Stories have been circulating lately regarding new regulations for some veterinarian medications which have been previously ‘over the counter’. The various reports that I’ve read go so far as to suggest that even ‘fish meds’ may require a prescription in the future (hint: ‘fish’ antibiotics). One wonders if it’s rumor, truth, or somewhere in-between. The […]
Todd’s Note: I recently posted an article on Prepper Website about Appendicitis. That article was the inspiration for Anonymousmedic to share his experience with appendicitis and Turmeric. The author does state that you shouldn’t self medicate. I would add that we are not doctors, we are not providing advice and this topic needs more study and research for a post collapse scenario.
This article was originally posted on Your Preparedness Story. -TS
About a year ago I stumbled across an article about Turmeric on wakeup-world.com. The benefit that intrigued me most was for Depression, something I have suffered from since I was 12. I started having, what I thought was an allergic reaction to Prozac. It turns out I was having Serotonin Toxicity. I had a severe rash, my right knee was stiff and hurt, I had bouts of fever and chills, if you are taking any psycho-tropic meds and have these symptoms research Serotonin Toxicity. I stopped taking the Prozac and started taking Turmeric, and took it for a while. I can’t remember how long but I was taking it in March and had been for a couple weeks.
Friday morning about 3am I awoke to the worst gas pain I had ever had. I fought through that for a few hours and finally that turned into epigastric pain, middle of the stomach just below the sternum. Epigastric pain can be a sign of a heart attack. I’m 40, fat and a Paramedic, it finally hits me. I could be having a heart attack. I call my cronies to come check me out, ECG and BP are good. I decide to tough it out a while longer.
Later in the day the pain eases and I go to bed, wake up with a fever, take some turmeric and the fever breaks. Saturday morning I wake up and have some pain in my right side. I’ve been a Paramedic 15 years, my wife is an RN of over 20 years, my pain does not fit appendicitis, kidney stones, gall bladder, nothing we can think of.
Saturday morning about 6am I still have pain in my right side, not real bad but it should not be there. To the ER we go, after a CT scan it’s my appendix and it is ruptured, off to surgery. Post surgery my surgeon talks to us and says my appendix was rotted, and there was a pocket of infection and all this had probably started 10 days prior.
Anyone who knows anything about medicine knows I should have been dead! 10 days of Appendicitis without any antibiotics, I should have been septic, (blood poison), and dead by now. Turmeric is supposed to have many benefits including antibacterial properties. I should have died without treatment. I’m not saying you should self medicate if you suspect you have appendicitis. I just know my story, for what it may be worth to you.
As for the depression, I am currently taking Curcumin which is the substance in Turmeric that is supposed to be so beneficial. I’m not doing summer salts but not severely depressed either and winter is well on it’s way. I can also say I have not had any headaches in a longtime. I recommend doing your own research about Turmeric/Curcumin.
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For hundreds of years, maybe even longer, our grannies and grandfathers relied on simple household items to heal. For that purpose, they picked different natural antibiotics, which they mostly found in home, gardens or meadows and woods nearby.
Much of this came out of necessity. Rather than using an antibacterial facial scrub, our Nanas massaged honey deep into their pores. By using proven old home remedies, we can treat and cure various health problems and do a lot for our health avoiding unpleasant medications side effects, too.
Some of these remedies even date back thousands of years, as far back as the tribes of Central and South America. Now, perhaps with the advent of slow-living, these products are slipping back into style. Many appreciate the remedies for their simplicity, price, or their low-impact on the earth. Rather than spend $8 on sea salt spray, you can simple mix some salt with water and spritz it into your hair. You save money as well as a package.
In honor of our ancestors, we’ve gathered some of our favorite time-honored traditions. These timeless products have earned a permanent place in our pantries.
Raw garlic when crushed or chewed contains a compound called allicin – which has similar properties to penicillin.
This superfood member of the onion family is antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, and antioxidant (mopping up free radicals that have been proven to cause cancer).
For more than seven millennia, it has been used internally and externally to treat mild illness to serious diseases.
Everything from inflammation to colds to serious infections is minimized and/or obliterated with the addition of garlic and for those who don’t enjoy the taste, there are supplements as well. Check into “aged” garlic supplements for the best results.
Garlic is not only potent, it contains a host of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that are beneficial to total body wellness. Not to mention the cost is pennies in comparison to doctor visits and prescriptions!
Unlike chemical antibiotics that kill millions of friendly bacteria your body needs, its only goal is bacteria and microorganisms. Garlic also encourages and increases the level of healthy bacteria. It is a powerful antifungal agent and destroys any antigen, pathogen, and harmful disease-causing microorganisms.
- Garlic packs a punch with phytochemicals and healing sulfur components. These sulfur compounds even chelate toxic heavy metals (like lead & cadmium), binding with them for excretion out of the body.
- It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and even antiviral qualities.
- It promotes the growth of healthy intestinal microflora by acting as a prebiotic (food for probiotics).
- Garlic helps keep fats from oxidizing.
- Garlic acts as a strong antioxidant and guards against DNA damage.
- It protects against radiation & sunlight damage.
- Garlic fights worms and parasites.
- It benefits digestion, which is good for the whole body.
- It contains many nutrients such as vitamins (C, B1, B2, B3), minerals (calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, and phytochemicals (Allicin, beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, diallyl-disulfide, ferulic acid, geraniol, kaempferol, linalool, oleanolic acid, p-coumaric acid, phloroglucinol, phytic acid, quercetin, rutin, s-allyl-cysteine, saponin, sinapic acid, & stigmasterol).
Herbalists consider honey as one of the best natural antibiotics. It also contains antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. A 2014 study presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society found that honey has the ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance to it.
Ancient Romans used honey on the battlefield to treat wounds and prevent infection.
Civilizations all over the world continue to consider honey one of the best natural antibiotics, antimicrobials, anti-inflammatories, and antiseptics known to man after thousands of years.
Its unique combination of hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high sugar concentration and polyphenols help kill bacterial cells. To get the antibiotic benefit of honey, always use raw, organic honey.
Olive leaf extract
This substance has been used for a number of centuries to battle bacterial infections and is now currently being used as well to fight MRSA infections in some European hospitals. It provides immune system support while fighting antibiotic-resistant infections. Olive leaf extract also has anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it exhibits free-radical scavenging abilities.
- You can make olive leaf extract for external use at home. Put a handful of finely chopped fresh olive leaves into a glass jar with a lid. Pour vodka over the leaves until they are completely covered. Close the lid and keep the jar in a dark place for 4 to 5 weeks. Using a cheesecloth, strain the liquid into another glass jar and your homemade olive leaf extract is ready to use.
- Another option is to take olive leaf extract in supplement form. 250 to 500 mg capsules twice daily is the standard dosage. However, consult a doctor before taking the supplement.
This herb has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for many thousands of years to treat a wide range of infections. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities have been known to be highly effective in the treatment of bacterial infections. The antimicrobial activity of curcumin against helicobacter pylori showed positive results. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder and 5 to 6 tablespoons of honey. Store it in an airtight jar. Have ½ teaspoon of this mixture twice daily.
- You can also take turmeric supplements of 400 to 600 mg, twice daily. However, consult your doctor first.
With similar effects to garlic, it was traditionally used to treat open wounds, as well as blood poisoning, diphtheria and other bacteria-related illnesses. Echinacea is well tolerated and able to stimulate the immune system by naturally boosting infection fighters in your blood stream. Native to North America, Echinacea has been used for centuries in tribal medicine to treat pain and sickness.
Unlike garlic, this antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral solution is generally used at the first signs of illness and should not be taken for more than ten days. It is available in liquid and capsule form.
Echinacea is also used against many other infections including the urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, genital herpes, bloodstream infections (septicemia), gum disease, tonsillitis, streptococcus infections, syphilis, typhoid, malaria, and diphtheria.
Cayenne peppers are the most powerful circulation stimulators. They just send their antibiotic properties to fight the disease where it is mostly needed.
Onion is garlic’s closest relative and it has a similar but milder action. Together they create a strong fighting duo.
Raw apple cider vinegar
The far-reaching benefits of daily doses of apple cider vinegar (ACV) include antibiotic and antiseptic properties, naturally alkalizing your system, and can aid you in everything from managing your weight to lowering cholesterol and your risk of cancer.
A chemical-free astringent, ACV can be used topically to disinfect and sterilize.
Oil of oregano is considered anti-microbial, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-viral, and anti-fungal.
It can be used internally and externally in the treatment of wounds, respiratory problems, digestive upset, and even the common cold.
- For treating foot or nail infections, add a few teaspoons of oregano oil to a tub filled with warm water. Soak your feet in it for a few minutes daily for a week.
- For sinus and other upper respiratory infections, put a few drops of the oil of oregano in a pot of boiling water and inhale the steam. Do this once daily until you get rid of the infection.
While colloidal silver is highly antibiotic in nature, I suggest only using it for external uses such as gargling, ear infections like swimmers’ ear and skin. The reason is that ingestion of colloidal silver does damage the delicate gut microbiome by killing beneficial bacteria though not as extensively as drug based antibiotics. If you need the assistance of natural antibiotics to consume internally, choose another one on this list, not colloidal silver.
Grapefriut seed extract(GSE)
Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) effective against more than 800 forms of viruses and bacteria, more than a hundred strains of fungus, and many parasites.
High in many antioxidants, GSE boosts immunity, alkalizes the body naturally, and aids in digestion by improving your beneficial gut flora.
