Re:Reaction to Anti-Parasitic Medication

Pete Giwojna

Dear Claire:

I have never used General Cure to treat seahorses or any other marine fish personally, so I have no first-hand experience with this product.

However, General Cure is safe to use in saltwater and, as you know, the active ingredients are metronidazole + praziquantel, which are medications that I have used successfully to treat seahorses with parasite problems on many occasions. 250 mg is the standard dosage for metronidazole, which is considered to be a very safe medication. Likewise, praziquantel is the treatment of choice for professional aquarists when treating internal parasites and certain protozoans, and the pros will use both these medications to treat even the delicate, highly prized (and very expensive!) Leafy Seadragons.

So I know that the medications included in the General Cure are safe to use with seahorses and can be added to the main tank with no problems, and I have not noticed any sort of adverse reaction when I have used these chemotherapeutics to treat seahorses. I have not noticed a loss of appetite when using metronidazole or praziquantel, although suppressed appetite is a common side effect of many medications, such as acetazolamide (Diamox). But I have never used metronidazole and praziquantel simultaneously, so I cannot state unequivocally that the two medications can be combined together without any concerns…

If anything, I would expect metronidazole and praziquantel to have a beneficial effect on seahorses suffering from weak snick, since weak snick is sometimes associated with protozoan parasites that attack the gills, and antiparasitics can be helpful in resolving such cases. So it seems unlikely that the medication could be causing or contributing to a problem with weak snick, although it is certainly possible that it may be affecting the appetite of the seahorses, and I cannot speak conclusively about the General Cure in that regard because it combines metronidazole and praziquantel together…

If you are this far along with the regimen of General Cure, Claire, I would be inclined to complete the treatments as long as the seahorses are still eating (albeit without their usual gusto) and then remove the medications ASAP afterwards. This can be accomplished by adding fresh activated carbon to your external filter. And then I would perform a series of partial 25% water changes afterward to make sure that your water quality is optimal, which is advisable whenever there is any sign of a health problem.

If the problems with weak snick persist, then you may want to consider treating your main tank with hyposalinity to help the seahorses recover completely.

Best of luck resolving this problem and getting your seahorse tank back to normal again, Claire!

PS — it’s a good thing that you repeated your post, Claire, since the first message was apparently never received on this forum.

Pete Giwojna

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