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# TREATING a common cold. Many scientific studies say that taking echinacea when cold symptoms are first noticed can modestly reduce symptoms of the common cold in adults. But some scientific studies show no benefit. The problem is that scientific studies have used different types of echinacea plants and different methods of preparation. Since the studies have not been consistent, it is not surprising that different studies show different results. If it helps for treating a cold, the benefit will likely be modest at best. Keep in mind that TREATING a common cold is different than PREVENTING a common cold. Taking echinacea does not seem to PREVENT a cold from starting. # Preventing vaginal yeast infections when used with a medicated cream called econazole Preventing recurrent genital herpes. Urinary tract infections (UTIs), migraine headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), eczema, hayfever, allergies, bee stings, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), influenza (flu), and other conditions.
don’t take if: # You are pregnant or breast-feeding. # You have a skin condition called pemphigus vulgaris. # You have an immune system disorder such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other immune system conditions called "autoimmune disease."
fever, nausea, vomiting, unpleasant taste, stomach pain, diarrhea, sore throat, dry mouth, headache, numbness of the tongue, dizziness, insomnia, disorientation, and joint and muscle aches. Echinacea can also cause allergic reactions, especially in people who are allergic to ragweed, mums, marigolds, or daisies. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare professional before taking echinacea. Applying echinacea to the skin can cause redness, itchiness, or a rash.
Caffeine Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination. Talk with your health provider. The body breaks down caffeine to get rid of it. Echinacea might decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. Taking echinacea along with caffeine might cause too much caffeine in the bloodstream and increase the risk of side effects. Common side effects include jitteriness, headache, and fast heartbeat. Medications changed by the body (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination. Talk with your health provider. Some medications are changed and broken down by the body. Echinacea might change how the body breaks down some medications. Taking echinacea along with some medications might increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking echinacea, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the body. Some medications changed by the body include lovastatin (Mevacor), clarithromycin (Biaxin), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), diltiazem (Cardizem), estrogens, indinavir (Crixivan), triazolam (Halcion), and many others. Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates) Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination. Talk with your health provider. Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Echinacea might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking echinacea along with some medications might increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking echinacea, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver. Some of the medications that are changed by the liver include clozapine (Clozaril), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), fluvoxamine (Luvox), haloperidol (Haldol), imipramine (Tofranil), mexiletine (Mexitil), olanzapine (Zyprexa), pentazocine (Talwin), propranolol (Inderal), tacrine (Cognex), theophylline, zileuton (Zyflo), zolmitriptan (Zomig), and others Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination. Talk with your health provider. Echinacea can increase the activity of the immune system. Taking echinacea along with some medications that decrease the immune system might decrease these medications’ effectiveness. Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others. Midazolam (Versed) Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination. Talk with your health provider. Taking midazolam (Versed) with echinacea increases how much midazolam (Versed) the body absorbs. This might increase the effects and side effects of midazolam (Versed), but more information is needed.
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Dr. Samer Al-Jneidy
Samir Moussa M.D.
Dr. Talal Sabouni
Dr. Faisal Dibsi
Yaser Habrawi , F.R.C.S.Ed
Dr. Tahsin Martini
Dr . Dirar Abboud
Dr. Hani Najjar