Ginger’s natural antibiotic property helps prevent and treat many health problems caused by bacteria. Fresh ginger has an antibiotic effect against food-borne pathogens like salmonella. It also has an antibacterial effect on respiratory and periodontal infections.
So, if you are going to eat something that has the potential for food borne illness such as sushi or raw oysters, always best to eat some fresh ginger (raw and pickled is most potent) too in order to make use of its natural antibiotic properties.
- Ginger tea is a great preventive measure against bacterial infections. To make the tea, grate 1 inch of fresh ginger and boil it in about 1½ cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey and lemon juice for taste and drink it.
- Also, include dry or fresh ginger in your cooking. You can also take ginger capsules, after consulting your doctor.
What would this list of natural antibiotics be without raw honey which has been used as an infection fighter since ancient times? Of all the raw honey on the planet, Manuka honey from New Zealand is the best when it comes to resolving infections. An enzyme found in honey releases hydrogen peroxide. This process helps your body fight infection and prevents the growth of bacteria. Soothing to the digestive system, honey removes toxins from the blood and helps your liver operate more efficiently.
A great boost to the immune system, consider combining honey with cinnamon to strengthen your white blood cells! Raw, organic honey is the best option since most pasteurization methods kills the antioxidant effects.
What many people don’t realize is how much vitamin C is found in cabbage. One cup provides 75% of what you need every day.
Naturally antibacterial, eating shredded raw cabbage in your salad, as a side dish in the form of slaw, or drinking fresh cabbage juice (with honey added to sweeten) is an excellent way to improve digestion, prevent disease, and even manage your weight!
RELATED : 52 Plants In The Wild You Can Eat
Extra virgin coconut oil
There is not enough that can be said for the benefits of coconut oil. It has naturally occurring anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties and is packed with antioxidants you can’t find anywhere else in nature.
Use it to boost your immune system, balance thyroid, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, and even improve brain function. Safe to use internally and externally, coconut oil is one of the most versatile and unique gifts from Mother Nature.
Goldenseal’s natural antibiotic property works well for both topical and internal bacterial infections. Goldenseal contains a compound called berberine that helps kill many types of bacteria that cause many health problems.
Berberine also activates white blood cells, making them better at fighting infection and strengthening the immune system.
- For internal use, prepare a cup of herbal tea by steeping 1 teaspoon of goldenseal powder in 1 cup of hot water. Strain and drink it while it is still warm. Drink this tea once daily.
- For external use, prepare a mixture with 1 teaspoon of goldenseal powder and the oil of a few vitamin E capsules. Apply it to the affected area 3 times a day.
Note: Do not take this herb internally for more than a few weeks at a time.
Indian lilac or neem
Neem, also known as Indian lilac, is another natural antibiotic. In addition, due to its antibacterial nature, neem keeps different types of oral problems like cavities, plaque, gingivitis and other gum diseases at bay.
- To prevent skin infections, use cosmetics and skin care products that have neem as one of the main ingredients.
- Take neem tablets to help remove accumulated toxins in the body and any parasitic organisms. Consult your doctor for the correct dosage.
History has shown us many times that it can all fly away in a split of a second. The biggest misstep that you can take now is to think that this can never happen in America or to you! Call me old fashioned; I don’t care…but I completely believe in America and what our ancestors stood for. They all had a part in turning this land into one of the most powerful countries in the world. Believe it or not, our ancestors skills are all covered in American blood. Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these old skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. Our grandfathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cars, no electricity, no running water and no pharmacy. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic knowledge to stay alive even in the worse case scenarios.
Source : www.bioprepper.com
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Temperatures are plunging and winter is only a few weeks away, which means that for homesteaders who live in the coldest parts of the country, it’s time to stockpile necessities for frigid weather.
Wood and food are always on that list, but what about medicine?
On this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio we talk to Dr. Joe Alton, the co-author of the popular book “The Survival Medicine Handbook” who is perhaps best known as “Dr. Bones” from the survival “Doom and Bloom” website.
Dr. Alton tells us how to stockpile medicine and even antibiotics for winter – the legal way – and he also reveals:
- Which over-the-counter and alternative medicines are best to stockpile for the common cold.
- Why he believes many people are fighting fevers the wrong way.
- What he thinks about Zicam, vitamin C and other supplements that supposedly prevent colds.
- How Neti pots are often used incorrectly – a mistake that can cause major health problems.
Finally, Dr. Alton gives us his best advice on staying healthy this winter – including whether that regiment should include hand sanitizer.
If you want to stay healthy all winter long, then don’t miss this week’s show!
Among the many articles that I’ve read regarding ‘fish antibiotics’ being the same thing as antibiotics prescribed for humans, I recall a few articles over on Rawles website. One of them, written by a doctor (who is apparently into prepping), ordered a variety of ‘fish antibiotics’ for his preps – to discover that these antibiotics […]
7 Natural Antibiotics to Use When Medicines are Not Available While the media may point out the dangers of Zika, flu pandemics, and other “newly” emerging diseases, very little is said about the rise of “super bugs”. These common diseases are quickly outstripping the ability of modern antibiotics to deal with them. As a result, […]
The post 7 Natural Antibiotics to Use When Medicines are Not Available appeared first on SHTF DAD.
In this topic-packed episode of the Survival Medicine Hour with Joe Alton, MD and Amy Alton, ARNP, survival group expert and author Charley Hogwood joins us to talk about survival group dynamics as well a number of other issues that may affect your chances for survival in the uncertain future. Also, Nurse Amy talks about one of her favorite herbs, Cinnamon, and its medical uses and Dr. Alton discusses an unusual subject, driven by recent news: Alligator attacks, what to do and some common-sense prevention strategies. He also brings you up to date with the Zika epidemic ramping up in Puerto Rico, and the 3 infants born with Zika-related deformities in the United States. Finally, Dr. Alton discusses antibiotics while answering a question from a listener of the popular Survival Podcast with Jack Spirko. Dr. Alton serves as the medical expert on Jack’s Expert Council.
Plus, doctors say 1 in 5 trauma victims’ death are preventable. Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy discuss why and what could be done to increase your chances of surviving a mass casualty incident.
To listen in, click below:
Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,
Joe and Amy Alton
We live in a time when doctors prescribe antibiotics willy-nilly, any time somebody complains of the sniffles. It’s a cop out way to shut people up and make them feel as if they got their money’s worth out of the appointment.
Personally, I think that it’s also a CYA way for the doctor in case you keel over after you leave the office. Let’s get real though and talk about how your body can defeat bacteria naturally.
First off, we all know that antibiotics aren’t going to be readily available if SHTF and pharmacies and doctor offices shut down. You may have a supply hoarded but it would be unwise to use that except in the most dire of cases. There are many natural antibiotics that you can use, and I also wrote an article about making your own antibiotics.
Instead of getting to the point that you need antibiotics, the best thing that you can do is avoid getting sick to begin with. The second best thing to do is that if you do happen to get sick, don’t treat it with antibiotics unless you have to. But how to avoid the need for antibiotics?
The problem with bacteria is that it’s extremely resilient and can mutate into forms that are resistant to antibiotics. Obviously, that’s bad. You know those products that kill 99 percent of bacteria? Well guess what that other 1 percent is? That’s right – as with most situations in life, it’s a case of survival of the fittest. The strongest bacteria survive and pass that on to their offspring.
Frequent use of antibiotics poses two problems. First, they don’t discriminate between good bacteria and bad bacteria. They just go into your body and annihilate any bacteria it finds. Your body NEEDS certain bacteria in order to function properly, especially in the digestive system. When antibiotics wipe those out, your digestive system can’t operate properly and if the good bacteria are gone, it leaves room for the bad bacteria to move in before the good ones can repopulate.
Next, if the antibiotics don’t kill all of the bug that’s making you sick, a superbug can result. This is the name for that mutant strain of bacteria that we were talking about earlier; the one that’s resistant to antibiotics. There’s no way to absolutely avoid this, but it’s the reason that you should always take your full dose of antibiotics until they’re gone.
The Secret Weapon is Your Own Body
The best possible way to fight bacteria is to have a healthy immune system to begin with. This involves eating well, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding stress. Forget all of the antibacterial stuff and don’t pop a pill every time you get the sniffles.
Why is this important? Because doctors and medicine don’t heal; they just help the body recover by itself. In a crisis situation, if you become sick or get injured, you don’t have any other tools or medicine other than your body so you need to act upon it first, and help it to get the healing process started.
There are times, such as when you have a major infection from a wound that you SHOULD take antibiotics, but those times are few and far between. Other than in those types of extreme situations, suck it up, eat well, clean your cuts and scrapes well and often, and take care of yourself in general. Oh, and wash your hands.
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by details that you probably don’t even think about. For instance, when you use a public restroom, do you turn off the faucet or open the door with your hands on your way out? If so, you probably just wasted your time washing your hands because – surprise – many people don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom.
After you wash your hands, turn the faucet off and open the door with the paper towel that you used to dry your hands.
Don’t touch your face unless you absolutely have to. We’ve already talked about the germs that you’ve picked up in the bathroom. Other people pick them up too, then carry them back and rub them all over their staplers, chairs, desks, door handles, counters, and everything else that you may come into contact with during the day.
Oh yeah, and they sneeze or cough in their hands (if they bother) and rub those germs all over everything, too. Gross but true. So, don’t touch your face and wash your hands frequently.
