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Generic Name: echinacea (Not applicable.)
Brand Name: Generics only. No brands available.

Echinacea is used for:

The immune system. It has been used for decreasing the duration of respiratory infections, such as the common cold. It has also been used for wound healing, eczema, and psoriasis.

Echinacea is an herbal product. It is thought to work by stimulating the immune system to activate white blood cells, which fight disease.

Do NOT use echinacea if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in echinacea
  • you have a history of asthma, immune system problems (autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, infection with HIV, cancer), collagen disease, tuberculosis (TB), diabetes, leukemia, organ transplant, pneumonia, stomach problems (eg, blockage or resorption problems), or multiple sclerosis
  • you are taking antibiotics, corticosteroids, or chemotherapy
  • you have an infection or fever

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using echinacea:

Some medical conditions may interact with echinacea. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with echinacea. However, no specific interactions are known at this time.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if echinacea may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use echinacea:

Use echinacea as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Dosing depends on the use and the source of the product.
  • Use as directed on the package, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.
  • If you miss taking a dose of echinacea for 1 or more days, there is no cause for concern. If your doctor recommended that you take it, try to remember your dose every day.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use echinacea.

Important safety information:

  • This product has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective for any medical condition. The long-term safety of herbal products is not known. Before using any alternative medicine, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Prolonged use may diminish the effects of this product. It is recommended that this product be used for no more than 8 weeks at a time. Consult your doctor or pharmacist.
  • This product is not recommended for use in CHILDREN.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use echinacea if you are pregnant. Do not breast-feed while taking this product.

Possible side effects of echinacea:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Nausea; stomach discomfort.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); difficulty swallowing; hoarseness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of echinacea:

Store at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and light unless otherwise directed on the package label. Do not store in the bathroom. Most herbal products are not in childproof containers. Keep echinacea out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about echinacea, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Echinacea is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take echinacea or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about echinacea. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to echinacea. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using echinacea.

Issue Date: June 3, 2015