Symptoms and Signs of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 10/12/2021

Doctor's Notes on Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

Ciguatera is a type of food poisoning caused by eating fish contaminated by the ciguatera toxin found concentrated in fish organs. The toxin is commonly found concentrated in large reef fish, such as grouper, red snapper, sea bass, barracuda, eel, amberjack, and Spanish mackerel. Most fish that carry ciguatera toxin are found in the Caribbean Sea, Hawaii, and coastal Central America.

Symptoms of ciguatera fish poisoning (ciguatera toxin) usually begin 6 to 8 hours after eating contaminated fish but can occur anywhere from 2 to 24 hours after ingestion and include

Symptoms of severe ciguatera fish poisoning (ciguatera toxin) include

What Is the Treatment for Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (Ciguatera Toxin)?

There is no specific antitoxin or antidote available for ciguatera toxin poisoning. Patients are given symptomatic and supportive care for the symptoms caused by ciguatera poisoning. 

Symptomatic care for ciguatera poisoning may include:

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.