Stay Away From Hospitals
If you want to run into every supergerm on the planet, go to a hospital. Why do you think people get admitted? True, some are in there for injuries or diseases, but a great many are there because of a bacterial infection that ran amok. If the bacteria was so bad that it couldn’t be treated outside with standard antibiotics, then it’s probably not something that you want to come into contact with.
Since nurses, doctors, and other hospital personnel go back and forth between rooms and visitors go from patient rooms to other areas such as restrooms, cafeterias, and waiting rooms, germs spread like wildfire, again in ways that most of us don’t even consider: door handles, charts passing from hand to hand, sneezes, coughs, remote controls, magazines; the list goes on and on.
That’s not even your biggest worry, though. Hospitals use heavy-duty cleaners all the time to clean rooms, floors, and every other surface, right? Well this goes back to that 99 percent conversation that we had earlier, except on a HUGE scale.
The typical antibacterial ingredient is triclosan, and studies have shown that though it works, it doesn’t work well enough, and it poses other problems.
Many really bad bugs are killed by triclosan, but the few that are left behind to breed are downright NASTY superbugs. Also, triclosan has been linked to some nasty side stuff, including interruption of your endocrine system and a link to autism in kids.
Even a perfectly healthy immune system will have to put out a few fires after a visit to a hospital, but if you’ve already got an open cut or your immune system is weakened, you could be the next one in that bed. Now you see why having a good immune system helps a lot, don’t you?
Avoid hospitals like the plague and if you DO have to go, don’t touch anything more than you have to, don’t touch your face, and clean your hands on your way out with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which is the one agent that kills most bacteria, viruses and even fungi on the spot.
Don’t Use Antibacterial Stuff
You’d think that using all the antibacterial hand soaps and sanitizers would be a good thing, right? Not really. Antibacterial soaps and sanitizers give you a feeling of false security. They do kill some bacteria, but they don’t kill viruses or fungi that cause other illnesses such as the flu or the common cold.
As a matter of fact, most antibacterial products use triclosan, which means you may now be breeding your own superbugs at home. Triclosan is just bad. Avoid it as much as you avoid the bacteria you’re trying to kill with it.
To further the argument against antibacterial soaps, studies show that most of them don’t remove any more germs than good old fashioned soap and water. Want to get something really clean? Use bleach, alcohol, or even apple cider vinegar.
Let Food Be Thy Medicine
Yup, Hippocrates got it right. There are tons of foods that have antibacterial benefits. One of the great things about getting antibiotics via your food is that you’re not disrupting the delicate balance of your body by flooding it with a pharmaceutical that’s going to mow down all of the good bacteria along with the bad.
Antibacterial foods typically have a ton of other amazing health benefits and if you eat them along with a variety of other healthy foods, you’re going to get everything that your body needs to stay healthy. Just a few examples of antibacterial foods include:
- Fermented Foods
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Oregano Oil
- Unrefined Coconut Oil
These ingredients, with the exception of Echinacea, can be used internally or externally to kill bacteria and this list only includes a few of the foods that I can think of just off the top of my head. I’ve listed a few more in this article, which also includes some other treatments used by Native Americans.
So, in summary, the best way to defeat bacteria naturally is to approach your battle from all sides. Don’t use products that create superbugs in the name of killing off 99 percent of the weaker bugs, don’t pop pills like they’re candy, eat well, exercise often, wash your hands, and do what it takes to relieve stress so that your immune system stays strong.
It sounds simple, and it generally is. Sure, occasionally something is going to slip through even the best defenses but in a SHTF scenario, you’re going to need to keep yourself healthy and your environment clean. With no antibiotics, preventing the spread of disease is going to be critical to survival, and the best way to do that is to avoid disease to begin with.
If you can think of anything I’ve missed or if you have anything to add, please feel free to do so in the comments section below! And click on the banner below to get more knowledge about surviving a medical crisis when there is no doctor around!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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You are what you eat, the ancestors used to say. When it comes to survival, what you eat can save you more than you imagine.
Food is one of those things that you desperately need for survival (remember the rule of three?), but it also helps you healing wounds, literally, and solve unexpected medical crisis.
We found 10 foods that work best as medicine in medical emergencies, put them together and built the cool infographic that you see below.
Share this knowledge with you friends!
This article has been written by Gabrielle Ray for Survivopedia.
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Can you imagine dying from a cut on your finger or a scrape on your knee? How about a respiratory infection or a toothache?
Before the invention of penicillin, the first antibiotic, that could have been your cause of death. If SHTF, access to antibiotics may become limited or impossible. If that happens, it’s important to know how to make antibiotics at home.
To understand the importance of antibiotics, think of it in larger terms. They would have cured the bubonic plague, which was a bacterial infection that took 100 million lives in the 14th century. It was originally caused by infected rats and the fleas that had bitten them, and then bitten a person. Since it was highly contagious, after a person was infected by the rat or flea, the infection then spread from them to other people.
Antibiotics also cure tuberculosis, a highly contagious bacterial disease that still exists today. As a matter of fact, in 2014 alone, more than 9 million people were reported to have it.
All bacterial infections are contagious to some degree, though for some, such as ones that cause an infected tooth or cut, the risk of infection is low because it’s mostly blood born. With other infections, such as tuberculosis, all you have to do is breathe the same air to become infected.
Though we think of the plague as something long behind us, we’re only protected from it because of access to antibiotics. If society collapses, pandemics like it could wreak the same havoc on humanity as they did then.
For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has used fungi to treat skin infections. World-wide, a common treatment for any skin lesion was a poultice made of dirt, which likely contained fungi. For thousands of years, people may not have known WHY something worked; they just knew that it did. Fortunately, we don’t have to depend on such blind faith anymore, so let’s get on with it.
Making penicillin at home is difficult, but possible if you have the right equipment and ingredients. First things first, though: don’t do it unless it’s truly a survival situation.
First, commercial antibiotics have been made by the pros, and they’re a known quantity. Second, making drugs at home, whether they’re legal or illegal, is frowned upon, and distributing them is illegal in most places.
How to Make Penicillin
This is a no-brainer, right? It’s made from bread mold, so you just leave a loaf out, cook up the mold or something, then take it, yes? Umm, no. Penicillin is made from the penicillium fungus found on foods such as some breads and fruits (a moldy cantaloupe played a huge role in initial experiments), but here’s the thing – the bacteria has to be stressed.
So, you have to grow the fungus, then introduce it to stressors before you can use it to make penicillin.
Very important heads up – your culture has to be grown and cultivated in a sterile environment or else other bugs and nasties will contaminate it and cause a Frankin-culture instead of the pure penicillium culture that you need to make antibiotics.
There’s a simple but less reliable way of making penicillin, and then there are steps that you can take to ensure that your end result is penicillin. Warning: though: it’s complicated and requires chemicals that can be quite expensive and have limited shelf lives.
- A gram scale
- Separatory funnel
- A 1-liter glass container
- 750 ml Erlenmeyer flask with a non-absorbent plug
- A pH test kit
- 2 pieces of whole wheat bread
- A cantaloupe rind, more bread, or citrus fruit
Step 1 – Set out the rind, bread or fruit and let it mold (we’ll call this the host). It will go through a few phases. First the mold will be white or gray, then it will turn blue, then a bright blue-green. This is the color you want. Note: if you choose to use bread, it’s best to make it yourself because many bakeries use an ingredient that inhibits mold growth.
Step 2 – Sterilize the flask by putting it in the pressure cooker at 15 lb. for at least 15 minutes, or bake it at 315 degrees F for an hour.
Step 3 – Cut the whole wheat bread (see note in step 1) into 1/2-inch cubes and place them in the flask, careful to be as sterile as you can.
Step 4 – scrape the blue-green mold from the host and place it in with the bread. Again, be as sterile with this step as you can, for instance, boil the tongs that you’re using.
Step 5 – Place the flask in a dark place that’s around 70 degrees and allow it to incubate for 5 days.
At this point, some people may say that you’re done and you can just slap the “penicillin” on the wound or make tea or soup from the bread. We don’t recommend it.
Step 6 – Now it’s going to get complicated. You’re going to need the following ingredients:
- Lactose Monohydrate 44 gm
- Corn Starch 25 gm
- Sodium Nitrate 3 gm
- Magnesium Sulfate 0.25 gm
- Potassium Monophosphate 0.50 gm
- Glucose Monohydrate 2.75 gm
- Zinc Sulfate 0.044 gm
- Manganese Sulfate 0.044 gm
Now, according to the instructions that I found (neither of which were actual medical sites because, as usual, there aren’t any actual medical sites that describe how to make anything like this at home), it says to dissolve these in tap water.
After researching, it seems that distilled water would be the best to use for the next step because we want to keep things as sterile as possible and tap water has unknown variables. That’s just my opinion and I’m definitely not a formally trained scientist, so use what you prefer.
Step 7 – So, back to it. Sterilize the 1+ liter container, then dissolve the above ingredients in 500 ml of cold water. Add more cold water to make it a full liter.
Step 8 – Use hydrochloric acid (HCL) to adjust the pH to 5.0-5.5 using your pH test kit.
Step 9 – Sterilize the container along with the solution as described above.
Step 10 – Allow the solution to cool, then add the mold. Incubate it for another 7 days under the same conditions as before. It’s important that the fluid isn’t jostled around so put it where it won’t be moved.
If you’ve done it correctly, you’re almost done. Now it’s time to extract the penicillin that’s infused in the fluid.
Step 11 – Filter the mix through a coffee filter or sterilized cheesecloth.
Step 12 – Adjust the pH of the solution to 2.2 using the HCL and the pH test kit.
