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The University of Southampton

Research project: HATRIC - Herbal Alternative Treatment (Pelargonium) for lower Respiratory tract Infections with Cough in adults

Currently Active: 

Acute chest infections are common and antibiotics are often prescribed despite them having limited impact on the symptoms. Finding a safe and effective way to control the symptoms associated with a chest infection, particularly cough, could help reduce antibiotic use. There is evidence, based on traditional use, to suggest that a herbal extract called pelargonium, could help control chest infection symptoms. We would like to know whether the herbal extract, pelargonium, could be an alternative to antibiotics. This feasibility study will not answer this question but will help us to plan a large full-scale trial.

Who is the trial for?
The trial is for men and women aged 18 years or over who have had a cough for 3 weeks or less and have a suspected chest infection.

More about the trial medicine
The medicine is a traditional herbal medicinal product containing Pelargonium sidoides root extract.  Pelargonium sidoides root extract is marketed in Germany, where it is used for the treatment of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold, such as sore throat, cough and blocked or runny nose.

Pelargonium sidoides roots extract EPs®7630, which will be used in this trial, is widely available over the counter in several countries in Europe, Asia, Central and South America as well as in Australia. The trial medication and matching placebo will be prepared by Schwabe GmbH & Co. KG who currently manufacture and market the product, Kaloba®, in Germany.

What is going to happen?
Those consenting to take part will be asked to defer taking antibiotics for around a week (if they are offered a prescription for antibiotics) and then asked to take the study medication either liquid or tablets for up to two weeks. We will collect detailed information on recovery using a standard diary. The purpose of this study is to establish feasibility of the trial prior to running a full scale study.

LOCAL INVESTIGATORS: Prof Michael Moore and Dr Merlin Willcox

Programme Manager: Catherine Simpson

FUNDER: NIHR School for Primary Care Research


Duration: Oct 2017 - 31st Dec 2020

Contact: Michael Moore


Related research groups

Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education
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