Tetrasil (also known as Imusil, Genisil, Aviralex, OXi-MED, Beta-mannan, Micronutrient, Qina and SlicPlus) is a substance used in alternative medicine for bacterial, fungal, and viral infections, and which is claimed to be a cure for AIDS and cancer. There is no convincing evidence that Tetrasil is good for AIDS or cancer, though the very little research which has been done on it suggests that Tetrasil has antimicrobial properties in vitro and may be effective for wounds and ulcers.
The sale of Tetrasil as a medical treatment is banned in Zambia because it is unproven.
 What is it?
Tetrasil is silver(I,III) oxide (other names include TST, Silver (II) Oxide, and silver peroxide). Products containing TST are promoted using holistic buzzwords, but it's unclear how TST is more natural and holistic than drugs, given that the substance is a pure active ingredient (otherwise known as a toxic pharmaceutical poison). TST also has some non-medical uses that could be used very effectively for chemophobic fear-mongering:
- TST is a pesticide used to disinfect swimming pool water.
- TST is highly toxic to aquatic species.
- Typical Material Safety Data Sheets identify silver oxide as a Category 2 Oxidizing Solid. OSHA standards define an "oxidizing solid" as "a solid which, while in itself not necessarily combustible, may, generally by yielding oxygen, cause, or contribute to, the combustion of other material. ..."
The fact that silver oxide is used to disinfect swimming pools was used to promote Tetrasil. But chlorine is also used for pool sanitizing.
Tetrasil cream used to be sold by Aidance Skincare, until the FDA sent them a warning saying they were making unsubstantiated health claims and (therefore) selling an unapproved new drug. The company now sells a different cream named Terrasil, whose "maximum strength" and over-the-counter medicated ointment versions include silver oxide (the silver oxide in the ointment is listed as an inactive ingredient).
One wonders why nature-inclined people buy this stuff in the first place, since, by alternative medicine standards, "tetrasilver tetroxide" should be a horrible, synthetic chemical; Tetrasil doesn't come from plants or animals, and it's certainly not natural. The only difference between Tetrasil and pharmaceutical drugs is that Tetrasil isn't FDA-approved. The popularity of Tetrasil among alternative medicine users is probably due to the earthy, back-to-nature marketing scheme used by companies selling it. It may also have something to do with the fact that Tetrasil creams usually include things such as jojoba and essential oils (which is somewhat like adding green tea to cortisone, but whatever), or with the use of colloidal silver.
Not much research has been done, but studies done on the compound so far suggest silver oxide may be good for wounds and ulcers. Silver oxide nanoparticles have antimicrobial properties in vitro but are toxic.
One page hosted by extremely paranoid conspiracy site Rex Research promotes Tetrasil as a cancer treatment and lists many patents held by a Tetrasil company, though if there's a patent for it, that doesn't necessarily mean it's good.
This is what part of the site has to say:
|In October 1977, the United States patented a "method for curing AIDS', US Patent # 5,676,977. [Actually, the patent was filed in the 1990s.] The product is called TETRASIL/IMUSIL and is a one-time injection/infusion that eliminates bacterial pathogens in the blood system of an individual. It is this cheap and effective cure for AIDS that is the subject of my presentation.
As a 29-month recipient of this one time injection, I further submit that we have an effective and cheap remedy for AIDS that is ready now. Our goal in bringing this information to the international community is to serve as aconduit [sic] for the necessary global "double blind" efficacy clinical trials of this U.S. patented CURE for AIDS.
Recent clinical studies commissioned by Marantech and conducted by Exetec Labs in Honduras, indicate that topically applied Tetrasil can lead to dramatic improvements in such infection-caused skin conditions as acne, cold sores, herpes lesions, conjunctivitis, chickenpox, shingles, dermal tuberculosis and ringworm.
The full 5-page article is available through Dr Antelman or Compassion Response Network.
AIDS-Non Terminal Patients: "Clinical testing was performed at Exetec Lab, SA in Honduras under the supervision of Dr. L Roland Valenzuela. Thirty patients were selected from three etiological AIDS groups, 10 for each group namely, Candidiasis, Wasting Syndrome and p. carinii pneumonia. Each patient was given an intravenous infusion of Imusil administered over a three hour period. All patients experienced temperature elevation within 48 hours of administering the Imusil, which was indicative that the immune system was now functioning along with the fact that all patients also started to have dramatic increases in their white blood cell counts. At the end of 30 days of observation, all patients were cured of AIDS. All patients presenting Wasting Syndrome were completely cured of the Syndrome; the average patient gaining approximately one half pound per day. Three patients were completely cured of their pneumonia. Because the protocol was changed from direct injection to slow i.v. infusion of the Imusil, there were no side effects of hepatomegaly."
From this publicly available excerpt (whether it's the entire study or not isn't clear), it appears there is no placebo control group. In addition, as far as can be gleaned from PubMed and the quote above, the study apparently has not been published in any journals, let alone peer-reviewed ones. Even if it has, the findings need to be independently replicated by other researchers.
If a pharmaceutical company promoted one of its drugs on the basis of an unpublished, unblinded, uncontrolled, non-peer-reviewed study available only on its website, that would clearly be unacceptable. Why should alternative medicine companies get a free pass?
- ↑ Foreign Product Alert, Health Canada.
- ↑ Tetrasil/Imusil
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 TetraSilver-TetraOxide vs. Cancer, Marvin S. ANTELMAN.
- ↑ The website of Boyd Graves.
- ↑ Zambia Bans Untested AIDS Cures , Voice of America.
- ↑ Silver(II) Oxide or Silver(I,III) Oxide?, David Tudela.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-PEST/1997/July/Day-09/silver.pdf
- ↑ E.g. 
- ↑ OSHA standard
- ↑ Aidance Skincare & Topical Solutions, LLC 03-Mar-08
- ↑ AIDANCE TERRASIL MAX. MAXIMUM STRENGTH TERRASIL WITH ELECTRON ACTIVE SILVER OXIDE. 44g Jar, Amazon.co.uk.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 TERRASIL WOUND CARE (allantoin 0.5%, benzethonium chloride 0.5%) ointment, DailyMed.
- ↑ TERRASIL WOUND CARE OTC, Drugs.com.
- ↑ Silver oxide ointment wound dressing in venous ulcerations: home, self-management, Belcaro G, Cesarone MR, Errichi BM, Ricci A, Antelman P, Dugall M, Pellegrini L, Ledda A, Viscardi G, Panminerva Med. 2011 Sep;53(3 Suppl 1):29-33.
- ↑ Venous and diabetic ulcerations: management with topical multivalent silver oxide ointment, Belcaro G, Cesarone MR, Errichi BM, Ricci A, Dugall M, Pellegrini L, Ledda A, Grossi MG, Panminerva Med. 2010 Jun;52(2 Suppl 1):37-42.
- ↑ Antimicrobial effects of TiO(2) and Ag(2)O nanoparticles against drug-resistant bacteria and leishmania parasites, Allahverdiyev AM, Abamor ES, Bagirova M, Rafailovich M, Future Microbiol. 2011 Aug;6(8):933-40. doi: 10.2217/FMB.11.78.
- ↑ It's talking about Method of curing AIDS with tetrasilver tetroxide molecular crystal devices.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Study