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The University of Southampton
Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention

Herbal treatment (Pelargonium) for chest infections

Alannah Morgan, a Clinical Trial Coordinator within the Southampton Clinical Trials Unit, presented the 'HATRIC - Herbal Alternative Treatment (Pelargonium) for lower Respiratory tract Infections with Cough in adults' research project at the Global-NAMRIP Festival of Early Career Research on 25 June 2019.  The poster can be downloaded via the 'Useful Downloads' link below.

Pelargonium plant

Acute cough due to respiratory infection is common. Antibiotics have limited benefits and cough mixtures are unhelpful.

A herbal medicine called Pelargonium is a promising candidate to treat cough.  In a review of research studies it resulted in 34% more patients being symptom free after a week compared to a placebo. 

The team evaluated the feasibility of conducting a placebo controlled trial using Pelargonium sidoides extract EPs®7630 tablets or liquid in adults who visit their GP with an acute cough as their main symptom and where the GP thought the symptoms were caused by an infection (bacterial or viral) but NOT pneumonia. The doctor was able to prescribe antibiotics if needed either taken immediately or delayed for a few days.

A Morgan Poster

Recruitment took place between March and December 2018 from 20 GP practices in the Wessex region. 134 patients were recruited and diaries containing all key information were obtained from 107 (80%) participants.

The results from HATRIC indicate that it would be feasible to undertake a full trial of Pelargonium sidoides root extract, EPs®7630 (Kaloba®), for symptom relief in lower respiratory tract infections in UK primary care sites. The plan is to apply for funding to undertake a Phase III trial.

If a full trial shows Pelargonium sidoides extract EPs®7630  is effective in improving the symptoms of acute bronchitis then antibiotic use for acute bronchitis may decrease.

The authors of this study are Catherine Simpson1, Merlin Willcox2, Gareth Griffiths1, Paul Little2, Alastair Hay3, Chris Butler4, Lily Yao5, Fran Webley1, Amy Whitehead1, Jennifer Bostock6 and Michael Moore3.

1Southampton Clinical Trials Unit; 2Primary Care and Population Sciences, University of Southampton; 3Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol; 4Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford; 5University of Leicester; 6PPI representative


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