Many people now turn to St John's Wort when the winter months approach and they feel the effects of lack of exposure to daylight or when they're suffering a difficult time in life but prefer to try and tackle any related anxiety or low mood by using a natural approach.
However, in a University of Adelaide study published in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology July 2015, researchers found that side effects in some people were similar to those from fluoxetine and that the two taken together could have serious adverse effects.
Fluoxetine is an anti-depressant drug. It's an SSRI (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) which is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression. It works by ensuring there is more serotonin available, which one of our primary 'feel-good' neurotransmitters. As with any medication, it has side effects.
However, because St John Wort is a herbal remedy. It tends not to be considered in terms of possible side effects.
Now it seems that both can cause increases in body temperature and blood pressure in addition, anxiety, panic attacks, aggression, amnesia and vomiting were found to be possible side effects of St John's Wort as well as fluoxetine. Less adverse reactions to St John's Wort are reported but this may because it is natural.
Perhaps we need to now consider it in the same way we would any drug. Take advice from a healthcare practitioner who is qualified and experienced in prescribing medication.