Fish Antibiotics For Humans: Reasons Why You Should Never Try It

In recent years fish antibiotics have been used as a cheaper version of the versions prescribed by doctors. Many consumers have been using fish medicines for functions like survival kits.

tablets from bottles

Many people might eat fish food if they had to, but what about fish medicine? In recent years this practice has been trending. In fact, fish often take many of the same antibiotics that humans do. So it might seem safe and effective to take fish medicine.

However, health experts warn that it isn’t a good idea for various reasons. They include the fact that fish medicine isn’t regulated. So you might not even be getting the same antibiotics as the human version.

There are other issues related to the fact that they can’t be legally marketed as human food. They simply haven’t undergone the normal testing to determine whether or not the fish antibiotics for humans are safe and effective for humans to consume.  

In fact, besides taking the antibiotics directly studies show eating fish that took them is also dangerous. There have been various studies conducted about consuming fish antibiotics through fish that ate them.

The studies show that there are various possible negative effects, which consumers will definitely want to avoid. However, it’s important to take a closer look. As noted humans take many of the same antibiotics that fish do so it’s worth considering whether or not it’s truly dangerous to eat fish that ate antibiotics.

What Are Fish Antibiotics?

In recent years fish antibiotics marketed for humans have been trending. However, there are some big questions about this practice. It’s important to note that just because something is trending doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

For example, consider that “organic” beef doesn’t allow the cows to be injected by stuff like antibiotics and hormones. Besides containing synthetic ingredients some studies link such beef to a higher risk of health conditions like heart disease. This might even explain why red meat has often been linked to serious diseases including cancer in recent years.

However, the process of taking fish antibiotics is actually less exotic than it might sound. The reason is many of the antibiotics are actually taken by humans already. In fact, several of them are used to fight off bacteria and other stuff, for example.

In recent years fish antibiotics have been used as a cheaper version of the versions prescribed by doctors. Many consumers have been using fish medicines for functions like survival kits. Not only are they easier to get but they’re also cheaper.

One of the main issues is it’s tough to stock up on doctor-prescribed antibiotics. As a result, it simply might seem more practical to take fish antibiotics instead. Consumers are looking for fish medicines that provide certain features including:

  • Available without a prescription
  • Fight off human infections
  • Available in big quantities

These features might make it seem that fish antibiotics are good options. However, it’s important to take a closer look at the situation and whether or not this is a safe AND effective option.

It turns out that in many cases the fish antibiotics are available with the same ingredients and dosage versus the human versions.

If you’re considering fish antibiotics there are some important issues to take up. For example, the product should only contain one ingredient (the antibiotic).

Fish Antibiotics for Humans: Possible Dangers


More specifically, sometimes products don’t just include antibiotics. They might contain other ingredients including synthetic ones. Depending on what’s added to the product this could affect a person’s health in negative ways.

This doesn’t mean single-ingredient fish antibiotics are 100% safe. However, since many products contain other additives, there are some big question marks about how safe and effective they are. Even the effectiveness could be an issue if there are multiple ingredients instead of one.


The dosages for fish might be different than humans. In many cases, they’re actually quite similar. However, there’s no guarantee that what’s printed on the product’s packaging makes it safe/effective for humans to take.

In other words, without actually getting a prescription from your doctor it’s unclear how much of the antibiotic you should take. Even the “normal” dosage might not be safe/effective considering factors like your medical history and health condition.


Fish antibiotics aren’t regulated for humans, which is one of the main reasons you should never, ever consider taking them. It’s true the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements differently than prescription medicines.

However, in this case, we’re talking about fish medicine. If the antibiosis were tested and approved by the FDA it would be a different story. That’s true even though the requirements are less strict than for medicines.

This is actually one of the biggest red flags by regulating organizations. Consumers could be taking major risks when they take antibiotics AND brands that haven’t been given a thumbs-up by the FDA, for example.


This is easily one of the most dangerous situations. In several cases, the antibiotics that fish take are actually the same ones that humans take. However, there are actually some antibiotics that fish take but humans don’t. These are easily the highest-risk options since there’s no solid evidence that taking such antibiotics are safe for humans.

Fish Antibiotics: Top Reasons and Types   

Here are some of the top reasons many people are buying fish antibiotics:


It can sometimes be a hassle to get an antibiotics prescription. In some cases, people are feeling a little under the weather with a cold, flu, etc. The traditional way of dealing with such health issues has been home remedies. However, fish antibiotics are becoming more popular as a Plan B.

Securing a prescription can be tough. You’ll have to travel to the doctor’s office, wait in the waiting room, get a checkup, secure a prescription, then get it filled. It’s a lot easier to buy fish antibiotics then take them. Many people are willing to deal with the possible risks if it means they can treat health conditions more easily.


One reason humans have been taking fish antibiotics is to save money. Several of the same antibiotics that are FDA-approved for humans are also used for fish. In fact, the dosages are also the same in many cases.

In recent decades the costs of prescription drugs have been sky-rocketing. Fun Fact: In 2017 the global value of the pharmaceutical market was about $935 billion. In some cases generic antibiotics are available. However, consumers can save even more money by buying fish antibiotics.


In some situations people need antibiotics for health issues or just want to stockpile them for emergencies like an apocalypse. In these cases, it’s a lot easier to stockpile fish antibiotics than human versions.

It’s one of the main reasons why people are opting for fish antibiotics. In fact, it’s quite easy to find suppliers of fish antibiotics.

Here are some of the most popular kinds of fish antibiotics:

  • Ampicillin
  • Azithromycin (Z–Pak)
  • Cephalexin
  • Doxycycline
  • Sulfamethoxazole & Trimethoprim (SMZ-TMP)

It’s important to learn about the features and pros/cons of all of them when considering antibiotics for humans.

list of reasons to avoid fish antibiotics

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