Author Rachel Sharp recently tweeted a screenshot of fish antibiotics for humans reviews from Amazon. She was making a statement about the American healthcare disaster; apparently many Americans are now buying fish antibiotics on Amazon for themselves. Finding a doctor or going to the emergency room for a prescription has simply become too difficult.
There is another group who advocate using fish antibiotics for humans: survivalists. Because doctors have become more careful about prescribing antibiotics of late, it is more difficult to simply stockpile human antibiotics. Typically, a doctor will now want to see the patient and prescribe with caution. For those who are prepping for impending disaster, then, it is harder to get a doctor to give out antibiotics “just in case.”
The result is that fish antibiotics for humans reviews abound on Amazon. Search any specific fish antibiotic, like Amoxicillin for fish, on Amazon and you will find “code language;” people praise fish antibiotics for relieving a “fish toothache.” These reviews are a source of entertainment and concern for the internet. Why? First, it speaks to the horrors of American healthcare. Second, it speaks to a rise in disaster preparation and a lack of trust in the government to help in the event of said disaster.
Who is talking?
Most of the reviews covered in the news are made by people who have given up on the healthcare system. As Motherboard notes, “…the cost of visiting a doctor to get a proper prescription can be prohibitive for some people…” People are now resorting to their own devices. You will find mothers who worry about their children’s sinus infections, women who buy the fish antibiotics for their boyfriends or husbands, and men and women who stockpile just in case their “fish” have an accident.
The argument that survivalist make in favor of stockpiling is that the drugs are identical to the same antibiotic as prescribed to humans. The serial number on the pill is the same, and the pills look identical. Logic goes, they say, that if the pills are identical, and they do indeed seem to be, then the fish antibiotics are perfectly safe for humans to imbibe, and they should behave in exactly the same way. In fact, they argue, buying fish antibiotics is cheaper and easier; no pesky doctors or insurance plans to get around.
The only problem with the logic, as many of the responses to the reviews point out, is that the drugs labeled as “fish antibiotics” are not FDA approved. They are not even USP certified. The United States Pharmacopeial Convention sets “standards for things like storage, purity, and strength,” as The Survival Doctor points out. “To be sold in the U.S., a drug must pass these standards.” Investigating the issue of whether fish antibiotics are safe for humans, The Survival Doctor, among others, has found that fish antibiotics found on Amazon meet none of these standards.
Many people give the fish drugs rave reviews, however, reporting effective relief from toothaches, sinus infections, and UTIs. Anecdotal evidence seems to be favorable in terms of individual result. Negative reviews from personal experience do not seems to exist beyond “I took it and it didn’t really help me.”
Pharmacists and Doctors have not yet extensively reviewed the issue; it is only just gaining public attention. The overwhelming consensus from cursory reviews on the medical side thus far is that antibiotics intended for animals will not meet the same safety and purity guidelines as those intended for humans.
What Should You Do?
While there is no absolute answer to the question of what you should do, you will probably not die or get horribly sick if you take fish antibiotics. The major concerns revolve around allergies to any of the specific antibiotics, like Amoxicillin or Penicillin, or any of the additives in the pills. Another concern is one of dosage. What is good for the goose (or fish, in this case) is not necessarily good for the human; you cannot be absolutely sure that the dosage of fish antibiotics is suited for humans. Plus, you always have the option of preparing for the possibility of not having antibiotics on hand.
In the end, you will have to take your life (okay, probably not your life) into your own hands. The medical people who have weighed in say absolutely no. The people who have forged ahead, railing against the insurance and medical establishment in this country say absolutely yes. We live in times when we are inherently untrusting of officials because we have been let down so many times. Yet, if we cannot trust our institutions who can we trust? This is a question, only each individual can answer for him or herself. In the meantime, we can enjoy reading the reviews.