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CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
1. Which ONE of the following
statements regarding Andrographis
paniculata is INCORRECT?
a) Maximum effects of Andrographis
paniculata may be seen by day 5 when
taken for symptomatic treatment of
upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs).
b) Andrographis paniculata is generally a
safe and efficacious treatment for the
relief of symptoms related to URTIs.
c) Andrographis paniculata may interact
with medicines metabolised by certain
cytochrome P450 enzymes.
d) The Therapeutic Goods Administration
(TGA) has found NO risk of allergic
reactions associated with products
containing Andrographis paniculata.
2. Mrs Jones is a regular customer of
yours who suffers with multiple
sclerosis. She has a cold and requests
some echinacea. What is the most
a) A two-week course of Echinacea
purpurea is recommended.
b) Commission E currently advises against
the use of echinacea in patients with
c) Complementary medicine is not useful
in this situation.
d) Pelargonium sidoides (EPs 7630) taken for
4 days is efficacious.
3. Which of the following properties
is not associated with Pelargonium
sidoides extract EPs 7630’s mechanism
of action in the treatment of URTIs?
a) Mucolytic properties.
b) Antibacterial properties.
c) Antiviral properties.
d) Anticholinergic properties.
4. Which ONE of the following
statements regarding echinacea is
a) E. purpurea and E. angustifolia roots
contain higher amounts of alkylamides
which are important active constituents.
b) The alkylamide content of echinacea is a
marker of quality and activity.
c) Echinacea may reduce the incidence
of respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in
individuals who are susceptible to RTIs.
d) There are no known safety
considerations or interactions with
of severe anaphylaxis and sporadic cases
of hepatotoxicity have been associated
with pelargonium use and justify further
research. People with an allergy to the
geranium family should not take this
15 There is insufficient studies in
humans to determine P. sidoides safety in
The evidence to support or discourage
the use of echinacea, andrographis
and pelargonium in the management
of URTIs is influenced by a number of
factors. These include the species and
part of the plant used, quantification of
the known active constituents, and the
dose and form used in human studies.
It is important to be aware of these
quality markers when advising patients
about their use. There are important
safety considerations, including potential
allergies and known and theoretical drug
interactions that require consideration
before recommending these herbal
medicines in practice. As the body of
knowledge in this area grows, it is critical
that pharmacists have access to up-to-
date evidence for the efficacy and safety
of herbal medicines.
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THE COMPLEMENTARY APPROACH
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