Let me say this: I am not a health care professional nor am I especially qualified on all things health related. On the other hand, I do believe in medical self-care and I do believe in doing my own research. It was during that research that I learned that fish antibiotics are the exact same formula as human antibiotics. WTF?
This was not casual research. I went to many sources, looked at bottles, and asked a lot of questions. I came away confident that lacking proper medical facilities, the judicious use of fish and veterinary antibiotics would be safe in a SHTF situation. And the best part about it? They are readily available online at reasonable prices without a prescription.
But as I said, I am not a health care professional and am hesitant to offer even a modicum of advice on this subject. So what I did is contact my friend Dr. Joe Alton better known as Doctor Bones who, along with Nurse Amy, host the Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy Doom and Bloom Nation. As an MD and ARNP, Joe and Amy have written The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook and are uniquely qualified to provide guidance on the matter of using fish antibiotics in a disaster or collapse situation.
Dr. Bones recommends the following list of antibiotics along with their veterinary equivalents:
Amoxicillin 250mg/500mg (FISH-MOX, FISH-MOX FORTE)All of the above, with the exception of Amoxicillin and Ampicillin, are acceptable to those with Penicillin allergies. And furthermore, with the above antibiotics, you should be able to to treat 90% of the bacterial diseases that will appear on your doorstep in times of crisis.
Ciprofloxacin 250mg/500mg (FISH-FLOX, FISH-FLOX FORTE)Cephalexin 250mg and 500mg (FISH-FLEX, FISH-FLEX FORTE)Metronidazole 250mg (FISH-ZOLE)
Doxycycline 100mg (BIRD-BIOTIC)
Sulfamethoxazole 400mg/Trimethoprim 80mg (BIRD-SULFA)
Azithromycin 250mg, 500mg (AQUARIUM AZITHROMYCIN)
Clindamycin 150mg/300mg (AQUARIUM CLINDAMYCIN)
With this introduction, I want to let you know that Doctor Bones and Nurse Amy have graciously and generously given me permission to share their four part series on Antibiotics and their Use in Collapse Medicine. Why is this important? Because a list of antibiotics is only a list. Which drug do you use for what? For how long? And how much? These are extremely important questions that will need to be answered before taking any antibiotics.
Today I present part 1 of the series on Antibiotics and Their Use in Collapse Medicine(tm), along with some links to sources for the items mentioned above. And as always, if you have a medical condition, the advice and counsel of your own physician come first.
One of the most common questions that I am asked from prospective survival medics is “What antibiotics should I stockpile and how do I use them?” There isn’t a 60 second answer to this. Actually, there isn’t a 60 MINUTE answer to this, but anyone that is interested in preserving the health of their loved ones in a collapse will have to learn what antibiotics will work in a particular situation.The Final Word
It’s important to start off by saying that you will not want to indiscriminately use antibiotics for every minor ailment that comes along. In a collapse, the medic is also a quartermaster of sorts; you will want to wisely dispense that limited and, yes, precious supply of life-saving drugs.
Liberal use of antibiotics is a poor strategy for a few reasons:
· Overuse can foster the spread of resistant bacteria. Antibiotics routinely given to turkeys recently caused a resistant strain of Salmonella that put over 100 people in the hospital. 36 million birds were destroyed.
· Potential allergic reactions may occur that could lead to anaphylactic shock (see my recent article on this topic).
· Making a diagnosis may be more difficult if you give antibiotics before you’re sure what medical problem you’re actually dealing with. The antibiotics might temporarily “mask” a symptom, which could cost you valuable time in determining the correct treatment.
You can see that judicious use of antibiotics, under your close supervision, is necessary to fully utilize their benefits. Discourage your group members from using these drugs without first consulting you.
There are many antibiotics, but what antibiotics accessible to the average person would be good additions to your medical storage? Here are some common antibiotics (most available in veterinary form without a prescription) that you will want in your medical arsenal and their veterinary equivalent:
· Amoxicillin 250mg AND 500mg (FISH-MOX, FISH-MOX FORTE)
· Ciprofloxacin 250mg and 500mg(FISH-FLOX, FISH-FLOX FORTE)
· Cephalexin 250mg and 500mg (FISH-FLEX, FISH-FLEX FORTE)
· Metronidazole 250mg (FISH-ZOLE)
· Doxycycline 100mg (BIRD-BIOTIC)
· Ampicillin 250mg and 500mg (FISH-CILLIN, FISH-CILLIN FORTE)
· Sulfamethoxazole 400mg/Trimethoprin 80mg (BIRD-SULFA)
There are various others that you can choose, but the selections above will give you the opportunity to treat many illnesses and have enough variety so that even those with Penicillin allergies with have options. Cephalexin, although not in the same drug family, has been quoted as having a 10% cross-reactivity rate with Penicillin.
