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  1. Animal Health Literacy

Ornamental Fish Drugs and You


We share a lot with the animal world, and that is a good thing. 

Although it’s true that people and many animals are sometimes prescribed the same antibiotic, they shouldn’t be shared or substituted between species.

You may find an antibiotic on a pet store shelf, or an online pet store, with the same name as a drug prescribed for you or your family members. Drugs like ciprofloxacin, amoxicillin, and tetracycline are sold to treat bacterial diseases in fish and they are frequently prescribed antibiotics for people.

So, why not skip the trip to the doctor’s office and treat yourself with the amoxicillin at the pet store? It’s the same, right?

Wrong. Animal drugs should not be used to treat people.

The antibiotics available in pet stores, or online, for ornamental fish haven’t been approved, conditionally approved, or indexed by the FDA, making it illegal to market them.

These unapproved products have not been evaluated for safety and effectiveness. They may not be properly manufactured. We don’t know how the products have been handled and stored. Because of this, they may not meet the agency’s strict standards for purity and potency. They also may not be properly labeled, so don’t substitute them for the products prescribed for you by your health care provider.

FDA is concerned about your health and the health of people who may self-medicate by taking drugs intended for animals, thinking they can be a substitute for drugs for people. You should never take animal drugs, as the FDA has only evaluated their safety and effectiveness in the animal species they’re labeled for. Some of these animal drugs can cause serious harm in people. Only take drugs that have been prescribed to you by your doctor and that have been obtained through a legitimate source. Talk to your doctor about what medications are safe for you, and talk to a veterinarian when your animals are not well.

We share a lot with the animal world, but for our health, we shouldn’t take animal drugs. 



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