ABSTRACT Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus) (Perciformes: Cichlidae), commonly named “tilapia”, is the second most cultivated species in the world. Among the diseases that affect tilapia are parasitic diseases caused by parasites of the class Monogenoidea. The aim of the present study was to analyze parasitism rates among specimens of O. niloticus in farming systems, after dietary supplementation with ractopamine, a growth promoter that is used for fattening fish. The action of this substance on the quantitative parameters of infestation by Monogenoidea was evaluated. Samples of O. niloticus were obtained from a fish farm in Brasília, Federal District, Brazil. Their gills were removed and fixed. Four species of monogenoideans were collected: Cichlidogyrus halli, C. sclerosus, C. thurstonae and Scutogyrus longicornis. The results from this study indicate that the monogenoidean parasites of tilapias examined here presented different behaviors in relation to the ractopamine concentrations that were added to the food. The parasitological indexes did not present significant reductions through using ractopamine, thus leading to the conclusion that administration of ractopamine is not efficient as a method for controlling infestations of monogenoidean parasites.