The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    St. John’s wort to treat IBS?

    Here’s the rationale supporting this study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota.

    St. John’s wort treats mild-to-moderate depression. Antidepressants are often used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But no one has studied the effects of St. John’s wort in patients with IBS.

    First, the details.

    • 70 patients with IBS were randomly assigned to take either St. John’s wort or placebo.
      • Assignment of treatment was balanced according to symptom subtype: constipation predominant IBS, diarrhea predominant IBS, or mixed IBS.
    • The primary end point was self-reported overall bowel symptom score at 12 weeks.
    • The patients and researchers were not aware of the treatment given — double blind.

    And, the results.

    • Both groups reported decreases in overall self-reported bowel symptoms scores, with the placebo group having significantly lower scores at 12 weeks vs St. John’s wort.
    • The placebo group also did better than the St. John’s wort-treated patients at week 12 for diarrhea and “adequate relief.”
    • Both groups believed that the drug they received decreased IBS life interferences.

    The bottom line?

    St. John’s wort is less effective than placebo for treating IBS.

    1/10/10 20:57 JR

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