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Echinacea should not be given to under 12s

21st August 2012

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency has warned that the herb Echinacea should not be given to children aged under 12.

echinacea

The watchdog said parents needed to be aware that there was a danger of serious allergic reactions.

The MHRA said the warning about the remedy, which some users take in order to help the symptoms of colds and flu, did not represent a "serious safety issue".

However, it said younger children had a higher danger of experiencing an allergic reaction to the remedy and could have problems breathing, hives, rashes and even anaphylactic shock.

The watchdog said teenagers and adults could carry on using echinacea and their advice was a "precautionary measure".

Richard Woodfield, the head of herbal policy at the MHRA, said: "This is not a serious safety issue, but parents and carers need to be aware that children under 12 could have a low risk of developing allergic reactions.

"The measures being taken are precautionary in nature. Parents should not worry if they have given echinacea to children under 12 in the past." 

 

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