Step 13 – Mix with cold ethyl acetate in the separatory funnel and shake vigorously for 30 seconds or so then allow it to separate. The ethyl acetate will be at the bottom.
Step 14 – Chill a beaker in an ice bath and drain the ethyl acetate into it. Add 1 percent potassium acetate and mix it again.
Step 15 – Let the ethyl acetate evaporate off while the solution is still in the beaker. You want plenty of air circulating through.
Step 16 – You have penicillin, assuming you did everything right. Actually the crystals that remain are potassium penicillin and potassium acetate.
This is a pretty scientific process and not something that you should undertake lightly, just to save yourself a few bucks on a prescription.
Because there are so many variables, making your own penicillin is tricky at best. Yes, you may have penicillin but you may have some bad bugs in there, too. But if SHTF, you’re dying from septicemia and you have no other viable options, then it’s not like this is going to make anything worse.
There are also many other sources of natural antibiotics that you can eat or even use topically, including honey, garlic, oil of oregano, and ginger. Honey is also a great preventive because in addition to killing something that may have gotten into the wound, it also acts as a barrier to keep other bugs out.
If you opt to use this recipe, it may be best to test it on a patch of your skin first to see if you have a reaction then go from there. I would definitely recommend researching the entire process more and to use this article as one piece of the “making your own antibiotics” puzzle.
If you have experience with this, or are a trained medical professional, we would love to hear from you on this topic.
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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New Development in Antibiotic Resistance
A new study came out on Tuesday that investigates the way antibiotic resistance spreads on pig farms, and beyond. What did they find? Well, let’s just say that what happens on the pig farm doesn’t necessarily stay on the pig farm.
The study was led by Michigan State University’s Center for Microbial Ecology, with help from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the USDA National Animal Disease Center.
The Abridged Version
Working with pigs from a lab in the US, and pig farms in China, the researchers identified and sequenced 44 genes that are related to antibiotic resistance, and its distribution on pig farms.
What they found is a little alarming, but it shouldn’t be too surprising if you’ve been following along. They found that there is a direct correlation between bacteria that can resist antibiotics, and the ability of those bacteria to spread their resistant traits to other bacteria.
In other words, the bacteria haven’t only learned to resist antibiotics – they have also learned to spread that resistance to their neighbors.
New Insights into Multidrug Resistance
On a pig farm, there is a rich and dense population of pig bacteria. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself. The same could be said for a large, centralized population of any other living thing – including humans.
When any particular antibiotic is used, bacteria can develop resistance to it. So it stands to reason that bacteria may be resistant to antibiotics they have seen before, but they should be susceptible to antibiotics they have not seen before.
This study shows that it’s not that simple. When one antibiotic is used, resistance to many antibiotics can increase. The study identified single genes that lend resistance to 6 classes of antibiotics.
Learn More About Your Biome: Microbes 2.0 – A Tiny Manifesto
Resistant Bacterial gone “Viral”
When multidrug resistance does develop, it can be passed between unrelated bacteria using a process known as horizontal gene transfer.
While science has been aware of the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the concept of horizontal gene transfer, before now – this new research shows a direct link between the two.
As a result, when one bacterium develops resistance to one drug, you can end up with a community of unrelated bacteria that possess resistance to many drugs.
The study’s authors go so far as to say that “multidrug-resistant bacteria are likely the norm rather than the exception in these communities.”
There Goes the Neighborhood
Now for the really interesting part!
They also looked at soil from Chinese vegetable farms that use manure-based fertilizer. In the fertilized soil, they found completely different bacteria than they found on the pig farm – as you would expect.
But the completely different bacteria in the soil did possess the same multidrug-resistant genes that they found on the pig farm. Yikes!
According to Yongguan Zhu, co-author from the Chinese Academy of Science, “This indicates that on the Chinese farms, the potential for resistance gene transfer among environmental bacteria is likely.” So, what happens on the pig farm does not stay on the pig farm.
Read more about antimicrobial resistance: Antimicrobial Resistance in the News
The Bottom Line for the Biome
Slowly but surely, the scientific community is arriving at the realization that antibiotics in the food supply, and antibiotic misuse in general, are a direct threat to human welfare.
As soon as the problem of antibiotic resistance began popping up in hospitals around the world, there was a call to separate the antibiotics that are used for animals from the antibiotics that are used in human medicine. Some people believed that if we reserved certain antibiotics for human use only, we could keep antibiotic-resistance confined to the farm.
No such luck. The use of one antibiotic in either location – the farm or the hospital – can result in bacteria that are resistant to multiple drugs, and that resistance can probably be passed from one bacteria to another unrelated bacteria, in real time, across environmental barriers.
So what’s next? The authors of this study suggest that we need to monitor and manage known genetic pools of antibiotic resistance. And we need to begin reducing the presence of resistant genes on farms – which means cutting out the antibiotics.
1: Antibiotic resistance genes increasing – http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2016/antibiotic-resistance-genes-increasing/
2: Clusters of Antibiotic Resistance Genes Enriched Together Stay Together in Swine Agriculture – http://mbio.asm.org/content/7/2/e02214-15
Yes, you can make your own anti-biotics at home. I’ll show you how to make a really super powerful one (it’s easy to do). Anyone can do it. Most people will want to do this in their backyards or on a patio. But I suppose you could do it indoors too. This one I’ll show you how to make is way more complex than anything the pharmaceutical companies can produce, yet it is simpler and easier to make. No, you won’t need a lab of chemistry set. No, you won’t need microscopes or chemicals. Nope, you won’t even need a spectrum analyzer….
This is so simple it’s just amazing you aren’t doing it right now.
This particular anti-biotic not only helps boost your immune system for any time you have an infection, but it is also good for when you have a cold, it’s known to help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, it’s been known to help balance blood sugar, fight cancer, fight fungus, and more.
Seriously, you have to check this out.
Several people have asked me questions about antibiotics like: How can I get prescription-quality antibiotics for my emergency kit? Are animal antibiotics safe for human consumption? And then there is my question, how can I get antibiotics cheaper? At the beginning of the yearRead More
You’re probably already aware of the dangers posed by the overuse of antibiotics. Doing so can lead to the creation of pathogens that are immune to antibiotics, and often can’t be treated by modern medicine. What you may not know, is that these dangers no longer lie in the relative safety of the future. They are already with us today, and these superbugs are killing thousands every year.
More importantly, the age of pharmaceutical antibiotics is nearing its end. Last month, a gene was discovered in several strains of bacteria in China, which grants these pathogens an immunity to colistin. This drug was one of the earliest forms of antibiotics, and also the only one that had yet to breed immunity in any strain of bacteria.
What’s worse, is that this gene can be passed to different strains of bacteria, so the genie is out of the bottle. Someday soon, colistin will be useless, and we will be well on our way into the post-antibiotic era. However, some experts on the subject believe that there is still a slim chance of avoiding this disaster. According to Dr. David Brown, who is the director of Antibiotic Research UK, society could turn this ship around if we changed our ways.
Dr Brown told said: “It is almost too late. We needed to start research 10 years ago and we still have no global monitoring system in place.
“The issue is people have tried to find new antibiotics but it is totally failing – there has been no new chemical class of drug to treat gram-negative infections for more than 40 years.
“I think we have got a 50-50 chance of salvaging the most important antibiotics but we need to stop agriculture from ruining it again.”
Resistance is thought to have grown due to colistin being heavily used in pockets of the agricultural industries, particularly in China, often to increase the physical size of livestock.
Worldwide, the demand for colistin in agriculture was expected to reach almost 12,000 tonnes per year by the end of this year, rising to 16,500 tonnes by 2021.
Unfortunately, “50-50″ may be wishful thinking. The gene responsible for building immunity against colistin has already been found in the UK. If it’s been found in China and the British Isles, then it’s safe to assume that it has gone worldwide. “50-50″ may still be an accurate assessment, but only on the condition that the agricultural industry of every nation, agrees to stop using colistin with such wanton abandon. However, the chances of that happening anytime soon are slim to nil.
Agricultural use of antibiotics has been one of the biggest drivers of superbug development, perhaps even more so than human usage. Doctors may be handing out these drugs like candy to their patients, but farmers have been giving antibiotics to their livestock by the shovelful. They’re not just used to treat individual animals who’ve become sick. They’re often laced with their feed as a preventative measure, and are known to induce growth in the livestock.
In other words, there is a ton of money to be made by dosing animals with antibiotics, and since agriculture is largely a corporate game these days, there’s going to be a lot of lobbying to prevent any new legal restrictions. That’s not to say that it’s impossible, or that it hasn’t been done before. It’s just that there are plenty of barriers that would prevent these laws from being made.
And in any case, the world has been fully aware of the consequences of overusing antibiotics in agriculture for decades, and yet, very little has been done to stop this practice. Now that we’ve finally reached the crisis point that has been predicted for years, is there any reason to believe that suddenly we’ll drop everything we’re doing and change? I doubt it.
It was short-term thinking that brought us here, and that thinking hasn’t changed. As far as the agricultural industry is concerned, it’s too late. So why not milk it for as long as they can? Besides, anybody who stops now is going to be out-competed by other companies that refuse to stop. It doesn’t matter that there’s a small chance of stopping this disaster. Corporations don’t sacrifice profits for small chances.
And finally, suppose that there was a concerted effort to ban this practice. Is it reasonable to believe that every country will go through with it? If even one small nation doesn’t stop using these antibiotics on their livestock, it will be enough to foster these immunity genes which will spread all over the world, as they have already done.
