Does Colloidal Silver Really Interfere With the Absorption of Certain Medications?
Some online sources have claimed that colloidal silver “may” interfere with the absorption of certain medications such as penicillamine, quinolone, tetracycline as well as thyroxine medications. But is this true? Are the claims reliably documented? And is there any way to know for sure? Here’s what I’ve found out so far…
Hi, Steve Barwick here, for The Silver Edge…
From time to time I get emails from readers asking me if colloidal silver is “compatible” with certain prescription medications they’re taking.
Other readers ask me if there’s any “contraindications” (i.e., known potential problems) between colloidal silver and the medications they’re taking.
Of course, I’m not a doctor. I’m a natural health journalist. So these are questions that need to be taken up with a knowledgeable and experienced physician. But here’s what I do know, from a journalistic standpoint:
A Dearth of Clinical Studies…
The problem with knowing whether or not colloidal silver is “compatible” with certain medications or “contraindicated” for certain medications is that very few clinical studies have been conducted on this subject.
The main study I know of – the famous BYU study in which colloidal silver was tested in conjunction with a number of antibiotics – showed that in a significant number of cases colloidal silver has a positive additive effect when used with certain popular antibiotics.
In other words, colloidal silver increased the effectiveness of the antibiotics, particularly against antibiotic-resistant pathogens, including MRSA.
In fact, the study showed that when colloidal silver was added to certain antibiotic drugs that had previously lost their effectiveness against drug-resistant pathogens, the colloidal silver completely restored the effectiveness of the antibiotics against the deadly pathogens.
You can see the BYU study here. And there have been several other clinical studies that have backed up the results from the BYU study (see over five dozen clinical studies on the safety and effectiveness of antimicrobial silver, here).
“May” Interfere With Absorption…
On the other hand, websites like WebMD.com and MayoClinic.com claim that colloidal silver “may” interfere with the absorption of certain antibiotic medications like quinolones and tetracycline, as well as thyroxine medications (synthetic thyroid drugs) and penicillamine, a rheumatoid arthritis drug that’s also used as a treatment for several other more-or-less obscure diseases.
Unfortunately, neither WebMD.com nor MayoClinic.com cite reference sources or provide any documentation whatsoever for their claims that colloidal silver “may” interfere with the absorption of this small handful of drugs.
Way back in 2009, the FDA published a consumer advisory bulletin on “Dietary Supplements Containing Silver” which also very briefly mentioned the claim that colloidal silver can interfere with the absorption of certain prescription medications.
This FDA consumer advisory bulletin might be where WebMD.com and MayoClinic.com are getting their information, since the claims are similar.
But even the FDA bulletin cited no sources, documentation or clinical studies to back up the claims. And once again, the bulletin merely says colloidal silver “may” interfere with penicillamine, quinolone, tetracycline and thyroxine drugs.
So in terms of reliable documentation, there’s nothing definitive I know of at this point in time.
Still, this issue has concerned me enough to pique my curiosity beyond normal levels.
So I hired an experienced pharmaceutical industry researcher to comb through the online PubMed database records to see if there were any clinical studies demonstrating an interaction between colloidal silver and medications like penicillamine, quinolone, tetracycline and thyroxine.
He spent several days on the project and could find nothing in the published medical literature to back up these claims.
I personally spent several days searching through additional online orthodox medical resources, and could find no back-up documentation for these claims.
So at present it’s still unclear to me whether or not there’s any solid clinical evidence for such claims.
However, because this is potentially such an important issue, several weeks ago I emailed the FDA and asked them to document their claims.
They emailed back and said I’d have to file a Freedom of Information Act request if I wanted to know their sources.
Unbelievable, right? Typical bureaucratic stonewalling.
But I filed the Freedom of Information Act request, and this past week I got an email message from the FDA saying, basically, they had received my request and “would get to it as soon as possible.”
They also noted they might have to charge me a fee for “processing” my request.
Heck, I thought I paid my fees back in April when the IRS collected my taxes. But folks, it’s all about the Benjamins. And the information is important enough that I’m willing to pay for it, if it exists.
But it remains to be seen whether or not the FDA comes up with anything reliable to help resolve this issue. I have a sneaking suspicion they won’t. But I’m willing to wait and see before forming a judgment on this issue.
Still Don’t Know…
So there you have it. We still don’t know if there’s any reliable clinical evidence whatsoever for these claims that colloidal silver “may” interfere with the absorption of certain medications.
What I do know is that in 17 years of researching colloidal silver, writing about colloidal silver, and interviewing hundreds of other avid colloidal silver users, I’ve only heard one complaint from a colloidal silver user claiming the infection-fighting substance appeared to interfere with the absorption of her medication.
And since that person would not allow me to speak with her doctor to verify the complaint, and also refused to answer any of my subsequent emails, I had to write off the claim as potentially spurious.
