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Coming into contact with fish medication while treating aquaria

28 Jun 2022
I’ve been researching what medicines to have on hand for treating fish.

I never thought of this before and I’m surprised I and others haven’t brought it up more often.

It struck me as a concern a couple times in my research recently. Once when they spoke of anti-parasite medicines being used by rubbing on the livestock’s ears, so obviously absorbed through the skin. The other time when enrofloxcin was mentioned as one of the most advanced antibiotics that we have for fish treatment, but one of the reasons it didn’t pass human trials was that it causes hallucinations!

Another cautious moment for me was when I saw Cipro is used for ornamental fish. I have bad reactions to this medicine.

So, in hindsight this all seems that it should have been a concern all along that I’d need to learn more about. Surprised I’ve never seen it discussed.

So clearly some anti-parasites can be absorbed through the skin and we should probably use gloves as a precaution there?

What about antibiotics and others?

Is there a reason there’s no concern here? Or is there concern and people simply use proper gloves and eye protection and I’ve just not heard this before.

In the UK antibiotics are only available with a prescription from a vet, we don't have free access to the way you seem in the US so it's not something most people will have had to consider.

You'd definitely want to avoid contact with the skin undiluted with most meds, I'm not sure about the concentrations once they are in a tank. I wouldn't have thought it was more of a risk, possibly less, than those that are used on pet/cat dogs.

People can be allergic to individual meds though, and sometimes it's not the med but the carrier that it's dissolved into.