Last reviewed by Editorial Team on August 24th, 2018.
What is colloidal nasal spray?
Colloidal silver nasal spray consists of tiny silver particles in a liquid. Colloidal silver is a mineral. Silver is a natural antimicrobial that eliminates infection without drying the sinuses to produce the highest degree of relief possible in sinus infection. Colloidal silver is considered as a safe treatment when used in moderation. However, it always comes with the risk of accumulation of the silver in the body. The pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use this treatment.
Colloidal silver nasal sprays are available as over the counter drug products despite several claims regarding less efficacy and no known function of silver on the body. USFDA ruled out the colloidal silver products and considered them as unsafe or unfit for human consumption.
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 no over the counter or prescription drug which contain silver and which administered orally is FDA approved.
Why do people use colloidal silver?
Despite many concerns of safety and effectiveness, colloidal silver is available as many forms including nasal spray in market and people use it for treating lung conditions such as emphysema, bronchitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, and rhinitis. It is also used to prevent flu, swine flu and common cold.
Sinus infections are considered as one of the most common and low risk health condition which is not life-threatening but extremely uncomfortable. However, it does mean that it does not require any treatment. Sinus infection causes a pressure, inflammation in the nasal cavity, and congestion, which is very uncomfortable and painful. Colloidal silver nasal spray can help in treating this condition.
People suffer from sinus infection feel pain and see a thick, greenish, or yellow discharge, which need a constant and aggressive treatment. People may end up in relieving the symptoms and get temporary relief with the help of over-the-counter medication.
This can result in dried nasal passages and dried sinuses. The drying of the sinus prevent the mucus discharge which may lead to more buildup sinuses and more pain and even more congestion.
How does colloidal silver nasal spray work?
Colloidal silver is considered as an efficient and natural antimicrobial agent. It is highly effective in eliminating many bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. It is also used on wound dressings and people use it as home remedy.
Silver has an oligodynamic effect means the biocidal effects of a heavy metal that occur at even very low concentration and metal like silver are toxic to bacteria, algae, and fungi.
Colloidal silver nasal spray contains colloidal silver in which silver ion (present on silver) shows the antibacterial action. The activity of the silver compounds as an antiseptic based on the ability of active silver ion (Ag+) to kill the main enzyme system in the cell membranes irreversibly. The presence of electric field enhances the antibacterial action of the silver.
What are the uses of colloidal silver nasal spray?
As described above, the colloidal silver products are not approved by FDA for its efficacy and safety in treating any disease, but there is abundant information present on the internet that describes its use and efficacy. And as per the information, the colloidal nasal spray used for treating conditions like:
- Common cold
At the same time, the colloidal silver is found ineffective for many conditions. There are no proper evidence is given for this information also. Therefore one should consider their doctor or healthcare professional before using any colloidal silver product, be it colloidal nasal spray or any other product.
Is colloidal silver effective?
Silver is a metal and a non-essential element of the body. It is beneficial to the body as compared to the other metals such as lead and mercury. The excessive consumption of the silver in the body can prove toxic however; one can use it in nominal amounts.
Excess administration of the silver in the body can cause argyria (permanent bluish discoloration of the skin due to accumulation of silver in the body). However, silver does not cause any serious health problems despite turning one person blue.
As per some studies, colloidal silver is effective in:
- Killing and preventing bacterial growth, sometimes antibiotic-resistant bacteria too.
- Killing Candida and Cryptococcus, the strains of pathogenic yeast responsible for various infections
- It prevents virus from entering into human cells
- It is observed as toxic agent for cancer cells
- It is also effective against E. coli and V. cholera responsible for fetal diarrhea
The studies showed the effects of colloidal silver on killing the bacteria were noticeable but the efficacy of colloidal silver is less proven in case of yeast and viruses.
How to use colloidal silver nasal spray?
Colloidal silver is a home remedy that many people use while ill or suffering from common infections such as sinus infections. They sniff a teaspoon full into the sinus cavity when they see the first sign of a sinus infection. People may administer it with the help of neti pot or inhale it from a nebulizer.
Colloidal silver is also available in a liquid form which can be mixed with warm salt water. After mixing the solution, transfer the mixture into the neti pot and pour the solution into the nasal passages using a dropper or nozzle. Allow the sinuses to drain.
Is colloidal spray unsafe for use?
Colloidal silver as a nasal spray or any other product is more likely UNSAFE when administered by any means. The reason behind lacking in efficacy and safety is deposition of silver in vital body organs such as skin, liver, spleen, kidney, muscle, and brain.
The accumulation of the silver in the body can lead to permanent bluish discoloration of the skin. Even the silver is also known to increase the melanin production in the skin and discoloration of the skin increase with increased exposure to the sun.
What are the precautions and warning of the colloidal silver nasal spray?
Colloidal nasal spray should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding as it is likely unsafe when taken in such conditions. 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.
What are some interactions of colloidal silver nasal spray?
Colloidal silver products are not approved by FDA due to its inefficacy and less benefits in the body, at the same time it also interact with the other medications which may result in serious side effects.
The absorption of the antibiotics is reduced by the colloidal silver present in colloidal silver nasal spray. Also it can reduce the efficacy of the antibiotics; therefore concurrent administration of both is prohibited.
Ciprofloxacin, enoxacin, norfloxacin, sparfloxacin, trovafloxacin, and grepafloxacin are some antibiotics whose absorption can be reduced due to administration of colloidal silver products.
Again colloidal silver can reduce the absorption of the tetracycline antibiotics, and also it reduces the efficacy of the tetracycline. One should take colloidal silver two hours before or four hours after the administration of the tetracycline. Demeclocycline, minocycline, and Achromycin are some tetracycline which can interact with colloidal silver.
The absorption of the levothyroxine also gets reduced due to concurrent administration of the colloidal silver nasal spray.
This drug is used for the treatment of Wilson’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis, and the absorption and efficacy of this drug are highly reduced by the colloidal silver if taken altogether.
What does the science say about the safety and side effects of colloidal silver?
The safety and efficacy of the colloidal silver have not been established but as per unethical information present on the internet, it may be used for some infection such as sinus infection, eye infection, bronchitis etc. However, you should never take such medication without prior consent with your doctor.
- Colloidal silver can cause severe side effects such as argyria (a permanent bluish-gray discoloration of the skin due to the accumulation of silver in the body). Home-made and commercial products are mainly responsible for the conditions like argyria.
- Colloidal spray interfere with the absorption of the many other drugs such as antibiotics and thryroxine (given for thyroid deficiency)
- In the year 1999, in order to treat any condition or any disease, the safety and efficacy of the colloidal silver was warned by FDA
- Many companies that made misleading claims for the use and efficacy of the silver products also come under the scanner of FDA and the Federal Trade Commission.
- People may be exposed to silver, usually in tiny amounts, through air, water, and food, and in certain activities such as jewelry-making or soldering.
- Silver has no known function or benefits in the body when taken by mouth.
- Colloidal silver products are sometimes sold as homeopathic remedies.