Fast Five Quiz: Herbal Supplements

Mary L. Windle, PharmD


January 12, 2022

A randomized, double-blind study compared the use of echinacea against the use of oseltamivir in 473 patients with virologically confirmed influenza. Echinacea was found to be equally as effective in early treatment, with less complications and adverse effects.

Some research has suggested that echinacea may be effective in treating anxiety. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that 40 mg of echinacea was associated with a significant decrease in anxiety scores. However, a similar study recently found that there is no significant improvement associated with 40 mg or 80 mg daily of echinacea compared with placebo. Findings have not suggested that the use of echinacea worsens anxiety.

Serious interactions have been reported in patients who are taking inhaled beclomethasone and echinacea. Moderate or minor interactions are associated with a wide variety of other medications.

Adverse effects associated with echinacea include:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Allergic reactions

  • Altered fertility

  • Diarrhea

  • Dizziness

  • Erythema (topical use)

  • Exanthema (topical use)

  • Fever

  • Nausea/vomiting

  • Pruritis (topical use)

  • Sore throat

  • Unpleasant taste

Learn more clinical information about echinacea.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.