Could an Ayurvedic remedy offer an alternative to antibiotics for colds and the flu? This is the question being asked by GPs wary of overprescribing antibiotics, where they are sometimes not needed.
A new trial led by the University of Southampton will enable 20 GP surgeries in south east England to offer andrographis, or a placebo, to patients to examine its effects on sinusitis, coughs and sore throats.
This trial forms part of the NHS’ five year antimicrobial resistance action plan, that aims to see antibiotic prescriptions drop by 15% by 2025.
This is the first trial of its kind in the west, following more than 30 trials in the east that showed that andrographis had potential benefits for patients with colds or the flu.
Speaking to the Telegraph about the study, Dr Michael Dixon, speaker at the 2018 FHT Conference and NHS England’s National Clinical Lead for Social Prescription, said ‘With the NHS confirming its five-year antimicrobial resistance action plan this research programme is extremely useful.
‘Involving family doctors from the outset is especially welcome as GPs are on the frontline in reducing reliance on antibiotics.
‘To have the prospect of a natural remedy like andrographis able to enhance a patient’s resistance would be a big step forward.’