At the end of the day, there is no going back. There is no turning the ship around, and there is no last-minute solution. The antibiotics created by medical science are going the way of the dodo, and only natural alternatives will remain in the aftermath.
Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.
Joshua’s website is Strange Danger
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition
Here are some recipes to use for a natural antibiotic.
10 drops of lemon essential oil
8 drops of mountain savory
3 drops of Oregano oil
Put into “00” Empty Gelatin Capsules and take 2 capsules 1 time a day
4 drops of Oregano oil
2 drops of frankincense
12 drops of thieves ( proprietary blend)
Put into “00” Empty Gelatin Capsules and take 1 3 times a day
5 drops of oregano oil
5 drops of thieves ( proprietary blend)
Put into “00” Empty Gelatin Capsules and fill the remainder of the capsule with peppermint oil. Take this with food , 2 times a day.
I am not a doctor and you need to seek medical council before trying something like this, but they are all natural and I have found that they work very well. I do not like the idea of going to a dr and them giving out antibiotics for every single thing! Not good at all. They give out antibiotics a lot of times for stuff that doesn’t even need antibiotics.
Antibiotics have rightfully earned their place as one of the most important medical advances of the 20th century. Many of you reading this are alive today because of antibiotics, as are many of your parents and grandparents. It’s a marvel of the modern world that has given us so much life.
Unfortunately, we abused this gift. We used these antibiotics so much that now, many of the infections we used to be able to treat have evolved to resist them. These “superbugs” now threaten to derail decades of medical progress.
Someday soon we may be living in what scientists have dubbed, the “post-antibiotic world.” This is a world where the slightest nick or cut could be a death sentence, and where infections that were once conquered can make a devastating comeback. Unfortunately, the beginning stages of this new era have finally arrived.
The last line of antibiotic defence against some serious infections is under threat, say experts who have identified a gene that enables resistance to spread between bacteria in China.
The gene, called mcr-1, allows a range of common bacteria, including E coli, to become resistant to the last fully functional class of antibiotics, the polymyxins. This gene, they say, is widespread in bugs called Enterobacteriaceae carried by both pigs and people in south China and is likely to spread worldwide.
The gene is easily transferred from one strain of bacteria to another. Enterobacteriaceae are capable of causing a range of diseases, from pneumonia to serious blood infections. Some of the strains of Enterobacteriaceae with the gene have epidemic potential, say experts in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.
“These are extremely worrying results,” said Prof Jian-Hua Liu from South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, author of the report. “Our results reveal the emergence of the first polymyxin resistance gene that is readily passed between common bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, suggesting that the progression from extensive drug resistance to pandrug resistance is inevitable.”
Keep in mind that the only reason why these “polymyxins” were still effective, is that they are an older class of antibiotics that are rarely used, due to their toxicity. It’s a last resort for people infected with bugs that are resistant to everything else. Once this resistance spreads there will be a whole host of superbugs out there, to which there will be no antibiotic treatment options.
The fact that an outdated treatment is the best our hospitals have to offer, just goes to show that modern science isn’t up to the task of creating new antibiotics. This field of research isn’t like computers, where new advances keep arriving every few years with precise regularity. It seems that antibiotic research, at least as we know it today, has finally reached its peak. And even if science could invent a new antibiotic, what’s to stop future pathogens from becoming immune to it as well?
I suspect it wouldn’t take long, because human behavior isn’t going to change any time soon. In a sense, antibiotics fall under the “tragedy of the commons.” Any unregulated resource that is commonly shared by everyone, will eventually be destroyed. We all need to act in our own self-interest to survive and thrive, but when that instinct is applied to a resource that doesn’t belong to anyone, we quickly abuse that resource. Because human beings don’t want to be sick, and because livestock owners want to produce more food, any new antibiotic that is invented will inevitably be abused until it is worthless for everyone.
So it’s time to accept that the post-antibiotic era is unavoidable. We’ll either have to invent an entirely new method of treatment, or go back to some of the treatments we used in the early 20th century. Perhaps we’ll utilize some mixture of the two. In any case, antibiotics are very close to becoming useless, and until alternative solutions are ironed out the world is going to be quite a bit more dangerous than it was before.
Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.
Joshua’s website is Strange Danger
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition
Stockpiling medicine is not an easy task: it’s about money, it’s about making the best choice, it’s about availability. You should have at least a month’s medical supply, and the medications you stockpile can be easy to come by and are over-the-counter medications available at any large pharmacy.
But others you need are more difficult to get. They include narcotic medication and other prescription medications you have been prescribed by a doctor. Narcotics are good for severe pain but are potentially addicting so most doctors–even yours–won’t write a prescription for it without good reason.
That’s why we made it easy for you, and put up a list of those meds that you should not skip from your medical stockpile.
Tips to Follow on Buying Meds
In some cases, the prescription medications can be gotten from your doctor. For prescriptions, including narcotics that you can’t get at the doctor’s office try looking for an overseas pharmacy online, but it’s hard to predict which ones will be reputable or not. Try purchasing just one or two items from them and if they deliver reliably a medication that has the manufacturing label intact with the right medication name, you can continue to purchase from them.
You have to familiarize yourself with the generic names of medications because when you purchase over-the-counter medications or buy them online, even overseas, the generic forms are often much cheaper by far than the name brands. Knowing the generic names will help you determine what medications you’re getting online as well.
Often the labels are in another language but the generic name of the medicine is very similar or the same as the English version. These should be good substitutes for American-made medications.
But there are also other ways to get these medications. I myself needed an antibiotic, and I went to the drugstore and didn’t tell them I was a doctor. In some situations and in some places, you can get antibiotics and non-narcotic pain medication over the counter. You just have to claim that you are on treatment and you need to continue it, but that you’re not at home and that you need a dosage for one day. Chances are good nowadays that they’ll ask for your ID and your doctor’s phone number.
What if you don’t have access to what you need, though? Can these drugs be replaced with other substances, such as veterinary substances? Yes they sometimes can, if you keep the proportions, and with caution, but you have to check the dose because this is really important. Otherwise, if you take a dosage for a horse you will die. Look on the blister and see what it is, then divide it with the knife, in 2, 3, 4, 5, dosages as necessary.
As for the storage, stockpile medications nearby medications that are related to one another. For example, stock the respiratory medications together, the stomach medications together, etc. In a crisis, it pays to be organized.
Items past their expiration date may still work, however the will have a lesser potency. In rare cases, a medication much past its expiration date will have altered its components to contain something dangerous if you take it but it is rare. When in doubt and if in need, you can take something past its expiration date but it will have a lesser efficacy (effectiveness).
10 Categories of Medication that You Need
There are several categories of medications you’ll want to purchase, and you shouldn’t miss the following types of medication:
- Cold and flu medication: For congestion, cough, the pain of sore throat and body aches).
- Allergy medications: Include sedating and non-sedating types of medication.
- Pain medications: Include over the counter and prescription pain medications.
- Breathing medications: This especially includes inhalers.
- Gastrointestinal medications: For heartburn, stomach distress, diarrhea and constipation.
- Skin medications: These include sunscreen and medications for various rashes and skin problems.
- Antibiotics: Include those that cover for the majority of infections you might encounter.
- Birth control pills: A disaster is no time for a pregnancy, especially if nuclear radiation is present.
- Psychotropic medications. This especially involves medication for sleep and anxiety.
- Children’s medications: If you have a baby or young child, you’ll want liquid medications specially designed for their needs.
- Fiber laxative
- Aspirin as a blood thinner
- Atherosclerosis medication. Mevacor (lovastatin); Zocor (simvastatin)
- Blood thinners for stroke Coumadin (warfarin)
- Medications for arthritis Aleve (naproxen)
- Heart burn medications. Zantac (ranitidine).
- High blood pressure medication. (Lisinopril); Tenormin (atenolol).
A Few More Words on Cold and Flu Medication
The cold and flu are different viral infections but they share some of the same symptoms, so they are included together.
Cold and flu symptoms include congestion in the nose, sore throat, sinus pain, and cough.
The flu also has a great deal of body aches and malaise, where you just don’t feel good at all and need to lie down and rest.
Medications you’ll want to have on hand include the following (the brand name is capitalized, the generic name is in parentheses):
- Sudafed (pseudoephedrine): This is for nasal and sinus congestion. You have to ask for it behind the pharmacy counter even though it is not a prescription medication because it is one of the main ingredients in methamphetamine, and they don’t want people to purchase large quantities of it at a time. Follow package instructions for sinus and nasal congestion. Usually you take 1-2 pills every four hours.
- Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen): These are all good medications for fever, sore throat, and body aches. Take two every four to six hours.
- Robitussin DM (dextromethorphan): This comes in pill or liquid form and helps the cough. You need to be careful and just purchase plain Robitussin DM. Robitussin CF contains a decongestant that you already are taking when you take Sudafed. Robitussin DM also contains guaifenesin which breaks up the thick mucus in your system.
What About Pain Medications?
- Tylenol (acetaminophen): This is a simple fever and pain reliever that works on all sorts of pain. It is safe to take by anyone who does not have liver disease as it is metabolized by the liver. It is usually taken in adults as 2 500-milligram tablets every 4-6 hours. It has the added advantage of being able to be taken with anti-inflammatory medication in a pinch when the pain is severe and you want to take something more than Tylenol.
- Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen): These are anti-inflammatory medications that work best on pain caused by inflammation like arthritis. They also work on fever and generic pain. Some people will get stomach upset if they take these medications on an empty stomach so it’s best to take them with a small amount of non-acidic food. Try taking 2-3 tablets or capsules of ibuprofen every 4-6 hours. Take naproxen at 2 tablets every 8 hours.
