Seafood Poisoning Treatment
There is no antidote for ciguatera toxin. Treatment is focused on managing the resulting symptoms and signs. An oral dose of activated charcoal may help to absorb the toxin in the intestine, preventing it from being absorbed. Treatment for diarrhea and vomiting from ciguatera includes oral fluids and a clear liquid diet. Dehydration from severe vomiting and diarrhea may require intravenous fluids and medications to control vomiting and diarrhea. Antihistamine medications help to reduce itching. Rarely, medications are required to treat neurologic symptoms, a slow heart rate, or low blood pressure.
Treatment for ciguatera may include:
- Oral rehydration therapy for older children and adults:
- Drink clear liquids only, such as water, sports drinks (best), fruit juice and dilute tea.
- Drink small quantities of fluids frequently, such as 2 tablespoons of fluid every 5 minutes.
- The absence of food allows the intestines to rest.
- May be able to advance to full liquid diet once symptoms improve
- Effective to treat mild to moderate dehydration
- Intravenous fluids for severe dehydration
- Clear liquid diet
- Bouillon soup
- Consomme broth
- Fruit juices without pulp
- Popsicles (no pulp)
- Soft drinks
- Medications for nausea and vomiting:
- Medications for diarrhea:
- Osmotic diuretic medication:
- Used to treat neurologic symptoms associated with ciguatera poisoning
- Mannitol (Osmitrol, Resectisol)
- Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors:
- Pain relievers:
- Antihistamine medications to reduce itching:
Seafood Poisoning Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of ciguatera.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- Am I contagious?
- For how long?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Continue to Seafood Poisoning Home Care
- Farstad DJ, Chow T. A brief case report and review of ciguatera poisoning. Wilderness Environ Med. 2001 Winter;12(4):263-9. 
- Isbister GK, Kiernan MC. Neurotoxic marine poisoning. Lancet Neurol. 2005 Apr;4(4):219-28. 
- Lewis RJ. The changing face of ciguatera. Toxicon. 2001 Jan;39(1):97-106.