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Antibiotics for SHTF Planning

Antiobiotics are an essential preparedness item to have on hand for extended disasters, however, they should be taken when they are needed to most. Understanding the differences between the different antiobiotic families, knowing the effects they can have on the body as well as knowing which antibiotics would be best for specific medical conditions will help you make the right choice when comes to buying them.

If any of you have purchased antibiotics for your long-term medical supplies, you know these are considered prepper gold. Having this medicine on hand in extended emergencies can help prevent infections or even save a life.

Not All Antibiotics Are Equal

Understanding the differences in antibiotics can help you target the right medicine to work best for the specific medical conditions. Because there are such a wide range of antibiotics, before you buy them do some research on your own or talk with a medical professional to see which antibiotics would be best for you and your family.

Certain antibiotics should not be mixed with other drugs, foods or alcohol. For instance, drinking grapefruit juice with erythromycins or taking erythromycin with theophylline (a drug used for respiratory ailments) can cause fatal heart arrhythmias. There are many other interactions doctors are aware of that the layman does not. Therefore, if you do plan on storing these medications, have a pharmaceutical or drug guide on hand to ensure correct medicines and dosages are given. Used copies of this reference can be purchased at college book stores at a discounted price.

Keep in mind when antibiotics are used to treat an infection, the “good” bacteria in the large intestine may also be destroyed as a result. Consider investing in some probiotics to help restore the microbial balance that is disrupted by antibiotics and infections. Probiotics are usually sold in the vitamin section of most pharmacies or health food stores and can be stored along with your vitamins in your reserve supplies.

It should be emphasized that antibiotics should only be used as a last resort. Given the misuse of these modern day medicines, it is causing a worldwide antibiotic resistance issues. Give your body a chance to fight the infection. If the infection continues, consider using a course of antibiotics.


Please consider the following concerns before purchasing antibiotics:

  • They are not a first line of defense.
  • You could be allergic to certain types of antibiotics and could cause other medical issues.
  • The antibiotics may not work due to being past their expiration, from improper storage, from the wrong dosage administered or from your body building up an immunity.
  • Antibiotics can also exacerbate an issue by destroying the good bacteria in the body. Investing in some probiotics can help restore the good stuff though.

According to the Patiot Nurse, the five most popular types of antibiotics (including their generics) are:

  1. Zithromax – UTIs, URIs, Sepsis (used in an IV), STDs, and ear infections.
  2. Ampicillan – This a more broad spectrum antibiotic to treat skin infections, STDs, Sepsis and ear infections.
  3. Cipro – This antibiotic has a lot of toxicity issues and should be taken sparingly. Can be used for UTIs, infectious diarreah, bone and joint infections.
  4. Amoxicillan – This is a very popular antibiotic used in upper respiratory, ear, nose and throat infections, and teeth abcesses.
  5. Doxycycline – An effective antibiotic used for malaria, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

She also suggests Clindamyacin, Flagyl and Bactrim as some back-ups to the aforementioned.

Fish antibiotics are also becoming popular storage items amongst preppers because no prescription is required to purchase them. It is true many fish antibiotics contain the same active ingredients as those formulated for humans. However, there are few considerations to keep in mind, such as using the correct dosage as to not over medicate yourself, and the differences in human metabolism vs. the metabolism rate of a fish.  Anyone who is planning on storing up fish antibiotics to use needs to do proper research, and it wouldn’t help to discuss your findings with a medical professional.



In an article on Survival Blog, the contributing author, who happens to be a doctor was able to purchase the below fish antibiotics online without any demand for medical license or prescription.  A paraphrase of the article and a list of the drugs are listed below. They are:
•FISH-MOX (amoxicillin 250 mg)
•FISH_MOX FORTE (amoxicillin 500 mg)
•FISH-CILLIN (ampicillin 250 mg)
•FISH-FLEX Keflex 250 mg)
•FISH-FLEX FORTE (Keflex 500 mg)
•FISH-ZOLE (metronidazole 250 mg)
•FISH-PEN (penicillin 250 mg)
•FISH-PEN FORTE (penicillin 500 mg)
•FISH-CYCLINE (tetracycline 250 mg)

NOTE: It should be emphasized FISH-CYCLINE [and other tetracycline antibiotics of various names] can become toxic after its expiration date, unlike most of the other medications listed.

These medications are available usually in plastic bottles of 100 tablets for much less than the same prescription medication at the pharmacy (some come in bottles of 30 tablets). The dosages are similar to that used in humans, and are taken two to four times a day, depending on the drug. The 500mg dosage is probably more effective in larger individuals. Of course, anyone could be allergic to one or another of these antibiotics, but not all of them. (Note there is a 10% cross-reactivity between “-cillin” drugs and Keflex, meaning, if you are allergic to Penicillin, you could also be allergic to Keflex). FISH-ZOLE is an antibiotic that also kills some protozoa that cause dysentery.

Antibiotics are an essential preparedness item to have on hand for extended disasters; however, they should be taken when they are needed the most. Understanding the differences between the different antiobiotic families, knowing the effects they can have on the body as well as knowing which antibiotics would be best for specific medical conditions will help you make the right choice when comes to buying them.

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on November 30th, 2011

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