- Narcotic pain relievers. These work for strong pain and include Vicodin (hydrocodone and Tylenol) and oxycodone. Give one to two tablets every 6 hours. Be alert for signs of confusion if the patient is taking too much. You can get this online or get a prescription from your doctor.
What You Need to Know about Antibiotics
Choosing a simple antibiotic is difficult because people have allergies and intolerances to antibiotics and there is no perfect antibiotic for every illness. Poll your family members for allergies before selecting one.
Any antibiotic must have several properties: it must be inexpensive, easy to administer, it mustn’t cause resistance and it must act on as many bacteria as possible, in as short a time as possible. A good choice is a broad spectrum antibiotic like cephalexin or Keflex. Two other choices include erythromycin (or azithromycin) and sulfa antibiotics like Bactrim or Septra (trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole).
If you have these five classifications of antibiotics, you’ll have covered for several kinds of infections including:
- Cephalexin: Respiratory and upper respiratory infections, skin infections
- Erythromycin or azithromycin: Upper respiratory infections and lower respiratory infections such as “walking pneumonia”, skin infections
- Bactrim or Septra: bladder infections, some gastrointestinal infections.
- Cipro or Levaquin: used for bladder infections, respiratory infections, or skin infections
- Flagyl: used for parasitic infections and some gastrointestinal infections
Antibiotics won’t cure the common cold and they will do nothing for influenza but it does wonders for sinus infections stemming from the cold, a case of strep throat, and certain cases of bronchitis, pneumonia, bacterial skin infections and bladder infections.
You need to use them judiciously, when you know that you’re dealing with a bacterial infection. This means you have a fever, yellow or green drainage from the nose or coughed up from the lungs and redness around a wound. Strep throat and bladder infections are hard to determine. You just have to guess.
Give the body, the limb or the spot in question where the injury occurred, time to recover. Do not immediately jump to drugs, don’t start pouring the entire reserve of drugs down the patient, because you won’t solve anything like that. Sometimes the simplest solution is to not do anything, not to force it.
If you dole out antibiotics before you give the body a chance to heal, you’re wasting valuable medical supplies that may be needed later. Wait and see, and only when things are going towards the worse end should you start with antibiotics.
Breathing Medications You Need to Stockpile
In some disaster situations, even people without asthma will have problems with wheezing and shortness of breath. The best choice for this is an inhaler containing a beta-agonist, which opens the breathing passages.
The trick is to use these medications in such a way that the medication gets in your lungs and not in the back of your throat. With inhalers, you take a deep breath with the inhaler in your mouth and when you’re in the middle of the deep breath, press the plunger and keep breathing in. The medicine should get sucked down into your bronchial passages.
This is the main medication you’ll need:
- Albuterol: This is available in an inhaler form but it can be given in liquid form to young children. It needs a prescription so get one from your doctor or on the internet. Take two puffs as directed above every four hours for wheezing and cough.
- Primatene Mist: This is a less effective over-the-counter medication containing aerosolized epinephrine. Take two puffs every four hours. Use it when you absolutely can’t get albuterol.
There are a large variety of medication choices for the gastrointestinal system and you’ll need to condense them down to just a few. You’ll need something for the upper part of your GI system—your stomach.
Medicines for excess stomach acid and heartburn include TUMS, a medication like Zantac, and a medication like Prilosec. TUMS is just calcium carbonate and it quickly neutralizes the burn of heartburn or the rumbling of an acid stomach. If you can’t afford to wait for a few hours, try Zantac, which is a histamine-2 blocker, blocking the production of stomach acid.
If you can afford to wait a few more hours but want all day relief, try Prilosec, which is a proton pump inhibitor. It more thoroughly blocks the production of stomach acid; it just takes a few hours to kick in. The medication or medications you choose for stomach problems and heartburn depend on your personal preference and on how much room you have in your stockpile.
For nausea, the standard treatment is Compazine, given as 10 mg tablets or 25 mg suppositories if the person cannot tolerate oral medications.
There are medications for constipation and diarrhea — problems that can befall anyone in a disaster situation. For constipation, you can choose Miralax, a medication that must be mixed with a glass of water, X-Lax, which contains natural sennosides, or Correctol, which contain biscodyl. Of the three, biscodyl is the strongest, which means it might result in diarrhea if taken to excess. Choose the medication you are most familiar with and stockpile it.
For diarrhea, you can choose Kaopectate, which is for use in adults and very small children. It is a liquid medication that doesn’t need water to use. You can also choose something like Imodium-AD (loperamide), which is a pill form of a medication helpful in treating diarrhea when the disease is not a result of an infection. It can be taken only by adults as 1-2 pills every 6 hours or closer together if the diarrhea is persistent. If space is an issue, select only one of these medications.
What You Need for Treating Your Skin
No medication stockpile would be complete without items for the treatment of wounds, sprains and strains.
There are a number of items to choose from. While no one might become injured, disaster situations put people in positions they can’t predict so make sure your injury kit is well stocked.
Items to stockpile include:
- Antibiotic ointment like bacitracin or Neosporin
- Antiseptic cleansing wipes
- Cloth or paper medical tape 1-2 inch wide
- 4 x 4 gauze; it can be folded over when the injury is small.
- Ace bandages — 3-5 inches wide for the lower and upper extremities
- Sling for the arm in adult and children’s sizes
- Splinter remover to remove foreign bodies
- Ice pack; you can buy chemical ice packs that turn cold on hitting it with a fist
You can get very elaborate with injury supplies, such as buying upper and lower extremity air splints and buying cervical collars for neck injuries but that may be overkill. The above list will cover the vast majority of injuries you’ll get in a disaster situation.
As for skin ointments and creams, there are several medications you need to have on hand for your skin. The first is antiseptic ointment. Use this for cuts and scrapes so they don’t get infected. Conditions may not be optimum for keeping a cut or scrape clean so using the ointment is the next best thing. Most antiseptic ointments contain either neomycin or bacitracin or even both. An ointment called Neosporin is good for all types of open injuries to the skin and contains both medications.
You might add a cream or ointment that contains hydrocortisone. The maximum over the counter strength of hydrocortisone you can get is 1 percent, which is effective for many different rashes. Rashes like poison ivy or other itchy rash can be managed with hydrocortisone cream. Allergic rashes can be treated with hydrocortisone cream as well.
These should be the basic when preparing your medicine supply. But don’t forget about the healing power of nature, and prepare yourself for replacing meds with natural remedies if needed.
DISCLAIMER: The data contained in this article are for informational purposes only, and do not replace by any means professional advice.
This article has been written by Radu Scurtu for Survivopedia.
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The wise medic will store antibiotics to deal with infections in survival scenarios, but what happens when a bacteria becomes resistant to them? In other words, a “Superbug”?
In the U.S., 2 million people are infected annually with bacteria resistant to standard antibiotic treatment. At least 23,000 of these will die as a result. In an increasingly overburdened health system, resistant microbes are responsible for a huge increase in the cost of caring for the sick.
This article will discuss antibiotics and the epidemic of resistance that has spawned a growing number of superbugs.
Antibiotics are medicines that kill micro-organisms in the body. Amazingly, the first antibiotic, Penicillin, was discovered entirely by accident in 1928 when Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from a vacation. He noticed that a lab dish with a bacterial culture had developed a mold known then as Penicillin Notatum. Around the mold, an area had developed that was clear of bacteria. Further study proved the potent germicidal effect of the compound processed from the mold.
By the 1940s, penicillin was in general use and credited with saving many lives during WWII. Since then, more than 100 different antibiotics have been identified and developed into medicines.
The huge success that antibiotics had in eliminating bacterial infections caused them to be used excessively. Liberal employment of antibiotics is a bad idea for several reasons:
- Overuse fosters the spread of resistant bacteria.
- Allergic reactions can occur, sometimes severe.
- Antibiotics given before a diagnosis is confirmed may mask some symptoms and make identifying the illness more difficult.
Antibiotics will kill many bacteria, but they will not be effective against viruses, such as those that cause influenza or the common cold. They are also not meant as anti-fungal agents.
Most will be surprised to hear that almost 80% of the antibiotics used in the U.S. don’t go to people, but to livestock. This is not to treat sick livestock but to make healthy livestock grow faster and get to market sooner. No one knows for sure why antibiotics have this effect, but the gross overuse on food animals is a big reason for the epidemic of resistance seen today.
The Superbug List Grows Longer
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has compiled a list of close to 20 bacteria that have shown a tendency towards antibiotic resistance. They include various organisms that cause severe diarrheal disease, respiratory issues, wound infections, and even sexually transmitted disease.
The CDC’s list:
- Clostridium difficile
- Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
- Drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae
- Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter
- Drug-resistant Campylobacter
- Fluconazole-resistant Candida
- Extended spectrum β-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBLs)
- Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
- Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Drug-resistant Non-typhoidal Salmonella
- Drug-resistant Salmonella Typhi
- Drug-resistant Shigella
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- Drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae
- Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis
- Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA)
- Erythromycin-resistant Group A Streptococcus
- Clindamycin-resistant Group B Streptococcus
There have been no effective treatments identified for some of the above microbes, as in the case of multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis. MRSA, Methicillin-Resistant Staph. Aureus, was responsible for more deaths than AIDS in recent years.