That doesn’t mean colloidal silver can’t interfere with the absorption of certain medications. I just haven’t seen any reliable evidence of it, yet, whether clinical or anecdotal.
What Some People Do…
The few people I know of who are concerned about the possibility of colloidal silver interfering with the absorption of their medications tend to take their colloidal silver a few hours after taking their medications, so that the meds are already fully absorbed into their bloodstream before the colloidal silver is introduced.
Others go to even greater lengths, taking their medications at one end of the day, and their colloidal silver at the other end of the day to help minimize any such potential interference.
(Naturally, take your medications as prescribed. Don’t adjust dosage times without conferring with your doctor first.)
A very close friend of mine had a dual kidney/pancreas transplant about 10 or 12 years ago, and as a result has to take a handful of prescription medications each day to keep his body from rejecting the transplanted organs.
These anti-rejection drugs are literally crucial to keeping him alive. But they work by dramatically suppressing his immune system so that it can’t identify the transplanted organs as “foreign objects” and reject them.
This means his immune system is kept artificially low, and he’s extremely susceptible to every little cold of flu bug that comes around. Or any kind of infection whatsoever. A serious infection could literally kill him – even a nasty case of the flu.
So each day for the last 10 or 12 years he’s washed down his anti-rejection medications with several ounces of his homemade colloidal silver, in order to help prevent infection.
Unlike some of his fellow transplant recipients, he’s never experienced a serious “rejection episode,” meaning the colloidal silver can’t possibly be interfering with his anti-rejection drugs. They’re working wonderfully.
And he hardly ever gets any colds or flu, either, meaning the colloidal silver is working as well.
So for me, the question of whether or not colloidal silver “may” interfere with certain medications is still up in the air. Maybe colloidal silver can interfere with the absorption of certain medications. Maybe not. We’re still awaiting the evidence.
Hopefully, we’ll know more when, and if, the FDA responds to my Freedom of Information request.
Talk To Your Doctor…
Meantime, if you’re taking medications and you’re concerned about the possibility that colloidal silver might interfere with the absorption of your particular medications, you’ll obviously want to confer with your doctor.
Your doctor should know about ALL of your nutritional supplements, not just colloidal silver.
You don’t have to justify your use of supplements to your doctor. Just let your doctor know that you’re using certain supplements, so he (or she) can check for any potential interaction between the supplement and the medications he’s prescribing for you.
Believe it or not, even something as simple as eating a grapefruit can interfere with certain medications, particularly if they’re ingested at the same time of the day.
If your doctor is concerned about colloidal silver usage due to certain medications you’re taking, you may want to err on the side of caution by foregoing the use of colloidal silver altogether.
Or, you can talk to your doctor about mitigating the possibility of interaction between your colloidal silver supplement and the absorption of your medications by taking the colloidal silver at least several hours after taking the medications.
That way, the medications are already fully absorbed by the body before colloidal silver is introduced into the body.
Again, check with your doctor, who can advise you.
If you’re super-concerned, you can even request your doctor perform blood tests to make sure your medications are functioning effectively when you’ve been using colloidal silver.
For example, if you’re taking thyroxine (thyroid medication) while using colloidal silver, your doctor can have a thyroid test performed to make sure your thyroid medication is keeping your thyroid levels exactly where they need to be.
As soon as I learn more on this topic, I’ll be sure to post another Colloidal Silver Secrets Ezine with the pertinent information.
Meanwhile, you can learn tons more valuable information about safe, natural colloidal silver and its many infection-fighting and immune-boosting uses by clicking the link in this sentence.
Yours for the safe, sane and responsible use of colloidal silver,
Steve Barwick, author
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Important Note and Disclaimer: The contents of this Ezine have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information conveyed herein is from sources deemed to be accurate and reliable, but no guarantee can be made in regards to the accuracy and reliability thereof. The author, Steve Barwick, is a natural health journalist with over 30 years of experience writing professionally about natural health topics. He is not a doctor. Therefore, nothing stated in this Ezine should be construed as prescriptive in nature, nor is any part of this Ezine meant to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Nothing reported herein is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author is simply reporting in journalistic fashion what he has learned during the past 17 years of journalistic research into colloidal silver and its usage. Therefore, the information and data presented should be considered for informational purposes only, and approached with caution. Readers should verify for themselves, and to their own satisfaction, from other knowledgeable sources such as their doctor, the accuracy and reliability of all reports, ideas, conclusions, comments and opinions stated herein. All important health care decisions should be made under the guidance and direction of a legitimate, knowledgeable and experienced health care professional. Readers are solely responsible for their choices. The author and publisher disclaim responsibility and/or liability for any loss or hardship that may be incurred as a result of the use or application of any information included in this Ezine.
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