Products containing colloidal silver have no known health benefits and may actually be harmful, according to WebMD. The Food and Drug Administration ruled in 1999 that over-the-counter medications containing colloidal silver were neither safe nor effective.
Products such as colloidal silver water are considered misbranded if they are not approved by the FDA but are advertised as having medical uses or promoted for uses that are not proven, notes WebMD. There are no FDA-approved oral medications containing silver, but some people still sell products containing silver that are marketed as homeopathic remedies and dietary supplements. People who believe that colloidal silver is effective use it to treat conditions such as emphysema, psoriasis, Lyme disease, pneumonia and syphilis.
Colloidal silver is likely unsafe when it is taken orally, topically or intravenously, as the silver gets deposited in vital organs, WebMD reports. This silver can increase melanin production, which increases the chances of skin discoloration after exposure to the sun. It can also lead to a bluish skin discoloration that is irreversible. Pregnant women with increased levels of silver have a higher risk of giving birth to babies with abnormal development of the ear, face and neck. Taking colloidal silver may decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics, levothyroxine and penicillamine.