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 New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck

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: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>