St. John’s wort
Dietary supplements containing St. John’s wort—along with ephedra, or ma huang—have been marketed to consumers as an herbal substitute for the diet drug combination Fen Phen after it was recalled in September 1997. Taken together, the ingredients in these “herbal Fen Phen” supplements are claimed to help consumers who are trying to lose weight.
St. John’s wort—also known as hypericum—is a naturally occurring flowering plant that has been used to treat conditions such as nerve pain and mental disorders. More recently, St. John’s wort has been used as a treatment for sleep disorders, anxiety and depression, although studies regarding its effectiveness are inconclusive.
When used in an herbal Fen Phen supplement, St. John’s wort is supposed to decrease appetite by creating a feeling of fullness.
Studies of the antidepressant effects of St. John’s wort have found that it may cause fewer side effects than prescription antidepressants. However, the supplement may interact with other medications in a manner that can cause too much or too little of the drug to enter a patient’s bloodstream. Drugs which may interact with St. John’s wort include birth control pills, transplant medications, antidepressants, HIV drugs, cancer drugs and anticoagulants.
The law firm of Hissey Kientz is currently investigating cases involving those who may have experienced serious or fatal injuries after using herbal Fen Phen products containing St. John’s wort. If you have used herbal supplements containing St. John’s wort and suffered heart attack, stroke, primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), primary arterial hypertension (PAH) or other injures please contact us to learn more about your legal rights. You can reach us by calling toll-free at (866) 275-4454, or by filling out a free case evaluation form to the right of this page.