A Trial of Echinacea in Children

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00029211
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 10, 2002
Last Update Posted : August 18, 2006
Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)
Information provided by:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

Brief Summary:
This is a randomized trial to determine if echinacea is effective in shortening the length and/or lessening the severity of colds in children 2 through 11 years old.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Common Cold Drug: Echinacea Phase 3

Detailed Description:
Upper respiratory tract infections (URI's) are a significant health burden in childhood. URI's are a major reason for visits to health care providers, and up to 35 percent of young children at any given time are taking some over-the-counter cold medication. Unfortunately, data suggest that most of these medications have limited effectiveness. Alternative medical therapies are growing in popularity; in a recent survey of parents of children being seen by pediatricians in Seattle, Washington, 24.2 percent indicated that their child had been seen by an alternative medicine health care provider, and 53.3 percent received therapies for the treatment of URI's in children. The proposed study is a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial of Echinacea for the treatment of URI's in children 2-11 years old. The aims of the project are: to determine if Echinacea shortens the duration and/or lessens the severity of URI's, if children receiving Echinacea for treatment of URI's have a reduced rate of secondary bacterial infections, and to determine if the use of Echinacea in patients 2-11 years old is associated with any significant side effects. A two-year study of 600 children is planned. Not only will the results of this study determine if Echinacea, the most popular medicinal herb sold in the United States, is an effective therapy for URI's in children, the study will provide a design framework for further assessment on the efficacy of other complementary and alternative medicines in children.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 600 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Echinacea in Children
Study Start Date : April 2000
Study Completion Date : March 2003

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Common Cold
Drug Information available for: Echinacea

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   2 Years to 11 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Parent available to observe child during the night
  • Parent peaks and reads English

Exclusion Criteria:

  • History of asthma or allergic rhinitis
  • History of auto-immune disease
  • History of chronic lung disease
  • Allergy to sunflower species

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00029211

United States, Washington
Child Health Institute, University of Washington
Seattle, Washington, United States, 98103
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)
Principal Investigator: James Taylor, MD University of Washington Identifier: NCT00029211     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R01AT000114-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: January 10, 2002    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 18, 2006
Last Verified: August 2006

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Common Cold
Picornaviridae Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Respiratory Tract Infections
Respiratory Tract Diseases