Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment cyst removal specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children warning signs Outlook Underlying Cause

Sting Jellyfish Home Care

First aid for jellyfish stings includes:

  • Rinse the affected area with salt water.
    • Do not use fresh water.
  • Carefully remove any tentacles.
    • Use tweezers or a gloved hand.
    • Use adhesive tape.
  • Rinse again.
  • Do not scrub or scrape the tentacles.
    • This releases more venom into the skin.
  • Rinse the skin with household vinegar.
    • This inactivates the venom.
    • If vinegar is not available, use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment and a bandage.

Additional home care for jellyfish stings include:

Sting Jellyfish Pain in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with jellyfish stings include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Sting Jellyfish Pain in Children

Common medications used at home for pain in children with jellyfish stings include:

Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.



Sting Jellyfish Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have jellyfish stings and any of the following:

Continue to Sting Jellyfish Outlook

Last Updated: Mar 7, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Sting Jellyfish References
  1. Nimorakiotakis B, Winkel KD. Marine envenomations. Part 1--Jellyfish. Aust Fam Physician. 2003 Dec;32(12):969-74. [14708142]
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