Although this is the CDC’s list of superbugs that affect the United States, they aren’t the only ones. A new type of Malaria, a very common parasitic disease of warmer climates, is turning up that is resistant to the standard drugs.
Viruses are “resistant” to antibiotics by nature (in other words, they are unaffected by them) and include Influenza A, Swine Flu, Ebola, Bird Flu, SARS, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). These will be discussed in detail in a future article.
An Effective Strategy
Many believe that antibiotic-resistant Superbugs listed are exotic diseases that could never affect their community. With the ease of commercial air travel, however, cases of antibiotic-resistant diseases from afar can easily arrive on our shores.
Recently, a case of multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis was identified and then isolated at the high level isolation unit at the National Institute of Health in Maryland. Although we have increased our capacity for handling this type of patient significantly since the arrival of Ebola in the U.S. last year, it wouldn’t take much to overwhelm our facilities.
Therefore, the medic must have a plan to decrease the chances for antibiotic-resistant infections. The main strategy is to hold off on dispensing that precious supply of antibiotics until absolutely necessary, but other strategies include:
- Establishing good hygiene practices: Everyone should be diligent about washing hands with soap and hot water or hand sanitizers. Good respiratory hygiene includes coughing or sneezing into tissues or the upper arm, but never the bare hands.
- Supervising sterilization of water, preparation of food, and disposal of human waste and trash. Contaminated water and food will lead to many avoidable deaths in survival scenarios. Make sure that food preparation surfaces (counter tops, etc.) are disinfected frequently.
- Dedicating personal items: Personal items like towels, linens, utensils, and clothing may be best kept to one person in an epidemic setting.
- Cleaning all wounds thoroughly and covering with a dressing. Skin is the body’s armor, and any chink in it will expose a person to infection.
- Social distancing: When a community outbreak has occurred, limiting contact with those outside the family or survival group may be necessary to stay healthy.
- Keeping a strong immune system: Getting enough rest, eating healthily, and avoiding stress will improve a person’s defenses against disease. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to achieve these goals in times of trouble.
- Going natural: Allicin, a compound present in garlic, is a natural antibiotic that is thought to have an effect against some resistant bacteria like MRSA. Crush a clove and eat it.
Preventing the spread of infections, especially antibiotic-resistant ones, is important to maintain the viability of a survival community. If you’re the medic, have antibiotics in your storage but use them wisely. If you do, you’ll help prevent not only resistance, but a lot of heartache if things go South.
Joe Alton, MD
Antibiotics are an important part of any medical arsenal in tough times. Many infections easily treated today would possibly be life-threatening in an off-grid survival setting. Indeed, if such a thing occurred, you can bet that these drugs would no longer be produced. There would be a lot of otherwise avoidable deaths due to simple cuts that become infected or dehydration from diarrheal disease. We only have to look at mortality statistics from pre-antibiotic times like the Civil War to know that this is true. More soldiers died then from infectious disease that from bullets or shrapnel.
This article is part of a series on antibiotics and their use in survival settings. Today we’ll talk about an antibiotic that would be useful to deal with some organisms that can cause a number of major problems. Metronidazole (aquatic equivalent: Fish-Zole) 250mg is an antibiotic in the Nitroimidazole family that is used primarily to treat infections caused by anaerobic bacteria and protozoa.
“Anaerobes” are bacteria that do not depend on oxygen to live. “Protozoa” have been defined as single-cell organisms with animal-like behavior. Many can propel themselves randomly from place to place by the means of a “flagellum”; a tail-like “hair” they whip around that allows them to move.
The antibiotic Metronidazole works by blocking some of the functions within bacteria and protozoa, thus resulting in their death. It is better known by the U.S. brand name Flagyl and usually comes in 250mg and 500mg tablets. Metronidazole (Fish-Zole) is used in the treatment of these bacterial diseases:
• Diverticulitis (an intestinal infection seen in older individuals)
• Peritonitis (an inflammation of the abdominal lining due to a ruptured appendix, ruptured cysts, and other causes)
• Certain pneumonias (lung infections)
• Diabetic foot ulcer infections
• Meningitis ( an infection of the spinal cord and brain lining)
• Bone and joint infections
• Colitis due to a bacterial species known as Clostridia (sometimes caused by taking Clindamycin!)
• Endocarditis (a heart infection)
• Bacterial vaginosis (a very common vaginal infection)
• Pelvic inflammatory disease (an infection in women which can lead to abscesses, often in combination with other antibiotics)
• Uterine infections (especially after childbirth and miscarriage)
• Dental infections (sometimes in combination with amoxicillin)
• H. pylori infections (a bacteria that causes peptic ulcers)
• Some skin infections
And those are just the bacterial infections that metronidazole can deal with. It also works with these protozoal infections:
• Amoebiasis: dysentery caused by Entamoeba species (contaminated water/food)
• Giardiasis: infection of the small intestine caused by Giardia Species (contaminated water/food)
• Trichomoniasis: vaginal infection caused by parasite which can be sexually transmitted
Amoebiasis and Giardiasis can be caught from drinking what appears to be the purest mountain stream water, and these infections are seen right here in the Great Smoky Mountains and elsewhere. Never fail to sterilize all water, regardless of the source, before drinking it.
Metronidazole is used in different dosages to treat different illnesses. You’ll find detailed information in our book “The Survival Medicine Handbook” and in other standard medical references such as the Physician’s Desk Reference. You’ll also find this information at drugs.com or rxlist.com.
Here are the dosages and frequency of administration for several common indications:
• Amoebic dysentery: 750 mg orally 3 times daily for 5-10 days. For children, give 35 to 50 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses for 10 days (no more than adult dosage, of course, regardless of weight).
• Anaerobic infections (various): 7.5 mg/kg orally every 6 hours not to exceed 4 grams daily.
• Clostridia infections: 250-500 mg orally 4 times daily or 500-750 orally 3 times daily.
• Giardia: 250 mg orally three times daily for 5 days. For children give 15 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses (no more than adult dosage regardless of weight).
• Helicobacter pylori (ulcer disease): 500-750mg twice daily for several days in combination with other drugs like Prilosec (Omeprazole).
• Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): 500 mg orally twice daily for 14 days in combination with other drugs, perhaps doxycycline or azithromycin.
• Bacterial Vaginosis: 500mg twice daily for 7 days.
• Vaginal Trichomoniasis: 2 g single dose (4 500mg tablets at once) or 1 g twice total.
All drugs have the potential for side effects, also known as adverse reactions. These are different from allergies, where your body actually mounts an immune response to a drug, such as in a penicillin allergy.
One particular side effect has to do with alcohol: drinking alcohol while on Metronidazole will very likely make you vomit.
Metronidazole should not be used in pregnancy. but can be used in those allergic to Penicillin.
Having antibiotics will give you an additional tool in the medical woodshed that just might, one day, save a life. They’re not toys, however, and should only be used when absolutely necessary.
Joe Alton, MD
Learn more about antibiotics and their use in survival settings in our book “The Survival Medicine Handbook“, with over 250 5-star reviews on Amazon.
This is part 2 in our special series about antibiotics controversies. See part 1, about fish antibiotics for humans, here.
by Leigh Ann Hubbard
The expiration date is not a magic number. This is one of the first things preppers (preparedness-minded people) learn when they start stockpiling. Shelf-stable products tend not to suddenly go rancid on the stamped date. Sometimes they last a long time after that.
Their quality, however, may begin to decrease. A can of vegetables that’s a while past its date may not taste as good. A supplement may be less potent. An antibiotic may not work as well.
The first two situations won’t necessarily kill you. That last one? It could. If the antibiotic doesn’t pull its weight, you’re at the mercy of the infection—which, thanks to that weak medicine you just took, has likely mutated into an antibiotic-resistant strain. Whoops.
So as a prepper, if you store antibiotics, should you immediately replace them when they’re expired? It’s a much-discussed topic online since antibiotics aren’t like ibuprofen. If they don’t work exactly right and you’re in a survival situation, it’s bad news. Really bad news.
Some people say, “Yes!! Replace them immediately! Even before!”
Others say, “No, they’ll last at least a decade, if not longer! Don’t worry about it.”
It’s a tad confusing. So who’s right?
We set out to suss out the answer. Like many prepper questions, this wasn’t easy to solve. Through weeks of investigation, we uncovered both gray areas and clear facts. But taken together, they paint an interesting picture of what the longevity truly is—for antibiotics and many other pills. We present our findings here, to help you decide for yourself which meds to trust and for how long.
What That Expiration Date Really Means
In the U.S., a medication’s expiration date is like the pharmaceutical company’s guarantee: they stand by the product until that day; after that, all bets are off. The med has been tested and proven to hold up that long—if the container is unopened and stored correctly.
“It would be very unusual for a drug to have an expiration date shorter than one year or greater than five years,” Craig K. Svensson, PharmD, PhD, dean of Purdue University’s College of Pharmacy, said via email. The reasons for the limits are complex, but it’s clear that especially for pills (as opposed to less-stable liquids), the date doesn’t always mean the drug won’t last longer. It’s often simply how long the medication has been tested for.
But here’s the twist: for prescription medicines, the manufacturer’s expiration date may not even be the one you see.
When a pharmacist dispenses a drug, they assign it a discard date, usually one year from the date of dispensing (unless the manufacturer’s expiration date is sooner than that). That’s because the prescription is only valid for 12 months, explains the National Community Pharmacists Association. If you bring that bottle back to the pharmacy for a refill and it’s over a year old, the pharmacist knows you need a new prescription.
