MHRA: Kids Under 12 Should Not Use Echinacea

August 21, 2012

1 Min Read
MHRA: Kids Under 12 Should Not Use Echinacea

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced today children under 12 years old should not use Echinacea herbal products. The British agency released the policy following advice from the European Herbal Medicinal Products Committee (HMPC) and the UK Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee (HMAC).

The groups found that these products may cause a "low risk" of allergic reactions, including rashes,  hives, swelling, difficulty breathing and asthma, in younger children. In more serious cases, Echinacea may lead to life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

MHRA is currently working with the industry to re-label Echinacea products with an appropriate warning. But Richard Woodfield, MHRAs head of herbal policy, said these measures are precautionary, and insisted parents should not be worried if their children have previously taken Echinacea. This is not a serious safety issue, but parents need to be aware that children under 12 could have a low risk of developing allergic reactions, such as rashes from oral Echinacea products," he said.

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