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Serrapeptase dangers

Updated February 21, 2017

A natural, anti-inflammatory enzyme derived from silkworms, Serrapeptase has been tested for a variety of medical treatments. Though most commonly used in Japan, Serrapeptase is gaining popularity worldwide to treat pain and swelling. Moreover, according to Dr. Ray Sahelian, it has been studied as a treatment for chronic lung disease; chronic ear, nose or throat disorders; and carpal-tunnel syndrome, as well as oedema following operation or injury.

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Side Effects

As with all medications, natural or synthetic, some users of Serrapeptase have experienced side effects. These include minor aches and pains after a few weeks of use. There are also reports of allergic skin reactions, as well as documented cases of patients' developing pneumonitis. Additionally, a 28-year-old Japanese woman was reported to have developed liver dysfunction after being prescribed Serrapeptase in 1998. Nevertheless, the percentage of patients complaining about side effects among overall users of Serrapeptase remains significantly low.

Risk Factors

Before beginning any medical treatment, consult a physician. When contemplating taking Serrapeptase, it is important to discuss your history of allergies, as this is the most likely cause for skin reactions and development of pneumonitis. The potential for liver damage or disease should also be taken into consideration, despite the rarity of such a side effect.

Correct Dosage

A proper consultation with a licensed physician should clear up any questions, but the best way to avoid the dangers of Serrapeptase is to use it in the correct dosage. Currently, the label on over-the-counter Serrapeptase recommends a dosage of once or twice daily. However, both Dr. Sahelian and Dr. Hans Nieper, proponents of Serrapeptase use, recommend limiting a daily dosage to one pill, or 200mg, until further research has been completed. Again, discuss dosage amounts with a doctor before self-medicating.


While a skin rash may not warrant an immediate stop to Serrapeptase treatment, signs of pneumonitis or liver dysfunction should. If you experience severe coughing, fever or other signs of pneumonia, especially if you are coughing up fluid, you should stop taking Serrapeptase and visit a doctor. The same applies if you show any symptoms of liver failure, which would include frequent urination, severe abdominal pain or a yellowing of the skin.


While Serrapeptase is the alternative to more traditional medications, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are more widely prescribed by doctors because of more thorough testing and a long history of success. If there is any reason why Serrapeptase may not be right for you, consult a doctor to learn which NSAID would be more appropriate; your complete medical history and a health examination are always important to identify the potential dangers of any particular medication.

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About the Author

David J. Harvey has worked as a journalist since 2006, while earning a degree in political science and writing at the University of California, San Diego. He has written and edited for the UCSD "Guardian" and the AUC "Caravan" in Cairo, and currently freelances with San Diego's "Uptown News."

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