Echinacea purpurea (L.) in children: safety, tolerability, compliance, clin. effectiveness in upper respiratory tract infections

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Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench was mistakenly taken from North America to Germany in 1939 where it was cultivated and various extractions were prepared and subsequently used to treat upper respiratory tract infections. Parents often administer Echinacea to their children, but safety data on the use of Echinacea in Canadian children is lacking. A screening history, physical examination, and daily record of symptoms from an initial visit through to a the follow-up visit 13 days later were used to increase patient safety. Each subject was administered an aerial part Echinacea extract. The dose was based on age (2.5 mL three times per day for children aged 2-5 years, and 5 mL two times per day for children aged 6-12 years) and administered for 10 days in an open-label trial. A rating scale was used to measure tolerance to the treatment. We assessed the safety and compliance of use of the Echinacea extract by measuring the amount of extract returned at the end of the study, having the parents complete and return a daily symptom diary, and recording the subjects' use of other natural health products or medications during the trial. Clinical effectiveness of the Echinacea extract could not be accurately assessed because of the small trial size and because the extract had been administered when some of the subjects had an upper respiratory tract infection that had begun 1 or more days prior to the study; however, each subject's symptoms improved. No allergic or adverse reaction occurred and no safety issues arose. PMID: 18066121
Title of abstract: 
Echinacea purpurea (L.) in children: safety, tolerability, compliance, and clinical effectiveness in upper respiratory tract infections.
Author: 
Saunders PR, Smith F, Schusky RW.
Affiliations: 
Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
Citedate: 
Sunday, December 31, 2006 - 19:00
Citation: 
Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007;85(11):1195-9.
Taxonomy: 
 

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