Colloidal Silver

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What other names is Colloidal Silver known by?

Argent Colloïdal, Argent Ionique, Argent Natif, Argentum Metallicum, Colloidal Silver Protein, Ionic Silver, Native Silver, Plata Coloidal, Protéine d'Argent, Silver, Silver Alginate, Silver in Suspending Agent, Silver Protein, Tetrasilver Tetroxide, Tétroxyde de Tétra-Argent.

What is Colloidal Silver?

Colloidal silver is a mineral. Despite promoters' claims, silver has no known function in the body and is not an essential mineral supplement. Colloidal silver products were once available as over-the-counter drug products. In 1999 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that these colloidal silver products were not considered safe or effective. Colloidal silver products marketed for medical purposes or promoted for unproven uses are now considered "misbranded" under the law without appropriate FDA approval as a new drug. There are currently no FDA-approved over-the-counter or prescription drugs containing silver that are taken by mouth. However, there are still colloidal silver products being sold as homeopathic remedies and dietary supplements.

There are many Internet ads for the parts of a generator that produces colloidal silver at home. People who produce colloidal silver at home will likely not be able to evaluate their product for purity or strength. There are many products that are far safer and more effective than colloidal silver.

Despite these concerns about safety and effectiveness, people still buy colloidal silver as a dietary supplement and use it for a wide range of ailments.

People are using colloidal silver for conditions such as infections, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and many others, but there is no scientific evidence to support these uses. Using colloidal silver can also be unsafe.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Eye infections. Some research shows that using colloidal silver eye drops in both eyes shortly after birth does not help prevent certain eye infections in newborns. Other research shows that applying a colloidal silver solution to the eye surface of people undergoing eye surgery does not prevent infections as well as applying povidone-iodine solution.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of colloidal silver for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Colloidal Silver work?

Colloidal silver can kill certain germs by binding to and destroying proteins.

Are there safety concerns?

Colloidal silver is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth, applied to the skin, or injected intravenously (by IV). The silver in colloidal silver products gets deposited in vital organs such as the skin, liver, spleen, kidney, muscle, and brain. This can lead to an irreversible bluish skin discoloration that first appears in the gums. It can also stimulate melanin production in skin, and areas exposed to the sun will become increasingly discolored.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Colloidal silver is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth, applied to the skin or injected intravenously (by IV). Increased silver levels in pregnant women have been linked to abnormal development of the ear, face, and neck in their babies. Colloidal silver supplements can also lead to silver accumulation in the body, which can lead to an irreversible bluish skin discoloration known as argyria. Silver can also be deposited in vital organs, where it does serious damage.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Antibiotics (Quinolone antibiotics)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Colloidal silver might decrease how much antibiotic the body absorbs. Taking colloidal silver along with antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics.

Some antibiotics that might interact with colloidal silver include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), enoxacin (Penetrex), norfloxacin (Chibroxin, Noroxin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), trovafloxacin (Trovan), and grepafloxacin (Raxar).



Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Colloidal silver might decrease how much tetracycline antibiotics the body can absorb. Taking colloidal silver with tetracycline antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of tetracycline antibiotics. To avoid this interaction take colloidal silver two hours before or four hours after taking tetracyclines.

Some tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).



Levothyroxine
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Colloidal silver might decrease how much levothyroxine the body absorbs. Taking levothyroxine along with colloidal silver might decrease the effectiveness of levothyroxine.



Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Colloidal silver might harm the liver. Taking colloidal silver along with medications that might also harm the liver can increase the risk of liver damage. Do not take colloidal silver if you are taking a medication that can harm the liver. Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), erythromycin (Erythrocin, Ilosone, others), phenytoin (Dilantin), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and many others.



Penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Penicillamine is used for Wilson's disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Colloidal silver might decrease how much penicillamine your body absorbs. This might decrease the effects of penicillamine.

Dosing considerations for Colloidal Silver.

The appropriate dose of colloidal silver depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for colloidal silver. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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