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Similar Adverse Effects Seen for St. John's Wort, Fluoxetine

Majority reported concern females, 26 to 50 years of age

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Adverse reactions to St. John's wort are similar to those reported for fluoxetine, according to research published in the July issue of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology.

The researchers based their findings on doctors' reports to Australia's national agency on drug safety. Between 2000 and 2013, there were 84 reports of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to St. John's wort, and 447 reports on fluoxetine.

The researchers found that the majority of spontaneously reported ADRs for both St. John's wort and fluoxetine were for females, 26 to 50 years of age. The organ systems affected were similar, with most cases affecting the central nervous system.

"It's concerning to see such severe adverse reactions in our population, when people believe they are doing something proactive for their health with little risk," lead researcher Claire Hoban, of the University of Adelaide in Australia, said in a university news release.

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