What to Know About Airborne

A Dietary Supplement Intended to Help Boost Your Immune System

In This Article

The original Airborne supplement is a chewable or effervescent tablet intended to help boost your immune system. While Airborne's claims have not been specifically confirmed in credible, independent scientific studies on the product itself, several of the individual vitamins, herbs, and nutrients included, such as echinacea, have been shown to be immune-supportive when studied on their own.

Uses

Airborne is generally used for immune support. However, Airborne was originally marketed to "prevent or cure the common cold." In 2008, a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission stated these claims weren't backed by scientific research. This resulted in a $30 million settlement requiring the company to change its marketing claims to state that the product should be used for boosting immunity only.

Note that there is no cure for the common cold, and no peer-reviewed studies to date have confirmed that Airborne can prevent colds. However, the immune-supportive effects of some individual ingredients found in Airborne have been studied.

Ingredients

Airborne contains 17 herbs and nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and E; magnesium; zinc; selenium; manganese; sodium; and an herbal extract blend of echinacea, ginger, vitex, Japanese catnip, isatis root, and forsythia.

In addition to its vitamin and herb blend, Airborne contains these inactive ingredients: dextrose, magnesium stearate, vegetable juice color, sucralose, natural flavors, microcrystalline cellulose, and silicon dioxide.

Airborne's claims have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and the product carries a disclaimer that the product "is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease." This statement is required by the FDA, which does not evaluate supplements sold without a prescription.

Of the ingredients in Airborne, vitamin C has shown to be immune supportive by improving the function of natural killer cells and increasing lymphocytes, and vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and has been found to protect the immune system. While zinc has a major role in the immune system regulation, zinc supplementation is promising but has not been well-proven in humans. Additionally, echinacea is a known immuno-stimulant with anti-viral and anti-microbial properties, however it is largely therapeutic, not prophylactic, meaning it should be used to reduce the duration of colds but may not prevent colds from starting in the first place.

Many of the botanical ingredients used in Airborne's herbal extract blend, such as forsythia, are rooted in Chinese medicine and have a long history of use in fighting the common cold, though their benefits are still unproven in medical trials.

The airborne supplement is available at many drug and retail stores throughout the United States, as well as online.

Precautions and Contraindications

Airborne should only be used according to the manufacturer's directions and is not for everyone.

The Airborne Kids Gummies formulation is available for kids ages 4 and up. It is not recommended for children under 4 unless instructed by a doctor.

Women who are nursing or pregnant should not take this product unless instructed to do so by their healthcare provider.

This product can be used as a dietary supplement, but other supplements should be discontinued while taking Airborne unless otherwise advised by your doctor. Taking more than one supplement at once could result in an overdose of vitamins, minerals, or herbs.

Certain supplements high in vitamins and minerals or herbal medicines may interact with other medications you may already be taking. Talk to your doctor before taking Airborne if you're currently using any of the following:

  • Tretinoin or isotretinoin (vitamin A derivatives)
  • Antacids
  • Antibiotics
  • Diuretics
  • Warfarin (coumadin) or other blood thinners
  • Sulfa drugs
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like Advil, Aleve, or Motrin

Side Effects

The manufacturer lists no side effects, but if you have a sensitivity or allergy to any of the ingredients, you should not take Airborne.

Seek immediate medical care if you have signs of an allergic reaction, including hives, trouble breathing, or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Dosage

Follow the recommended dosage per the package directions, depending on the Airborne formula you choose.

  • For chewable tablets, the suggested dosage for adults and children over age 12 is four tablets per day, divided every three to four hours, but not to exceed four tablets in one day.
  • For gummies, the suggested dosage is three chewable gummies for adults and children over 14 no more than three times per day (a total of nine gummies per day). Children ages 12 and 13 should take three gummies up to two times per day (a total of six gummies per day).
  • For effervescent tablets, the suggested dosage for adults and children over 14 is to dissolve one tablet in four to six ounces of water, up to two times per day. Children ages 12 and 13 should use no more than one tablet per day.
  • For powders, the suggested dosage for adults is one packet of powder dissolved in four to six ounces of water, no more than once per day.
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Article Sources
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