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UK Warns Against Echinacea for Children

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Baisha Kreuzer5 years ago

Echinacea is a popular flower-based herbal treatment said to reduce the occurrence of common colds and lighten their severity. According to several news outlets, this well-known treatment should no longer be given to children under the age of 12 due to possible adverse reactions.

Groups Disagree with Decision

According to the Irish Times, in a recent safety evaluation, the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) concluded that Echinacea could be associated with possible rare side effects, specifically allergic reactions which could be detrimental. This decision has caused a disturbance among groups of people who have been using this product over time with no complaints. The groups supporting the use of herbal remedies have condemned this move, stating there was not enough scientific data to support their claim of any health risks.

MHRA Approves and Issues Same Precaution

  • The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) also advised consumers to not give Echinacea to children under 12.
  • According to an article by the MHRA, “Risks of side effects in older children and adults are reduced because they weigh more and in general catch fewer colds.”
  • The MHRA follows the same recommendation as the European Herbal Medicinal Products Committee (HMPC) and the UK Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee (HMAC) who concluded the same precautionary approach to use of this herbal remedy in children under 12.
  • The MHRA is working with the herbal sector to certify that any unlicensed products still legally accessible are over-labeled with a replacement safety label informing the public of possible side effects.
  • Possible side effects and more information about Echinacea can be found on this website.
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