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Echinacea - Good or Bad
Jul 29, 2006

I have been HIV+ for 2 years and am still treatment naive. I bought Echinacea since it's an immune booster. However, after taking it home, I read the warning saying that people with HIV infection should avoid the product. My question is why and is it ok to take it if I'm not on meds? I'm guessing that it interacts with HIV meds but since I'm not on any what's the problem? Thanks for your help and bringing some needed clarity to this.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

As I read the literature, there's little to worry about drug-drug interactions with Echinacea; that said, a recent studies also failed to show any clinically significant benefit in mitigation of the symptoms of common colds from the herb.

In general, I wouldn't recommend an unproven product to my patients.

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