• How To Use Fish-Mox (to treat your sick fish, of course)

    January 7, 2013 | Joseph Alton MD
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    (As the main proponent of aquatic antibiotics as alternatives in times of trouble, I have discussed these medications but do not sell them.  If you are interested in antibiotics to treat your sick fish, consider visiting www.fishmoxfishflex.com, where they have a wide variety of aquatic and avian medication for purchase at reasonable prices. Click the link.)

    Aquatic Antibiotics

    Over the years, I have discussed the importance of having a stockpile of antibiotics to deal with the common infections that we might encounter in a survival situation. Simple activities of daily survival, such as chopping wood, could easily cause injuries that could be contaminated with bacteria.  Today, we have access to antibiotics through our healthcare providers that nip problems in the bud.  Unfortunately, these “minor” issues can become life-threatening if we are denied such access:  Skin infection bacteria could enter the blood, causing “septicemia”.  In the past, this was not uncommon as a cause of death.

    Stockpiling Aquatic Antibiotics

    Therefore, it’s important to accumulate antibiotics.  I have told you about my experiences as an aquacukturist (tilapia at present) and the availability of aquatic and avian antibiotics that can be used to treat your sick “fish” in times of trouble.  The classic example I have used is Fish-Mox (Amoxicillin 250mg) and Fish-Mox Forte (Amoxicillin 500mg).  Some of you may have purchased some for your medical supplies, but do you know when and how to use this medication?

    Amoxicillin (veterinary equivalent: FISH-MOX, FISH-MOX FORTE, AQUA-MOX):  comes in 250mg and 500mg doses, usually taken 3 times a day.  Amoxicillin is the most popular antibiotic prescribed to children, usually in liquid form.  It is more versatile and better absorbed and tolerated than the older Pencillins, and is acceptable for use during pregnancy.

    Ampicillin (Fish-Cillin) and Cephalexin (Fish-Flex) are related drugs. Amoxicillin may be used for the following diseases:


    • Anthrax  (Prevention or treatment of Cutaneous transmission)
    • Chlamydia Infection (sexually transmitted)
    • Urinary Tract Infection (bladder/kidney infections)
    • Helicobacter pylori Infection (causes peptic ulcer)
    • Lyme Disease (transmitted by ticks)
    • Otitis Media (middle ear infection)
    • Pneumonia (lung infection)
    • Sinusitis
    • Skin or Soft Tissue Infection (cellulitis, boils)
    • Actinomycosis (causes abscesses in humans and livestock)
    • Bronchitis
    • Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis (Strep throat)


    You can see that Amoxicillin is a versatile drug. It is even safe for use during pregnancy, but all of the above is a lot of information. How do you determine what dose and frequency would be appropriate for which individual? Let’s take an example: Otitis media is a common ear infection often seen in children. Amoxicillin is often the “drug of choice” for this condition. That is, it is recommended to be used FIRST when you make a diagnosis of otitis media.

    Before administering this medication, however, you would want to determine that your patient is not allergic to Amoxicillin. The most common form of allergy would appear as a rash, but diarrhea, itchiness, and even respiratory difficulty could also manifest. If you see any of these symptoms, you should discontinue your treatment and look for other options. Antibiotics such as Azithromycin or Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim (Bird-Sulfa) could be a “second-line” solution in this case.

    Once you have identified Amoxicillin as your treatment of choice to treat your patient’s ear infection, you will want to determine the dosage.  As Otitis Media often occurs in children, you might have to break a tablet in half or open the capsule to separate out a portion that would be appropriate.  For Amoxicillin, you would give 20-50mg per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight (20-30mg/kg for infants less than four months old).  This would be useful if you have to give the drug to a toddler less than 30 pounds.

    A common older child’s dosage would be 250mg and a common maximum dosage for adults would be 500 mg three times a day.  Luckily (or by design), these dosages are exactly how the commercially-made aquatic medications come in the bottle. Take this dosage orally 3 times a day for 10 to 14 days (twice a day for infants).  All of the above information can be found in the Physician’s Desk Reference.

    If your child is too small to swallow a pill whole, you could make a mixture with water (called a “suspension”). To make a liquid suspension, crush a tablet or empty a capsule into a small glass of water and drink it; then, fill the glass again and drink that (particles may adhere to the walls of the glass).  You can add some flavoring to make it taste better.

    Do not chew or make a liquid out of time-released capsules of any medication; you will wind up losing some of the gradual release effect and perhaps get too much into your system at once.  These medications should be plainly marked “Time-Released”.

    You will probably see improvement within 3 days, but don’t be tempted to stop the antibiotic therapy until you’re done with the entire 10-14 days.  Sometimes, you’ll kill most of the bacteria but some colonies may persist and multiply if you prematurely end the treatment.  This is often cited as a cause of antibiotic resistance. In a long-term survival situation, however, you might be down to your last few pills and have to make some tough decisions.

    Don’t use veterinary equivalents (except on your fish) in normal times. Consult your physician or other healthcare provider. Overuse of antibiotics is one of the main causes of antibiotic resistance today.

    Dr. Bones


    Are you ready to deal with medical issues in situations where help is NOT on the way?  With “The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook”, you will be!


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