Drugs A - Z

Colloidal silver

Generic Name: Colloidal silver

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Argyrol®, electro colloidal silver, electro-colloidal silver, ionic silver, ProAg catheter, silver protein, silver protein solution.

Background

Colloidal silver is a suspension of submicroscopic metallic silver particles in a colloidal base. Long-term use of silver preparations can lead to argyria, a permanent condition in which silver salts deposit in the skin, eyes, and internal organs. The skin can often appear ashen-gray due to the deposition of the silver salts. Argyria has been mistaken for cyanotic heart disease.

Today, colloidal silver is not generally recognized as safe or effective. However, some researchers believe that it has antibacterial properties, which may warrant further studies. Despite the lack of scientific evidence, colloidal silver is most commonly used as a natural antibiotic or healing agent. It is either applied to the skin or ingested as a drink to promote healing or to combat disease.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken action against several colloidal drug companies, including Web site advertisers, for making unsubstantiated claims for their product. Colloidal silver products are usually marketed as dietary supplements. Therefore, the manufacturers do not need to go through the same rigorous approval processes as drug companies.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Acne, allergies, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, arthritis, athlete's foot, biofilm, bladder inflammation, blood purification, boils, burns, cancer, cholera, colds, colitis, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), dermatitis, diabetes, diarrhea, diphtheria, ear infections, eczema, flu, food poisoning, gastritis, genital herpes, gonorrhea, hepatitis, herpes, HIV/AIDS, impetigo (bacterial skin infection), leprosy, leukemia, lupus, Lyme disease, malaria, meningitis, pneumonia, prostatitis (enlarged prostate), psoriasis (chronic skin disease), rheumatism, ringworm, scarlet fever, shingles, skin cancer, sore throat, stomach ulcers, syphilis, tonsillitis, tuberculosis, typhoid, ulcers, warts, whooping cough, yeast infections.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for colloidal silver in adults.

Children (younger than 18 years)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for colloidal silver in children.

Safety

DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

Allergies

Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to silver. Allergy to silver protein has been reported.

Side Effects and Warnings

Colloidal silver is likely unsafe when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule in August 1999 establishing that all over-the-counter (OTC) drug products containing colloidal silver ingredients or silver salts for internal or external use are not Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and effective and are misbranded. This rule was issued because colloidal silver has been marketed for many serious disease conditions. Colloidal silver may also cause kidney damage, stomach distress, headaches, fatigue, and skin irritation.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Colloidal silver is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

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