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 an aminosterol derived from dogfish shark tissues. It has been shown to kill bacteria and block growth of new blood vessels in laboratory studies. Clinical trials show that squalamine is safe and well-tolerated when given to human subjects to treat cancer and age-related macular degeneration. However, most of these studies used the injectable form of squalamine. It is unclear if oral squalamine products have the same effects. Further studies are needed.

Purported Uses

  • To treat cancer
    Clinical studies have shown that the injectable form of squalamine is safe to give to human subjects with solid tumors, but they have not proven that squalamine is an effective anticancer drug.
  • To treat age-related macular degeneration
    Clinical studies have shown that squalamine is safe to give to human subjects, but they have not proven that squalamine is an effective drug to treat the condition.
  • To treat bacterial infections
    Experimental studies show that squalamine kills gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, but clinical studies have not been done in humans to show that squalamine can be used to treat bacterial infections.

Do Not Take If

  • You are taking cisplatin, paclitaxel, and cyclophosphamide: Squalamine may increase cytotoxic effects.
  • You are taking colistin and tobramycin: Squalamine may increase antibiotic effects.

Side Effects

  • Liver toxicity
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Anorexia
  • Muscle weakness