Silymarin – Effects and Side Effects

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Silymarin is very effective in cirrhosis. Survival rate is very high when used silymarin for this treatment. Several studies reported that silymarin is effective in patients having viral hepatitis. Even in serious conditions, it can reduce the complications. Silymarin can significantly accelerate the recovery process from hepatitis. Suggested dosage is 140mg thrice a day. If followed for three weeks, there can be significant improvements.

Alcohol related liver diseases can be dealt with silymarin. In this case the suggested dose is 420mg/day. This should be followed for 4 weeks. The studies on these gave significant results. Study reports that after 4 weeks ALT level was found to decrease by 33%. This was a very effective treatment.

Even though there are plenty of uses known, many studies didn’t yield positive results. For few individuals, even taken for long term, silymarin was not useful and didn’t yield desired results. There was a study on cirrhosis patients. That was conducted for 2 years. 125 patients were subjected in the study. This study reported no positive result of silymarin on cirrhosis patients.healthy meal

Side effects:

If the patient is allergic to milk thistle plant then they should avoid silymarin. Even in case of allergies with members of the Asteraceae or Compositae family, Silybum marianum, ragweed, daisies and sunflower silymarin should be avoided. When used without knowledge patient may experience severe itching in face, eyes within few minutes of dosage. Other allergic conditions include cramps, diarrhea, breathing difficulties, abdominal pain, swallowing difficulties, vomiting, angiodema and hives. These cases should be considered severe and should be given medical attention. If not treated on time these could be fatal.

When taken in along with other drugs supplements silymarin can interact with them and can cause some side effects. So before going for this, doctors should be well informed about the medical history of the patient and the medications he is taking currently. There are few medical conditions in which silymarin supplement should not be prescribed. Since it can affect the hormone system of an individual, people already suffering from ovarian, uterine, breast cancers and with endometriosis should not go for silymarin.

Patients having diabetes should not use silymarin because it can lower the blood sugar levels. If used, patients should be monitored well and regular medications may need to be adjusted regularly.

Usually silymarin is found to react with medications like drugs which affect the blood, which enhance milk production, and medicines for liver disorders. I may also interact with anti-inflamatory, anti-anxiety and anti-cancer drugs. It even affects cholesterol-lowering drugs.

It should be avoided if the patient is already taking fertility drugs, hormonal drugs, glucuronidated drugs,impotence medications, pencilin, phenytoin, losartan, talinolol, and rapamycin.

It should be avoided with Tamoxifen supplement. Silymarin can regulate the amount of supplement to be absorbed by the body. Silymarin decreses the effect of estrogen drugs when taken at the same time.

If the patient is taking atorvastatin, lovastatin, fluvastatin and pravastatin which are meant for lowering cholesterol levels, then this should be discussed with doctor before going for silymarin. Breastfeeding women and pregnant women should avoid taking silymarin. Visit for more know how.


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