Firstly a disclaimer. I am not a medical professional. I have simply done my own research online to a level which satisfies my own needs. Please do your own research and cross check everything you read here. Also please use antibiotics responsibly and only when absolutely required. Overuse of antibiotics can cause its own problems, due to bugs becoming resistant to them. See the links at the bottom of the page for more details on this.
Stockpiling medication for a future disaster or a collapse of society is straightforward when it comes to non-prescription medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen etc. They are cheap to buy and readily available. However, it is not so simple to acquire and stockpile prescription medications such as common antibiotics which are required to treat infections.
To have a stockpile of antibiotics in a long-term survival situation or a collapse of society would be useful if not vital. Infection will be a big problem in these kinds of situation; for example – take away our power, water/sanitation and groceries; replace with – fires/camp stoves, survival food and untreated water. On top of this, give us knives, axes and guns (which we are largely unaccustomed to using) to chop wood, hunt and defend ourselves and it is easy to see the need to have access to antibiotics. Lot of cuts and stomach bugs…
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How To Stock Up On Antibiotics In Case The SHTF?
How do you acquire/stockpile prescription antibiotics in case of emergency? Well you could try to convince your doctor it is a good idea to give you a large amount of common antibiotics to stockpile (good luck with that one!), OR you could perhaps, just go down to your local pet store…
Believe it or not, many of the common antibiotics we are prescribed are also used to keep fish healthy in aquariums. Sceptical? I bet you are, so was I, but I looked into this, and many of the antibiotic medicines used to treat bacteria in aquariums contain the same antibiotics used to treat infection in humans.. The other strange thing is these aquarium antibiotics even come in the same common dosages which are used on humans. To me that seems very strange…
I have checked several sources, some of which were created by medical doctors, and below is a list of aquarium branded medicines which (at the time of writing) contain commonly prescribed human antibiotics.
Aquarium Branded Antibiotics Containing Common Human Antibiotics
- FISH-MOX which is Amoxicillin 250mg (http://www.drugs.com/amoxicillin.html)
- FISH-MOX FORTE which is Amoxicillin 500mg (http://www.drugs.com/amoxicillin.html)
- FISH-FLEX which is Keflex 250mg (http://www.drugs.com/keflex.html)
- FISH-FLEX FORTE which is Keflex 500mg (http://www.drugs.com/keflex.html)
- FISH-ZOLE which is Metronidazole 250mg (http://www.drugs.com/metronidazole.html)
- FISH-PEN which is Penicillin 250mg (http://www.drugs.com/penicillin.html)
- FISH-PEN FORTE which is Penicillin 500mg (http://www.drugs.com/penicillin.html)
***I am not going to provide any information on correct dosages or advice on allergies/precautions or what each antibiotic treats etc. It is entirely 100% your responsibility to do your own research here. It is vital you can identify any tablets you purchase and know what treats what and the dosage/precautions etc for the people you are treating.***
Are The Aquarium Antibiotics The Same Thing?
My understanding is that if the pill identifier numbers are the same on the aquarium antibiotics, as on the human antibiotics, and vice versa, they have to be the same thing. This makes 100% sense to me as if you overdosed on one of the antibiotics, you would provide the pill identifier number to Poison Control for example, and they would identify the ingredients based on the pill identifier number regardless of whether they are prescription antibiotics or aquarium antibiotics.
All of the antibiotics above require a prescription from a doctor and usually a doctor will only prescribe a single course of treatment to cure your illness. However, they can all be bought from pet stores without prescription. This means you can stockpile these common antibiotics, in case the SHTF, something which would normally be impossible to achieve.
The bottom line is – we should not start going to the pet store when we have a cough or a sore throat, as it is clearly important to get a diagnosis and treatment from a doctor. I think the thing to bear in mind is that in the future, if things go wrong, we will have to improvise many things and many things may be less than ideal. We should be reluctant to take aquarium branded antibiotics today, but having access to some in a SHTF future could be vital.
I for one, will not be taking aquarium antibiotics whilst I have access to a doctor and prescription medications. If the SHTF in the future and aquarium antibiotics are my only option, I would cautiously and reluctantly take them. I say reluctantly as I am cautious about taking any drugs without them being 100% necessary. I will always try to give my body the chance to fight of an infection before resorting to antibiotic medication.
As a side note, I think anyone interested in emergency preparedness, or the outdoors, should purchase the book: Medicine for the Outdoors: The Essential Guide to First Aid and Medical Emergencies. The book covers pretty much every medical emergency you are likely to encounter, including very detailed information and advice about treating infections, and antibiotics.
Whilst we are discussing antibiotics, be sure to read the two articles below, from the BBC. They make scary reading… Antibiotic overuse, and resistance is a real and very worrying.