Amoxicillin (Aquarium version: FISH-MOX, FISH-MOX FORTE, AQUA-MOX): comes in 250mg and 500mg doses, usually taken 3 times a day. Amoxicillin is the most popular antibiotic prescribed to children, usually in liquid form. More versatile and better absorbed than the older Pencillins, Amoxicillin may be used for the following diseases:
· Anthrax (Prevention or treatment of Cutaneous transmission)
· Chlamydia Infection (sexually transmitted)
· Urinary Tract Infection (bladder/kidney infections)
· Helicobacter pylori Infection (causes peptic ulcer)
· Lyme Disease (transmitted by ticks)
· Otitis Media (middle ear infection)
· Pneumonia (lung infection)
· Skin or Soft Tissue Infection (cellulitis, boils)
· Actinomycosis (causes abscesses in humans and livestock)
· Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis (Strep throat)
This is a lot of information, but how do you approach determining what dose and frequency would be appropriate for what individual? Let’s take an example: Otitis Media is a common ear infection, especially in children. Amoxicillin is often the “drug of choice” for this condition.
First, you would want to determine that your patient is not allergic to Amoxicillin. The most common form of allergy would appear as a rash, but diarrhea, itchiness, and even respiratory difficulty could also manifest. If your patient is allergic, another antibiotic such as Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprin or Cephalexin could be a “second-line” solution.
Once you have identified Amoxicillin as your choice to treat your patient’s ear infection, you will want to determine the dosage. As Otitis Media often occurs in children, you might have to break a tablet in half or open the capsule to separate out a portion that would be appropriate. For Amoxicillin, you would give 20-50mg per kilogram of body weight (20-30mg/kg for infants less than four months old). This would be useful if you have to give the drug to a toddler less than 30 pounds. A common child’s dosage would be 250mg and a common maximum dosage for adults would be 500 mg. Take this orally 3 times a day for 10 to 14 days (twice a day for infants). Luckily, these dosages are exactly how the commercially-made medications come.
If your child is too small to swallow a pill whole, you could make a mixture with water (called a “suspension”). To make a liquid, crush a tablet or empty a capsule into a small glass of water and drink it; then, fill the glass again and drink that (particles may adhere to the walls of the glass). You can add some flavoring to make it more palatable. Do not chew or make a liquid out of time-released capsules of any medication, you will wind up losing some of the gradual release effect and perhaps get too much into your system at once. These medications should be plainly marked “Time-Released”.
Anytime you, as medic, place a person on a new medication or supplement, they should be carefully watched for signs of allergy. If they develop a rash, itching, diarrhea, or other untoward symptoms, you should discontinue your treatment and look for other options.
You will be probably see improvement within 3 days, but don’t be tempted to stop the antibiotic therapy until you’re done with the entire 10-14 days. Sometimes, you’ll kill most of the bacteria but some colonies may persist and multiply if you prematurely end the treatment. In a collapse, however, you might be down to your last few pills and have to make some tough decisions.
For official recommendations regarding the use of Amoxicillin to treat the other illnesses listed, consider investing in a book called the Physicians’ Desk Reference. It will have all this information (and more) on just about any medication manufactured today. Listed are indications, dosages, side effects, risks, and even how the drug works in the body. Online sources such as drugs.com or rxlist.com are also useful, but you are going to want a hard copy for your library. You never know when we might not have a functioning internet.
The ultimate decision as to whether or not you should treat yourself or a loved one with antibiotics is a personal one. For sure you need to be aware of any and all allergies because in a disaster or other crisis, there may be no one to call if things go awry. In my own case, I would not take a drug that I had not taken before and without incident so luckily, over the years I have kept a list of antibiotics that have been troublesome.
At the end of the day, medical self-care may be all you have. Learn as much as you can now and gather your resources – in printed form – in advance. If you have not so already, this would be a good time for starting to compile a listing of medications that have been bothersome if not downright dangerous to you and your family members.
Over the next month of so, I will be posting the rest of the series on Antibiotics and Their Use in Collapse Medicine. In the meantime, I highly recommend Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook and also the useful and medically credible information that you will find at the Doom and Bloom website.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!