CLINICAL STUDY CONFIRMS ECHINACEA CAN HELP DECREASE ANTIBIOTIC USE IN CHILDREN DURING COLD AND FLU SEASON
Montreal, Nov. 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —
Echinacea can successfully prevent respiratory tract infections and related complications in children, reducing the need for antibiotics by almost 73 per cent
As the need to decrease the use of antibiotics grows more urgent, results from the largest clinical trial on the preventive use of Echinacea in children reveal an effective alternative for cold and flu season. The study showed supplements containing fresh Echinacea purpurea can successfully prevent respiratory tract infections and related complications, reducing the need for antibiotics by almost 73 per cent1.
Respiratory tract infections like colds and flu are the most frequent reason for antibiotic prescriptions worldwide.2 Although viral, these infections tend to develop into bacterial conditions, associated with pneumonia, sinusitis or bronchitis so many physicians prescribe antibiotics to keep these infections at bay. Every year, over 25 million antibiotic prescriptions are written for human consumption in Canada, 30 to 50 per cent of which are estimated to be unnecessary.3 This use and overuse of antibiotics is causing a rise in antibiotic resistant bacteria and infections.
“Antibiotic over-use is particularly serious in children. Children typically get six to eight respiratory tract infections annually. As these infections have an average complication rate of 30 per cent, children are being prescribed antibiotics one to two times annually,” says pharmacist Sherry Torkos. “Anyone can get an antibiotic-resistant infection. However, young children’s immune systems aren’t developed so they are more susceptible to infection and these infections are more likely to have a serious impact on their health.”
Led by researchers with A. Vogel Bioforce, the controlled, randomized, blind, multicentre clinical study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Echinacea to prevent colds and flus, reduce secondary complications and, as a result, the need for antibiotics. Conducted in Switzerland between 2016 and 2017, the trial involved 203 children aged four to twelve-years-old, and 13 pediatricians. The children received Echinaforce® Junior tablets daily over a period of four months. The control group received low-dose vitamin C. Key findings include:
- The majority of children using the Echinacea remained free of respiratory tract infections and reported 32.5 per cent fewer cold and flu episodes than the control group.
- A 63.9 per cent reduction of complicated infections with pneumonia, sinusitis or bronchitis and rare antibiotic prescriptions were found with Echinacea (3.9 per cent in comparison to 14.3 per cent with control, p < 0.05).
- The reduced need for antibiotics in children treated with Echinacea. Overall, they spent 31 days on antibiotics in comparison to 111 days in the vitamin C group, which refers to a highly significant 72.7 per cent reduction (p<0.001).
- In children who developed respiratory symptoms, those taking Echinacea had less severe symptoms and shorter duration of symptoms.
The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommends a reduction of antibiotic usage as antibiotics are significantly contributing to the increase in multi-resistant bacteria. “Echinacea will not replace antibiotics, which are a tremendously important substance class for the acute treatment of life-threatening diseases,” says Dr Andy Suter, Head of Research and Development at A. Vogel Bioforce AG. “Nevertheless, with Echinacea we may be able to use this highly valuable medicine less frequently and more specifically in the future.”
About A. Vogel Bioforce AG
A. Vogel Bioforce’s mission is to help people maintain or regain health naturally. Based on the lifelong work of Swiss natural health pioneer Alfred Vogel, Bioforce Canada is the premier supplier of high quality natural products in Canada. Its products are manufactured in Switzerland and distributed to more than 25 countries. For more information, visit www.avogel.ca
To schedule an interview with pharmacist Sherry Torkos, please contact: Katherine Clark, Cowan & Company, 416-462-8773 ext. 55 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Ogal M, Klein P, Schoop R. Echinacea for the Prevention of Respiratory Tract Infections in Children 4 – 12 years: A Randomized, Blind and Controlled Study. Sociéte Suisse de Pédiatrie (SSP, Poster), 24th May, Lausanne, Switzerland.
2 Nyquist AC, Gonzales R, Steiner JF, Sande MA. Antibiotic prescribing for children with colds, upper respiratory tract infections, and bronchitis. JAMA. 1998;279(11):875-7.
CONTACT: Krista Halton A.Vogel 514-421-3441 ext. 255 KHalton@bioforce.ca