Side Effects of Colloidal Silver versus 4 Popular Antibiotic Drugs

Colloidal Silver is in My “Medicine Chest”. You can find Colloidal Silver at Act Natural Health & Wellness. We carry Natural Path Silver Wings colloidal silver spray, tincture, ointment and gel.

By Steve Barwick

Shills for the big drug companies love to falsely claim that colloidal silver usage is rife with serious side effects and thus should be avoided at all costs.

Below, we compare the known side effects of colloidal silver with the known side effects of four of the most popular prescription antibiotic drugs*.

You decide, with the help of your doctor or experienced natural health care practitioner, which of these substances need to be “avoided at all costs” and which represent the safer alternative.

Most folks know that colloidal silver is a completely natural mineral supplement that’s used one of two ways by tens of millions of people worldwide:

1.) Occasional usage: Colloidal silver is used on an occasional basis as a nutritional adjunct to help the body fight off active infections — i.e., colds, flu, sore throat, sinus infections, eye infections, earache and more.

2.) Daily usage: Some people even use colloidal silver on a regular daily basis, in small amounts, to help prevent infections from taking place, particularly during cold and flu season, or to help keep the underlying infections behind certain chronic degenerative disease in check.

But is there any truth to the shrill cries from critics that colloidal silver is “rife with serious side effects,” and therefore should never be used?

Known Side Effects of Colloidal Silver

Truth be told, like the vast majority of mineral supplements, colloidal silver is relatively side-effect free. When researchers from the Dartmouth University Toxic Metals Research Program studied the effects of silver intake in humans, they wrote:

“Trace amounts of silver are in the bodies of all humans and animals. We normally take in between 70 and 88 micrograms of silver a day, half of that amount from our diet.

Humans have evolved with efficient methods of dealing with that intake, however. Over 99 percent is readily excreted from the body.

Is silver harmful to humans? Unlike other metals such as lead and mercury, silver is not toxic to humans and is not known to cause cancer, reproductive or neurological damage, or other chronic adverse effects.”C:\Users\Barwick\Pictures\123rf (images)\SEHNemail images\happy facegreen.PNG

Or as Dr. Herbert Slavin, M.D., Director of the Institute of Advanced Medicine in Lauderhill Florida has put it:

“Few things in life are as cut-and-dried as the fact that silver is completely safe when used within normal limits…Ionic silver is entirely non-toxic to the body.”

And as Dr. Jeffrey Blumer, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Drug Research and former director of the Greater Cleveland Poison Control Center has stated:

“Common substances like table salt and aspirin are harmless with normal use, but excessive intake can become toxic and even life-threatening. With normal responsible usage, silver supplements are entirely harmless to humans.”

As Byron Richards, CCN (Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist, charter member of the International Association of Clinical Nutritionists has stated, “…the antibiotic properties of silver are quite potent – and the risk to human health in terms of toxicity is negligible. [Silver has] a far better risk/benefit profile than commonly used antibiotics.”

And as Dr. Ron Leavitt, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology at Brigham Young University has stated, regarding his own clinical studies of colloidal silver:

“The data suggests that with the low toxicity associated with colloidal silver, in general, and the broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity of this colloidal silver preparation, this preparation may be effectively used as an alternative to antibiotics.”

Finally, as Dr. Kent Holtorf, M.D. of the Holtorf Medical Group has written:

“Silver compounds have been used as medicine since the late 1800’s and have been used as a treatment against infections by hundreds of thousands of individuals in the United States.

…There is evidence that silver is a natural critical component of our immune system and that low tissue levels associated with a dietary deficiency may result in a relatively weakened immune system, making one more prone to infection.

The modern versions of colloidal silver (oligodynamic silver) are shown to have little or no toxicity.”

In short, colloidal silver is generally considered to be harmless and free of serious side effects when used responsibly. In terms of known side effects, on very rare occasion, use of colloidal silver might cause a mild allergic reaction (skin rash) if the individual has a pre-existing allergy to silver. Stopping the use of colloidal silver resolves the rash.

In extremely rare instances, exceedingly abusive use of colloidal silver has been known to stain the skin blue or gray (i.e., argyria, or so-called “blue man syndrome”). But this phenomenon occurs only after egregiously excessive amounts of colloidal silver have been consumed on a regular ongoing basis for months or years on end. The simple key to avoiding this very rare side effect is to use colloidal silver responsibly instead of abusively.

Compare That to the Side Effects
Of Prescription Antibiotic Drugs

It’s important to note that compared to prescription antibiotic drugs, which cause several thousand deaths from severe side effects every year in the U.S., no medically demonstrated deaths from colloidal silver usage have ever reported.

Indeed, the American Association of Poison Control Centers, which tracks and documents the number of deaths from various substances each year, and which publishes their annual report in the journal of Clinical Toxicology, has never reported a medically-documented death from colloidal silver.

Finally, most experts agree colloidal silver usage does not contribute in a significant way to antibiotic resistance among pathogens thanks to its multi-pronged modes of action. The bottom line is that it’s toxicity profile and side effect profile is about the same as any other nutrient mineral.

Known Penicillin-Class Drug Side Effects*

On the other hand, the side effects of penicillin-class antibiotic drugs (aka Penicillin V, Amoxicillin, Augmentin) can be quite serious, ranging from allergic reaction to death from anaphylactic shock. These side effects can include:

Skin rash
Stomach pain
Swollen tongue
Difficulty breathing
Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
Black “hairy” tongue
Diarrhea that is watery or bloody
Vaginal yeast infection
Fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
Kidney disease
Easy bruising or bleeding
Unusual weakness
Urinating less than usual or not at all
Severe skin rash or other skin eruptions
Itching, or peeling of skin
Agitation, confusion
Unusual thoughts or behavior
Seizure (black-out or convulsions)
Vaginal itching or discharge
Thrush mouth (Candida yeast overgrowth)
Low platelet or red blood cell count
Leucopenia (low white blood cell count)
Hemolytic anemia

That’s 31 different side effects from one of the most popular antibiotic drugs of all times. According to an article in, there are a whopping 500 to 1,000 deaths each year in the U.S. from penicillin-induced anaphylactic shock, alone. In other words, allergic reaction to the drug kills up to 1,000 people annually.

What’s more, unlike colloidal silver, the use of penicillin-class drugs have been known for decades to contribute to antibiotic drug resistance among pathogens.

Known Cephalexin (aka Keflex) Drug Side Effects*

The side effects of Cephalexin antibiotic drugs can range from rash, to vaginal yeast infection, to the development of sores and ulcers.

Worse yet, Sudden Death Syndrome is also a known side effect. Other side effects of Cehphalexin can include:

General tiredness and weakness
Itching or rash
Vaginal yeast infection
Joint or muscle pain
Light-colored stools
Loss of appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Red skin lesions, often with a purple center
Red, irritated eyes
Sore throat
Sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
Unpleasant breath odor
Unusual tiredness or weakness
Upper right abdominal or stomach pain
Vomiting of blood
Yellow eyes or skin
Abdominal or stomach cramps or tenderness
Back or leg pains
Black, tarry stools
Bleeding gums
Blood in the urine or stools
Chest pain
Coughing up blood
Diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody
Difficulty with breathing or swallowing
Fast heartbeat
General body swelling
Increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding
Increased thirst
Large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
Loss of appetite
Painful or difficult urination
Pale skin
Pinpoint red spots on the skin
Prolonged bleeding from cuts
Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
Red or black, tarry stools
Red or dark brown urine
Swollen or painful glands
Tightness in the chest
Unusual bleeding or bruising
Unusual weight loss
Watery or bloody diarrhea

That’s 52 different side effects from another of the most popular antibiotic drugs in history. According to, Sudden Death Syndrome of nearly 300 people taking Cephalexin has been reported.

As with other antibiotic drugs, Cephalexin usage is known to contribute to antibiotic drug resistance among pathogens. Colloidal silver is not.

Known Ciprofloxacin (aka Cipro) Drug Side Effects*

The side effects of Ciprofloxacin antibiotic drugs have been the discussion of many medical conferences and studies, and can range from diarrhea to psychiatric toxicity, to death. These side effects can also include:

Runny stool
Bloody or black, tarry stools
Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles” or tingling feelings
Changes in skin color
Changes in urination
Chest pain or discomfort
Chest tightness or heaviness
Chills or fever
Clumsiness or unsteadiness
Continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
Coughing or spitting up blood
Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
Fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
Headache, severe and throbbing
Hearing loss
Hives or welts or skin rash
Joint stiffness
Large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
Light-colored stools
Muscle pain or stiffness
Nausea and vomiting
Numbness of the hands
Pain in the joints
Pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck, painful
Red lumps under the skin, mostly on the legs
Pounding in the ears
Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
Redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
Severe abdominal or stomach pain, cramping, or burning
Shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
Swelling of the face, feet, or lower legs
Swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
Thick, white vaginal discharge with no odor or with a mild odor
Unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
Unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
White patches in the mouth and/or on the tongue
Yellow eyes or skin
Acid or sour stomach
Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
Bluish-colored lips, fingernails, or palms
Bone pain
Diarrhea, watery and severe, which may also be bloody
Difficulty with breathing, chewing, or talking
Double vision
Excessive muscle tone
Feeling of discomfort
Feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not there
Increased sensitivity to pain
Increased sensitivity to touch
Irregular or slow heart rate
Mood changes
Rapid heart rate
Red skin lesions, often with a purple center
Sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
Unusual bleeding or bruising
Unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness
Vaginal yeast infection

That’s 61 known side effects to this popular antibiotic drug that’s been in use for over 20 years.

It’s important to note that “psychiatric toxicity” has been reported by Cipro users, with “at least 600 suicide-related cases reported in the last 18 years — 133 deaths.” (Source:

What’s more, unlike colloidal silver, Ciprofloxacin is known to contribute to antibiotic drug resistance among pathogens.

Known Levofloxacin (aka Levaquin) Drug Side Effects*

The side effects of Levofloxacin and other quinolone-class antibiotic drugs have also been extensively studied, and can range from stomach cramps to emotional agitation, to death. Other side effects can include:

Diarrhea (watery or bloody)
Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain (severe)
Vaginal yeast infection
Severe mood or mental changes and unusual behaviors, including the feeling that others can hear your thoughts or control your behavior, and seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not actually there
Pain, inflammation, or swelling in the calves of the legs, shoulders, or hands, including tendon rupture or swelling of the tendon (tendinitis)
Redness and swelling of the skin
Sensation of burning on the skin
Skin rash
Itching, or redness
Black, tarry stools
Blurred vision
Burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensation including peripheral neuropathy
Dark-colored urine
Difficulty with breathing
Difficulty with chewing, talking, or swallowing
Drooping eyelids
Fast or irregular heartbeat
General body swelling
Joint or muscle pain, including tendon rupture or swelling of the tendon (tendinitis)
Muscle cramps, spasms, pain, or stiffness
Peeling or loosening of the skin
Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
Severe dizziness
Severe tiredness
Tightness in the chest
Unsteadiness or awkwardness
Unusual bleeding or bruising
Unusual bodily tiredness or weakness
Vision changes
Voice changes
Weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet including worsening of myasthenia gravis
Abdominal or stomach pain or discomfort
Change in taste
Trouble sleeping
Vaginal itching and discharge

That’s 51 different side effects, and the list continues to grow for this particular antibiotic drug. According to, 3,000 deaths and 200,000 complaints of serious side effects have been reported from the use of Levofloxacin since its introduction to the market in 1996.

What’s more, unlike colloidal silver, the use of Levofloxacin is acknowledged to contribute to antibiotic drug resistance among pathogens.

Your Choice

As you can see, compared to safe, natural colloidal silver, four of today’s most popular antibiotic drugs are rife with mild…to moderate…to very serious side effects, including:

Neuropathy, paralysis, coughing up blood, chest pain, seizures, trembling, convulsions, difficulty swallowing, skin peeling, destruction of muscle mass, gradual onset of bizarre psychological symptoms, and even sudden death syndrome.

The side effects of these FDA-approved prescription antibiotic drugs are made to sound almost inconsequential in the drug ads you’ve seen for them on TV. And frankly, most other popular antibiotic drugs have long lists of very similar side effects.

There’s simply not enough room in this article to cover them all. So the four antibiotic drugs above were chosen for this article as being representative of most others.

Yet, safe, natural colloidal silver is what the critics attack, with its two known – but very rare — side effects, i.e., skin rash if you have an existing silver allergy, and argyria (i.e., so-called “blue man syndrome”) if you use the product abusively on a regular basis for long periods of time.

So the next time your doctor wants to prescribe an antibiotic drug for you, be sure to ask him or her about the drug’s laundry list of side effects, and take those into account when making your decision. Additionally, consider asking your local naturopathic physician about using safe, natural, infection-fighting colloidal silver, instead.

*Reproduced from an article by Steve Barwick, The Silver Edge

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