To take or not to take, a natural health product for my cold

So, I got a sample of Sisu brand Cold and Flu Rescue with Ester-C
Manufacturer’s product description here: http://www.sisu.com/sisu/products/product.jsp?category=200&sub=202&id=153

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NHN 80004283

I’m taking DM for my cough, and some Arthrotec for a few days for reasons related to pain.

Analyzing the product:

Medicinal ingredients:

Vitamin C (Calcium ascorbate)…300 mg
from Ester-C® brand calcium ascorbate

—> OK. Vitamin C is good. is safe. conflicting evidence of its efficacy in common cold.

Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) leaf extract…200 mg
standardized to contain 10% andrographolides

—> Never heard of this… According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD) it likely safe for oral and short term;  possibly effective for common cold, especially if taken with Siberian ginger, if started within 72 hours of cold symptom onset. “Dosage is 200mg daily for 5 days have been used” (which means… nothing too significant to me); ADR: usually well-tolerated, may cause GI effects, headaches, some anticholinergic side effects

N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC)…200 mg

—> used for acetaminophen poisoning…and other things; apparently “possibly” effective in reducing influenza symptoms
ADR: Nausea, adb pain , vomiting, constipation… Dosages used for influenza is 600mg BID.

Purple coneflower extract (Echinacea purpurea) (aerial parts/root) 4:1…60 mg
equivalent to 240 mg of purple coneflower

Narrow-leaf echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) (root) 5:1 extract…45 mg
equivalent to 225 mg of narrow-leaf echinacea, standardized to contain 4% echinacosides

–> Used for treating common cold and upper respiratory infection. Likely safe if used orally and short term; possibly effective for the common cold
–> DDI: w/ caffeine: inc plasma concentration (could be a good thing for students like me!)
–> usually well-tolerated; dosages vary

So after that brief summary… it seems OK to take. No drug interactions for me, mostly GI adverse reactions. Some ingredients are likely effective in the common cold.

I’ll take some and see what happens; although, I guarantee, this won’t be a trial without confounding factors.

According to the label, it says to take 2 capsules 3 times a day.

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