Is there clinical evidence supporting the use of botanical dietary supplements in children?

Institut fuer Pharmakognosie, Karl-Franzens-Universitaet Graz, Austria.
Journal of Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 3.79). 04/2005; 146(3):311-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2004.10.018
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Resumen El uso de remedios a base de plantas medicinales se ha hecho muy popular en todo el mundo. Muchos pacientes pediátricos, en especial niños con enfermedades crónicas o recurrentes, usan este tipo de preparados. Sin embargo, algunos de estos productos pueden tener efectos secundarios o interactuar con los fármacos convencionales. Los niños son especialmente susceptibles a estas interacciones por sus características fisio- lógicas. Por tanto, es importante que el pediatra sepa hablar abiertamente con las familias de sus pacientes sobre el uso de plantas medicinales. Además, deben estar familiarizados con los fundamentos de su uso y conocer sobre todo los aspectos relacionados con su seguridad y eficacia. En este artículo se revisan los principios que deben regir estos conocimientos so- bre plantas medicinales. Abstract Title: Herbal medicine in children The use of herbal medicine has become increasingly popular throughout the world. Many pediatric patients, especially those with chronic or recurrent conditions, consume botanical reme- dies. Some of these agents may have side effects or may inter- act with drugs. Children are potentially more vulnerable to such interactions. Thus, pediatricians must speak openly with their patients and their families about the use of dietary supplements, espe- cially herbal remedies. They should also become familiar with evidence-based resources concerning these remedies, espe- cially with regard to their safety and efficacy. This article re- views principles that clinicians should keep in mind when dis- cussing the use of herbal remedies with parents.
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    ABSTRACT: Few systematic reviews have summarized the efficacy of echinacea for the treatment and prevention of URTIs. Other reviews have concluded that there may be efficacy in the treatment but not necessarily in the prevention of URTIs in adults. (2)(3)(4) Because these reviews were not conducted systematically with explicit methods, the results and conclusions are subject to bias. A recent updated Cochrane systematic review includes results from trials that involved both adults and children for the use of echinacea in the treatment or prevention of the common cold. (5) The results can be summarized as follows: ● Prevention trials with placebo comparison: no difference between groups ● Treatment trials with no treatment comparison: one study had a trend in favor of echinacea; one study had no difference ● Treatment trials with placebo comparison: nine studies had significant effects over placebo, one had a trend in favor of echinacea, and six studies found no difference The authors concluded that the trials varied in their methods for cold assessment and phytochemical differences in products studied. Most of the included trials had good methodology, and there was some evidence that preparations based on the aerial parts of E purpurea might be effective for the treatment of colds in adults. There was not enough evidence to evaluate the effects of other echinacea preparations (including E angustifolia) in preventing colds. Another recent systematic review evaluated the effect of echinacea on the treatment of experimental rhinovirus infection. (6) The authors found that the likelihood of experienc- ing a clinical cold was 55% higher with placebo than with echinacea (odds ratio 1.55, 95% confidence interval 1.02 to 2.36). Total symptom scores did not differ between placebo and treatment.
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter is composed of sections dealing with some of the well known but, with respect to clinical studies, not always well investigated traditional and alternative treatments against common cold. It includes data on phytotherapy, apitherapy, ayurvedic remedies, homeopathic remedies, Schuessler’s biochemistry, acupuncture and acupressure, nasal irrigation and inhalation.
    01/1970: pages 309-347;
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