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  • Basic Info
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Generic: echinacea
It is promoted to help support the body's natural defense systems

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What is this medicine?

ECHINACEA (EK e nay sha) is an herbal product or dietary supplement. It is promoted to help support the body's natural defense systems. It is commonly promoted for colds or sore throats caused by cold viruses. Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea pallida are the types most studied. However, there is limited evidence that echinacea helps colds or similar illnesses. There is no evidence that it is helpful for other types of infections or medical problems. It should not be used long- term to prevent infections. The FDA has not approved this herb for any medical use.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • cancer
  • lung disease like asthma, bronchitis, emphysema
  • diabetes or high blood sugar
  • immune system problems
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • multiple sclerosis or other neurologic disease
  • organ transplant
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • tuberculosis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to echinacea, other herbs or plants, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast- feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the package labeling or ask your health care professional. If this supplement upsets your stomach, take it with food. Do not take this supplement more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this supplement in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Check with your doctor or healthcare professional if you are taking any of the following medications:
  • medicines for cancer
  • medicines for HIV
  • medicines for lupus
  • medicines for multiple sclerosis
  • medicines for rheumatoid arthritis like methotrexate
  • medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection like cyclosporine
  • steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone

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