Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

St. John's Wort Does Not Appear Effective For Treating ADHD In Children And Teens

Date:
June 10, 2008
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Children and teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder who were treated with the herb St. John's wort did not have any greater improvement in ADHD symptoms compared to those who received placebo.

Children and teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who were treated with the herb St. John's wort did not have any greater improvement in ADHD symptoms compared to those who received placebo.

ADHD affects 3 to 12 percent of children in the United States. Up to 30 percent of these children do not respond to pharmaceutical medications or have adverse effects such as nausea, insomnia, or weight loss from the medications, according to background information in the article. "For these reasons, many parents seek complementary or alternative medicine for their children with ADHD. Complementary or alternative medicine treatments used for pediatric ADHD include massage, dietary changes, dietary supplements, and herbal treatments. In the United States, the most common herbal treatments used by children with ADHD are St John's wort, Echinacea species, and Ginkgo biloba," the authors write.

Wendy Weber, N.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., of Bastyr University, Kenmore, Wash., and colleagues conducted a clinical trial of St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) with 54 children and adolescents with ADHD, age 6 to 17 years, to determine whether this agent was effective in lessening the severity of ADHD symptoms. Twenty-seven participants were randomly assigned to receive 300 mg of H perforatum standardized to 0.3 percent hypericin (a compound derived from H perforatum) and 27 participants received a matched placebo, three times daily for eight weeks. Other medications for ADHD were not allowed during the trial.

The researchers found that there were no significant differences between the two groups in the change in ADHD rating scale scores from the start of the trial to week 8 and in change in scores rating inattentiveness and hyperactivity. There was also no difference in the proportion of participants who were rated as much or very much improved regarding ADHD symptoms on another measurement scale. No statistically significant difference was found between the two groups in the proportion of participants who experienced 1 or more rash, nausea/vomiting, headache, or sunburn during the trial.

"To our knowledge, this is the first placebo-controlled trial of H perforatum in children and adolescents. The results of this study suggest that administration of H perforatum has no additional benefit beyond that of placebo for treating symptoms of child and adolescent ADHD," the authors write.

Editorial: Quality of Efficacy Research in Complementary and Alternative Therapies

In an accompanying editorial, Eugenia Chan, M.D., M.P.H., of Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, writes that conducting randomized controlled trials of complementary and alternative therapies can pose challenges.

"... randomizing participants may be difficult or impossible when the therapy to be evaluated relies on participants' belief in the treatment or relationship with the practitioner. Use of placebo and blinding may be difficult in therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, psychotherapy, or surgery, although techniques such as placebo needles that do not actually enter the skin have been developed. Even when a plausible placebo can be used, placebo and expectation effects can be very large in both complementary and alternative medicine and conventional interventions and may be part of the mechanism of treatment efficacy."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wendy Weber; Ann Vander Stoep; Rachelle L. McCarty; Noel S. Weiss; Joseph Biederman; Jon McClellan. Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort) for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA, 2008;299(22):2633-2641

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "St. John's Wort Does Not Appear Effective For Treating ADHD In Children And Teens." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080610161250.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2008, June 10). St. John's Wort Does Not Appear Effective For Treating ADHD In Children And Teens. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080610161250.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "St. John's Wort Does Not Appear Effective For Treating ADHD In Children And Teens." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080610161250.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins