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Blue-green algae

What is it?

Blue-Green algae is an plant (algae) taken from the sea. Its blue-green color comes from chlorophyll (green) and phycocyanin (blue). Blue-green Algae has been used for weight loss, malnutrition, diabetes, anemia, and viral infections. It has also been used to treat liver disease, ulcers, hair loss, stress, and to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Other names for Blue-Green Algae include: Spirulina, DIHE, and Tecuitlatl.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Blue-Green Algae you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Blue-Green Algae. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Warnings:

  • Before taking Blue-Green Algae, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Some Blue-Green Algae preparations may contain mercury. Taking more than 20 grams daily of Blue-Green Algae may harm your health if mercury is present (1)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

This medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

References:

1. Fetrow C & Avila J: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999.

2. DerMarderosian A (ed): The Review of Natural Products. Facts and Comparisons Inc, St. Louis, MO; 2000.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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