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.

DOSING: (recommended by suppliers):

  • Leukoplakia (white patches and sores on gums inside of cheeks): Take 1 gram by mouth daily for 12 days.
  • Blepharospasms (abnormal blinking of eyelids): Take 1500 mg of SBGA (Super Blue-Green Algae) capsules by mouth daily.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Blue-green algae may have blood thinning effects and it may increase the risk of bruising and bleeding if combined with blood thinning medications like warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), and pain medications like naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), ibuprofen (Motrin), and diclofenac (Voltaren).

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies done on blue-green algae to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether blue-green algae enter breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing mothers.

SIDE EFFECTS: Contaminated blue-green algae may contain microcystins which can cause liver damage, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, shock, fast heartbeat, and death.

REFERENCE: Coastal Health District. Frequently Asked Questions About Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) and Their Toxins.

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