Treatment Options

Colloidal Silver

Possible Harm/No Value

Colloidal silver is a product that contains tiny particles of silver suspended in a liquid. It is promoted as a nutritional supplement, although there is no known disease caused by a deficiency of silver. Colloidal silver is referred to as a complementary and alternative treatment choice.

Colloidal silver has been used for the treatment of cancer, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, syphilis, scarlet fever, shingles, herpes, pneumonia and inflammation of the prostate. Some believe it benefits the immune system and acts as an effective alternative to antibiotics. However, personal testimonials are the basis for most use and there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.

Things to Consider

  • In August 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Final Rule stating that all over-the-counter drug products containing colloidal silver or silver salts are misbranded and should not be recognized as safe and effective in the treatment of disease or illness.
  • Seek the advice of your physician when considering any kind of complementary and alternative treatment choice.
  • Colloidal silver may interfere with the absorption of some drugs.

Results

Possible Harm/No Value

Will I live longer if I take colloidal silver?

There is no scientific evidence to confirm that taking colloidal silver will help you live longer.

Will taking colloidal silver improve my quality of life?

There is no scientific evidence that taking colloidal silver will improve your quality of life.

Will taking colloidal silver make my symptoms better?

There is no scientific evidence that taking colloidal silver will relieve symptoms of illness or disease.

Safety

Possible Harm/No Value

The FDA issued a Final Rule in August 1999 which declared that any use of the colloidal silver product as a drug must have FDA approval. Colloidal silver products are considered to be misbranded due to the inadequate directions provided to the general public. The false labeling suggests that scientific evidence is substantial enough to establish its safe and effective use. Argyria, a non-fatal but permanent bluish-gray discoloration of the skin, organs, deep tissues, gums, and nail beds, can result from indiscriminate use of over-the-counter colloidal silver.

The use of over-the-counter colloidal silver is unsafe. This is based on the FDA’s position and on previous recommendations that physicians stop prescribing laxatives and nose drops containing colloidal silver.

The risk for the consumer is that each colloidal silver product has a significantly different chemical structure with no standards for dosing or instructions for use.

Reported Minor Complications:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach distress
  • Fatigue
  • Skin irritation

Reported Major Complications:

  • Seizures
  • Kidney damage
  • Argyria

Drug Interactions

Colloidal silver may interfere with the body's absorption of drugs, such as: penacillamine, quinolones, tetracyclines and thyroxine.

Comparison

Possible Harm/No Value

Much more information is needed, including studies that compare colloidal silver with antibiotics, immune enhancing agents and disease management practices before any comparisons can be made.

Cost

Possible Harm/No Value

Cost is dependent on the manufacturer and the amount of silver and the volume of solution in each product. Prices may range from $24 to $50 for an 8-ounce bottle.

Seek the advice of your physician when considering any kind of complementary and alternative treatment choice.

The cost may or may not be covered by your health benefits plan.

Sources

The following are off-site links off-site link :

Federal Register. (1999, August). Department of Health and Human Services. Over-the-counter drug products containing colloidal silver ingredients or silver salts. Retrieved July 7, 2014 from http://www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/98fr/081799a.pdf.

National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. (2013, March). Colloidal silver. Retrieved July 7, 2014 from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/silver/.

WebMD. (2011, August). Colloidal silver. Retrieved July 7, 2014 from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-779-COLLOIDAL+SILVER.aspx?activeIngredientId=779&activeIngredientName=COLLOIDAL+SILVER&source=3.

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. (2012, July). Medical uses of silver. Retrieved July 7, 2014 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colloidal_silver.

Next Review Date

8/14/2015

This document has been classified as public information.

Table of Findings

results:  possible harm / no value

safety:  possible harm / no value

comparison:  possible harm / no value

cost: possible harm / no value


total: possible harm / no value

legend

scale

Page modified:November 8, 2012