs. For example, paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa), and buproprion (Wellbutrin) are all available in generic form, which means they are much less expensive.

Good luck to you! Please come back and let us know how you're doing.

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