- What other names is Thymus Extract known by?
- What is Thymus Extract?
- How does Thymus Extract work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Thymus Extract.
Thymus extract is used for infectious diseases including recurrent respiratory infections, colds, flu, H1N1 "swine" flu, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), mononucleosis, herpes and shingles, sinusitis, and AIDS/HIV. It is also used for asthma, hay fever, food allergies, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Other uses include maintaining white cell production in cancer patients treated with radiation or chemotherapy, and preventing the effects of aging.
The quality and potency of thymus extract products can vary greatly.
Possibly Effective for...
- Hay fever. There is some evidence that treatment for 4 months with calf thymus extract might reduce the number of allergic episodes in people with hay fever.
- Asthma. Taking calf thymus extract may reduce acute asthma attacks in children with asthma for up to one year.
- Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy). Early research suggests that taking calf thymus extract along with usual therapy improves the ability to exercise, heart function, symptoms, and survival in people with a specific heart disease called cardiomyopathy.
- Food allergies. Taking calf thymus extract while following an elimination diet might prevent allergic reactions to food.
- Lung infections. Taking calf thymus extract by mouth seems to reduce the number of infections or coughing attacks in patients who get repeat respiratory infections. Calf thymus extract alone, or in combination with vaccine, seems to be more effective than vaccine alone or antibiotics in reducing the number and duration of infections in adults with recurrent respiratory infections.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
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).
Quick GuideAsthma Symptoms, Causes, and Medications
Because thymus can come from animals, there is concern about possible contamination with diseased animal parts. Any products made from contaminated or diseased organs might present a human health hazard. However, so far, there are no reports of disease transmission to humans due to use of contaminated thymus extract.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking thymus extract if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Weakened immune system: People who have a weakened immune system (HIV/AIDS patients, for example) or people who are taking drugs to weaken their immune system (organ transplant recipients, for example) have a higher risk of infection. These people should avoid thymus extract products unless these products are certified germ-free.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Medications that decrease the immune system can increase your chances of getting sick. Thymus extract is made from animals. There is some concern that products made from animals might contain harmful diseases and cause infections. Taking medications that decrease the immune system along with thymus extract might increase your chances of getting sick. Do not take thymus extract if you are taking medications that decrease the immune system.
Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
- A typical daily dose is 750 mg of crude thymus polypeptide fraction or 120 mg of pure thymus polypetides (thymomodulin).
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.