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St. John's wort (cont.)

Who should not take St. John's wort ()?

Before taking St. John's wort, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care professional if you have any other medical conditions, allergies (especially to plants), or if you take other medicines or other herbal/health supplements. St. John's wort may not be recommended in some situations.

Do not take St. John's wort without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. It is not known whether St. John's wort will be harmful to an unborn baby.

Do not take St. John's wort without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. It is also not known whether St. John's wort will be harmful to a nursing infant.

There is no information available regarding the use of St. John's wort by children. Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without first talking to the child's doctor.

How should I take St. John's wort ()?

The use of St. John's wort in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

If you choose to take St. John's wort, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Standardized extracts, tinctures, and solid formulations of herbal/health supplements may provide a more reliable dose of the product.

Take the pill forms of St. John's wort with a full glass of water.

Some forms of St. John's wort can be brewed to form a tea for drinking.

Use the topical forms of St. John's wort externally only.

Do not take more of this medication than is recommended. Too much medicine could be dangerous.

Do not use different formulations (e.g., tablets, topical formulations, teas, tinctures, and others) of St. John's wort at the same time, unless specifically directed to do so by a health care professional. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose of St. John's wort.

Store St. John's wort as directed on the package. In general, St. John's wort should be protected from light and moisture and stored in a sealed container.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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