EZC Pak is a physician-directed 5-day dose pack of Echinacea purpurea, zinc, and vitamin C designed to reduce antibiotic misuse in viral cold and flu. Available over the counter, EZC Pak contains much higher doses of its active ingredients than you would find in a standard vitamin in a bottle product, which generally speaking you shouldn't use. Why should you not use the latest "35 ingredients in 1" product?
Generally speaking, the immune support approach is best used sparingly for times when it is really necessary, as opposed to daily use and exposure to a random soup of herbs and vitamins. At best, they do nothing because they are not dosed adequately or driven by clinical efficacy data. At worst, the body builds tolerance and immune support is rendered ineffective for when you really need it.
The results of EZC Pak's NIH-registered double blind randomized clinical trial were recently published in open access journal Infection and Drug Resistance with a summary here. This is the second study evaluating EZC Pak's efficacy, following the initial observation study, with results highlighted here.
When to Use EZC Pak vs. antibiotics
- Sinusitis < 10 days (runny nose, stuffy nose, facial pain)
- Acute Bronchitis + Nonspecific URI (cough, chest soreness, fatigue)
- Acute Pharyngitis (sore throat, swollen or tender neck glands, pain with swallowing)
- 98% of sinusitis cases are viral
- Consider antibiotics in sinus infections with no improvement after 10 days from symptom onset
- Consider antibiotics in sinus infections that are clinically worsening within 10 days after an initial period of improvement
Acute Bronchitis / Nonspecific URI
- > 90% of acute bronchitis cases are viral
- While majority of coughs are < 2 weeks, 26% of coughs are > 2 weeks
- Some acute bronchitis can last 8 weeks (sometimes longer)
- Return to clinic for repeat evaluation if constitutional symptoms are worsening (new onset fevers, chills, etc)
- 90% of adult cases and 70% of pediatric cases are viral
- Begin EZC Pak immediately and wait for test or culture results
- If no improvement in 72 hours, follow-up recommended
- Sarath Malepati, MD