Butterfly Enzyme, Enzyme de Ver de Soie, Extrait de Ver de Soie, SER, Serratia peptidase, Serrapeptidase, Serratiopeptidase, Silk Worm Enzyme, Silkworm Extract.
Serrapeptase is a chemical taken from the silkworm. It is a commonly used drug (Takeda Chemical Industries) in Japan and Europe. In the U.S., serrapeptase is classified as a dietary supplement.
Serrapeptase is used for painful conditions including back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, carpel tunnel syndrome, migraine headache, and tension headache.
It is also used for conditions that involve pain and swelling (inflammation) including sinusitis, laryngitis, sore throat, ear infections, swelling after surgery, swelling of a vein with the formation of a blood clot (thrombophlebitis), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
Some people use serrapeptase for heart disease and “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis).
Women use it for non-cancerous lumpy breasts (fibrocystic breast disease), and nursing mothers use it for breast pain caused by too much milk (breast engorgement).
Other uses include treatment of diabetes, leg ulcers, asthma, and pus accumulation (empyema).
How does it work?
Serrapeptase helps the body break down protein. This might help decrease inflammation and mucous.
Possibly Effective for...
- Facial swelling after surgery to clear the sinuses.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Chronic bronchitis. Developing research suggests that serrapeptase can significantly reduce coughing and thin secretions in people with chronic bronchitis after about 4 weeks of treatment.
- Sinus pain (sinusitis). Early research suggests that people with sinusitis who take serrapeptase have significantly reduced pain, nasal secretions, and nasal obstruction after 3-4 days of treatment.
- Hoarseness (laryngitis). Early research suggests that serrapeptase can significantly reduce pain, secretions, difficulty swallowing, and fever in people with laryngitis after 3-4 days of treatment.
- Sore throat (pharyngitis). Early research suggests that serrapeptase can significantly reduce pain, secretions, difficulty swallowing, and fever in people with sore throat after 3-4 days of treatment.
- Back pain.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Carpel tunnel syndrome.
- Leg ulcers.
- Migraine headache.
- Tension headache.
- Pus accumulation (empyema).
- Fibrocystic breast disease.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
- Breast engorgement.
- Heart disease.
- Ear infections.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Serrapeptase seems to be safe for adults when taken by mouth, short-term (up to 4 weeks). The long-term safety of serrapeptase is not known.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of serrapeptase during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Bleeding disorders: Serrapeptase might interfere with blood clotting, so some researchers worry that it might make bleeding disorders worse. If you have a bleeding disorder, check with your healthcare provider before using serrapeptase.
Surgery: Serrapeptase might interfere with blood clotting. There is a concern that it might increase bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using serrapeptase at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Serrapeptase might decrease blood clotting. Therefore, taking serrapeptase along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Mazzone A, Catalani M, Costanzo M, et al. Evaluation of Serratia peptidase in acute or chronic inflammation of otorhinolaryngology pathology: a multicentre, double-blind, randomized trial versus placebo. J Int Med Res 1990;18:379-88.. View abstract.
Nakamura S, Hashimoto Y, Mikami M, et al. Effect of the proteolytic enzyme serrapeptase in patients with chronic airway disease. Respirology 2003;8:316-20.. View abstract.
Shimizu H, Ueda M, Takai T, et al. A case of serratiopeptidase-induced subepidermal bullous dermatosis. J Int Med Res 1990;18:379-88.. View abstract.
Tachibana M, Mizukoshi O, Harada Y, et al. A multi-centre, double-blind study of serrapeptase versus placebo in post-antrotomy buccal swelling. Pharmatherapeutica 1984;3:526-30.. View abstract.