Potential Dangers and Effects of DCA
Effects and precautions for using DCA, published on December 30, 2018
Sodium dichloroacetate is an alternative cancer therapy that has a low risk of adverse effects. Deaths from DCA have never been documented.
Before we get started, it’s important to remember that Sodium dichloroacetate has been used successfully to treat “Lactic acidosis in infants with congenital mitochondrial abnormalities” for a while now. More than 40 years have passed since the initial clinical trials and published research on the medication. (Ref.)
DCA has been used consistently as a treatment for congenital mitochondrial disorders over this time period. Based on their findings, Peter Stacpoole and coworkers established that Sodium dichloroacetate had zero, mild, or moderate adverse effects when administered therapeutically. (Ref.)
Dosing and patient age affect the likelihood of adverse responses. Larger incidences of adverse effects have been linked to both higher DCA dosages and older patient ages (40+). (Ref.)
Very rarely, some people have slower-than-average DCA metabolism. As a result, even at recommended DCA dosages, these individuals may have more rapid onset and more severe DCA safety and side effects. The problems above should disappear if the DCA dosage is reduced.
Almost majority of the negative effects of stopping DCA use will go away within a week. It may take 7 or 14 (very) unusual days for the reversible peripheral neuropathy to entirely go away. From what we can tell from the observational data collected at one of the most renowned DCA clinics (Ref), just 44% of patients who took DCA did not report any negative reactions to the drug.
These are the most frequently reported adverse effects of dichloroacetate:
Peripheral neuropathy (occurring in as many as 20% of DCA users).
The hands, feet, and fingers are the starting points for this set of symptoms. Tingling, numbness, tremor, unpleasant feelings, and somewhat increased difficulty in coordinated movement are all possible symptoms of neuropathy.
Tingling in the eyes, lips, and tongue are less frequent manifestations of neuropathy than tingling in other areas of the body.
The onset of peripheral neuropathy usually takes a few weeks to a few months.
Reducing the DCA dosage or discontinuing use may lessen the severity of, or perhaps eliminate, this adverse effect. As much as 20% of DCA users report experiencing drowsiness, foggy thinking, and disorientation (Ref).
The good news is that decreasing the DCA dosage or discontinuing use may alleviate or eliminate this cluster of symptoms.
Heartburn, nausea, and gastrointestinal issues are some of the unusual adverse effects of dichloroacetate.
If you take dichloroacetate by mouth, you can have mild stomach upset.
localized tumor pain (temporary and then resolves).
Such a response is really unusual. This suggests that a high number of cancer cells are being killed off as a result of DCA treatment. However, in the most widely used DCA clinics, only a small number of instances of Tumor lysis syndrome were reported. Those with leukemia, lymphoma, or large tumors are at higher risk for this happening to them. (Referrals 1 and 2)
Symptom-free, mild increase of liver enzymes (AST, ALT, GGT).
Almost all prescription drugs may slightly alter blood levels of liver enzymes. Up to 1 percent of people using DCA may have mild increases in liver transaminases and transpeptidases (50–60 U/l). You shouldn’t be too concerned about these little adjustments.
Antibiotics, paracetamol (acetaminophen), some medical herbs, and hormonal contraceptives may all cause a rise in liver enzyme levels that is comparable to or even greater than that caused by alcohol. (Ref) heightened worry, emotional swings, and hallucinations.
After DCA usage is stopped, the side effects should subside. Patients using medicines with profound effects on the central nervous system are more prone to develop these symptoms.
The effects of dichloroacetate on various organs:
Neurological effects of dopamine-converting enzyme (DCA).
Always bear in mind that DCA might exacerbate the negative effects of cannabis, benzodiazepines, opioids, and other medicines that act on the central nervous system (eg. Delirium, memory problems).
If the prescribed medication has previously produced unwanted side effects, this is more likely to occur. Interactions between DCA and medications that operate on the central nervous system are unlikely if the patient is otherwise healthy.
We advise beginning with modest dosages of Sodium dichloroacetate and gradually increasing it to avoid the potential for adverse medication interactions. DCA and the cardiovascular system.
Overall, dichloroacetate seems to improve cardiac function without requiring more oxygen. The heart’s ability to generate energy is also boosted. People with heart failure and a greater risk of myocardial ischemia may safely use this medication. DCA and the liver function (ref).
Because dichloroacetate is metabolized by the liver, it is not recommended to use large dosages of DCA in cases of liver failure and severe jaundice. DCA should be delivered intravenously rather than orally in these circumstances. (Ref.)
DCA and renal function.
Patients with renal failure may safely use dichloroacetate. The medicine does not harm the kidneys in any way.
Diabetic central nervous system activity (DCA) and diabetes.
Patients with diabetes may benefit from improved blood glucose control when Sodium Dichloroacetate is administered. DCA seems to reduce glucose levels in the blood between meals. (Ref.)
This is the most up-to-date, reliable data about DCA’s effects on the body’s main organs. Sodium dichloroacetate has minimal dangers to human health, and these concerns may be eliminated altogether if the chemical is handled with caution and a solid foundation of understanding.
Hopefully, the most pressing concerns have been addressed in this post.
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