This information describes the common uses of Squalamine, how it works, and its possible side effects.

Common Name

Squalamine lactate

How It Works

Squalamine has anticancer effects but definitive evidence is lacking.

Squalamine is a compound derived from dogfish shark tissues. It has been shown to kill bacteria and block growth of new blood vessels in laboratory studies. Clinical studies show that squalamine is safe and well-tolerated when given to patients with cancer and age-related macular degeneration. However, these studies used the injectable form of squalamine. It is unclear if oral squalamine products have the same effects. Further research is needed.

Squalamine should not be confused with squalene, an oil found in shark liver.

Purported Uses

  • To treat cancer
    Clinical studies have shown that the injectable form of squalamine is safe in patients with solid tumors, but it is not known if it can treat cancer.
  • To treat age-related macular degeneration
    Clinical studies have shown that squalamine is safe and well tolerated, but it is not known if it can be used to treat this condition.
  • To treat bacterial infections
    Squalamine showed antibacterial effects in lab studies, but clinical trials have not been done to show that it can be used to treat bacterial infections.

Side Effects

  • Fatigue, nausea, anorexia, and liver toxicity have been reported following use of intravenous squalamine in a clinical study.