The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Does Echinacea interact with HIV drugs?

    Not much, according to researchers in Spain.

    First, the details.

    • 15 HIV-infected adults receiving antiretroviral therapy including darunavir/ritonavir (Prezista/Norvir) (600/100 mg twice daily) for at least 4 weeks were studied.
    • Echinacea purpurea root extract capsules were added to the antiretroviral treatment (500 mg every 6 hours) from days 1 to 14.
      • Antiretroviral treatment involves the use of drugs to treat viruses, usually HIV/AIDS.
    • Darunavir blood concentrations were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography immediately before and during treatment.
    • Darunavir pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated and compared between days 0 and 14.

    And, the results.

    • Although not affecting overall darunavir or ritonavir pharmacokinetics, individual patients did show a decrease in darunavir concentrations.
    • Echinacea was well tolerated and everybody completed the study.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Although no dose adjustment is required, monitoring darunavir concentrations on an individual basis may give re-assurance in this setting.”

    The study is important because it provides evidence in patients, rather than in animals or in the lab.

    In Spain, about 1 in 5 HIV patients take Echinacea.

    11/20/10 21:19 JR

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