blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria, Spirulina)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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GENERIC NAME: Blue-green algae

BRAND NAME: Cyanobacteria, Spirulina

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Blue-green algae is a natural herbal supplement. Blue-green algae has high amounts of protein, iron, and other minerals and claims have been made that it has beneficial effects on the immune system, inflammation, and against viral infections. Individuals should check with their physicians before using this supplement.

PRESCRIPTION: No

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Blue-green algae are available in tablets, capsule, and powder form. The concentration of blue-green algae may vary from product-to-product due to multiple manufacturers producing various products.

STORAGE: Due to multiple manufacturers making different forms of blue-green algae, storage requirements may vary based on individual manufacturer practices.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Blue-green algae are used as a source of protein, iron, vitamins, and minerals. It is used for leukoplakia, blepharospasms, attention deficithyperactivity disorder (ADHD), diabetes, premenstrual symptoms (PMS), allergies, stress, fatigue, digestion aid, wound healing, and to improve the immune system.

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