Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Echinacea not effective in treating colds in children

03.12.2003


Echinacea is not effective in shortening the duration or decreasing the severity of upper respiratory tract infections in children, according to a study in the December 3 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).



Upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) are a significant health burden in childhood, according to background information in the article. The average child has six to eight colds each year, each lasting seven to nine days. While children are frequently given drugs such as decongestants, antihistamines, and cough suppressants to reduce symptoms, there is little evidence that these medications are effective in children younger than 12 years. The authors add that it has been estimated that 11 percent to 21 percent of children in the United States and Canada who are receiving care from conventional physicians are also using alternative therapies. Echinacea, one of the most commonly used herbal remedies in the U.S., has been used extensively for the prevention and treatment of URIs in adults.

James A. Taylor, M.D., from the University of Washington, Seattle, and colleagues, conducted a randomized controlled trial to determine the effectiveness and safety of Echinacea purpurea (a type of echinacea used for medicinal purposes) in treating URIs in children two to 11 years old. A total of 524 children were included in the study. The patients were randomized to receive either echinacea or placebo for up to three URIs over a four-month period. The echinacea or placebo was started at the onset of symptoms and continued for a maximum of ten days.


Data were analyzed on 707 URIs that occurred in 407 children, including 337 who were treated with echinacea and 370 with placebo. There were 79 children who completed the study period without getting a URI. The median (half were more; half were less) duration of the URIs was 9 days.

"There was no difference in duration between upper respiratory tract infections treated with echinacea or placebo," the authors report. "There was also no difference in the overall estimate of severity of upper respiratory tract infection symptoms between the two treatment groups (median, 33 in both groups). In addition, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups for peak severity of symptoms, number of days of peak symptoms (1.60 in the echinacea group and 1.64 in the placebo group), number of days of fever (0.81 in the echinacea group vs. 0.64 in the placebo group), or parental global assessment of severity of the upper respiratory tract infection." The authors note there was no difference in the rate of adverse events (unwanted side effects) reported in the two treatment groups. However, rashes occurred during 7.1 percent of the upper respiratory tract infections treated with echinacea and 2.7 percent of those treated with placebo.

"Given its lack of documented efficacy and an increased risk for the development of rash, our results do not support the use of echinacea for treatment of URIs (upper respiratory tract infections) in children 2 to 11 years old. Further studies using different echinacea formulations, doses, and dosing frequencies are needed to delineate any possible role for this herb in treating colds in young patients," the authors conclude.

Jennifer Seymour | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ama-assn.org/
http://jama.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The fastest light-driven current source

Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.

Graphene is up to the job

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nerves control the body’s bacterial community

26.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Four elements make 2-D optical platform

26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Goodbye, login. Hello, heart scan

26.09.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>