Also, once the drug is removed from its original packaging and sent home with the patient, it’s exposed to damaging environmental effects, such as humidity and heat, so it won’t last as long as it would have in its original home.
“By the time you get prescription pills, the expiration date is at its shortest and most prudent.”
Bottom line: by the time you get prescription pills, the expiration or “discard” date is at its shortest and most prudent.
But here’s where twist two comes in: in 1986, the U.S. government decided that all this prudence and limited testing weren’t cutting it—for itself anyway. So it set up its own study to determine what we all want to know: how long drugs actually last. It’s called the Shelf Life Extension Program. And it’s changed how many people thinks about medication longevity—maybe a little too much.
The Great, Big Longevity Study
Referred to as SLEP, the Shelf Life Extension Program has provided unprecedented information about medication longevity.
SLEP started in 1986 as a way to save the U.S. government money. The Department of Defense stockpiles medications in case of emergency. (Feds, they’re just like us!) The agency grew tired of spending millions of dollars replacing those meds once they expired. So it decided to see if the medications would last past their expiration dates.
SLEP was established in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration. In the program, certain important stockpiled medications are kept well past manufacturer expiration dates and are periodically tested to make sure they’re still good.
The medications in SLEP are divided into lots. Each lot usually goes through two testing processes:
- Accelerated stability testing: A sampling from the lot is stored under bad conditions for 60 days: 122 degrees F and 75 percent humidity. The results indicate how long the drug would probably remain good if stored ideally. The lot is given a new expiration date based on this data.
- Room temperature testing: After the new expiration dates are assigned, the lot is stored under optimal conditions, and a sample is retested once or twice a year to make sure it’s still good.
The FDA says it errs on the side of caution when extending expiration dates. However long they think the med will last, they mark the date sooner than that. Currently, no drug gets an extension longer than 10 years past its original expiration date.
But 10 years is a lot longer than one. So the fact that some medications last this long is quite interesting, eh? Except … the thing is, in SLEP, medications are stored under absolutely ideal conditions. And there’s the rub for preppers.
How Real Is “Ideal”?
Though SLEP is often cited as proof your antibiotics will outlast your dog, what’s not often emphasized is the fact that most people don’t store their prescription medications ideally, like they’re stored in the study.
For one thing, at home, prescription meds are usually in a pharmacy-provided pill bottle, not factory sealed, noted Svensson. These bottles aren’t humidity proof, “which is one reason that it is generally recommended that they not be kept in a bathroom that has a shower,” he said. (You’ve probably heard similar advice: the bathroom medicine cabinet is one of the worst places to store meds.)
Also, sometimes medicines are left in cars or otherwise exposed to extreme temperatures. Life is just not as ideal as a cozy SLEP warehouse.
So before applying the SLEP findings to your stash, consider that in the program, the medications are stored in the original packaging and always exactly according to the manufacturer’s labeled instructions.
How to Store Antibiotics at Home
So first things first: let’s just get your antibiotics to last at least to the expiration date you’re given. To do that, store them in tight containers at room temperature (59 to 86 degrees F).
Even if the pills get really hot one time (for example, you leave them in the car on a hot summer day), that could be enough to render them unusable, Prabhavathi Fernandes, Ph.D., founder and president of Cempra Pharmaceuticals, said in an email interview. “Some of them could be partially or completely destroyed. Some could be fine.”
Storing the pills below room temperature, however, might not be a bad idea. “Refrigeration will prolong the life of most drugs. But each drug will behave differently,” said Fernandes, whose company is focused on developing antibacterials. “Once opened, one must be careful, as some of the tablets may absorb moisture. Freezing could prolong life, but some drugs may be unstable to a freeze-thaw cycle. Repeated freezing can cause a drug to break down.”
Some preppers wonder whether vacuum sealing could help. Fernandes thinks it might but in most cases isn’t necessary.
If you’re thinking about storing your pills in a container other than the one the pharmacy gave you, consider that the United States Pharmacopeial Convention, which sets quality standards for medications, even has standards for packaging material. For example, manufacturers must ensure plastic doesn’t leach into the drug or vice-versa.
“Most liquid drugs must be refrigerated and have a short life. They should not be used past their expiry date.”
It should be noted that all of these storage instructions are about pills. Liquid antibiotics have their own concerns. “Most liquid drugs must be refrigerated and have a short life,” Fernandes said. “They should not be used past their expiry date. In addition to the drug, there are excipients added for flavoring, color, etc., that can also go bad.”
Essential Drugs: Practical Guidelines (2013), a guidebook for health care providers from Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, advises, “Freezing may be detrimental, particularly for solutions, leading to the precipitation of active ingredients or the shattering of ampoules.” (Doctors Without Borders is a humanitarian organization that provides medical care where it’s hard to access, such as in countries affected by conflict or natural disasters.)
What Happens When an Antibiotic Pill Goes Bad
So what’s the big deal if an antibiotic does go bad?
Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is toxicity usually isn’t a concern. “There are very few medications that actually break down into something that could specifically cause harm as the product ages,” said Svensson, the dean at Purdue’s College of Pharmacy. “An example would be [the antibiotic] tetracycline, whose degradation products can cause liver injury.”
The bad news is a decrease in potency is a concern—a big one. “The use of expired antibacterials does not cure an infection and also favours the emergence of resistant strains,” says Essential Drugs. In other words, you’ll still be sick—only now possibly with mutant bacteria. Even a just-from-the-factory version of that antibiotic probably won’t kill your newly resistant bugs.
You’ll also have contributed to antibiotic resistance outside yourself. If a family member catches your illness, they’ll have those antibiotic-resistance germs.
Just try a different antibiotic? They’re often not swappable. Most illnesses have one or more preferred antibiotics that work better for them.
Can You Tell Whether an Antibiotic Is Bad?
Sniffing meat left on the counter does not tell you whether it’s gone bad. The same goes for antibiotics.
“The stability of the antibiotic within a tablet or capsule cannot be judged by simply looking, smelling or tasting the tablet or capsule,” Svensson said. “The same is true for a liquid antibiotic. Occasionally, a suspension will physically look different as it ages, but the potency of the antibiotic will often be reduced prior to the time the physical appearance changes.”
However, if an antibiotic does have an altered appearance, that’s a warning sign, according to Essential Drugs. For example:
In time, certain drugs undergo a deterioration leading to the development of substances much more dangerous, thus an increase in toxicity. Tetracycline is the principal example: the pale, yellow powder becomes brownish and viscous, its use therefore being dangerous even if before the expiry date.
“An increase in allergen strength has been observed in certain drugs such as penicillins and cephalosporins.”
An increase in allergen strength has been observed in certain drugs such as penicillins and cephalosporins [both antibiotics].
Suppositories, pessaries, creams and ointments that have been melted under heat should not be used. The active ingredient is no longer distributed in a homogenous manner.
How Long Specific Antibiotics Can Last
So now you’ve gotten all this bad news and a little good news, and the question remains: If you store them under ideal conditions—factory sealed and everything—how long can antibiotics last?
The answer, for most of them, is longer than their expiration date. How much longer varies quite a bit, from around one year to, in a few cases, more than 10.
A 2006 report published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences summarized SLEP’s findings from the previous 20 years. Below are the antibiotics included in the report.
You’ll notice that there’s quite a variation in extension times. Experts we spoke with cautioned that each antibiotic is different. If one lasts 10 years, that doesn’t mean they all will, by any stretch. If an antibiotic you’re curious about isn’t included in this list, you can’t make any assumptions. There’s even variability from lot to lot. One lot may last five years; another lot of the same medication may not.
One note: You may wonder what “powder” refers to in this list. That’s a powdered form of the drug, which pharmacists use to make injectable solutions.
|Extension Time (Mos.)|
|Antibiotic||Dosage Form||No. Lots Tested||Mean||Range|
|Neomycin and polymyxin B sulfates and bacitracin zinc||Ophthalmic ointment||5||28||12–40|
|Penicillin G benzathine||Suspension||4||70||61–84|
|Penicillin G procaine||Powder||7||70||67–72|
|Sulfacetamide sodium||Ophthalmic ointment||4||39||35–44|
|Sulfadozine and pyrimethamine||Tablets||8||67||34–93|
A different SLEP paper, last updated in 2009 (click here to download the doc), got dosage-specific about a few drugs. These are the two antibiotics included:
|Product||Length of Original Dating||Average Total Years Extended||Total Shelf Life Obtained|
|Doxycycline 100mg tablets||2 years||5 years||7 years|
|Ciprofloxacin 500mg tablets||3 years||10 years||13 years|
Finally, in a study unrelated to SLEP from the Institute of Pharmacy at the University of Tartu in Estonia, researchers tested antibiotic tablets and capsules they found that were at least 10 years expired.
All of the antibiotics, which were manufactured in various countries, passed their test: they contained a level of active ingredients that was acceptable by U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention standards.
The medications had been stored at the department of pharmacy at the University of Tartu in a closed cupboard at room temperature (about 68 degrees). “Some of the packages of the plastic vials of the expired formulations were opened and closed again, but none of the tablets or capsules tested was during the storage years directly exposed to the environment,” the study says. “The formulations in blister packages were not opened.”
The study doesn’t appear to have been published in any peer-reviewed, English-language scientific journal. The antibiotics, tested during the second half of 2011, were as follows:
|Antibiotic Type||Brand||Dosage Form||Expiration Date|
|Amoxicillin||Upsamox||Capsule, 500 mg||12/01|
|Amoxicillin||Upsamox||Capsule, 250 mg||7/01|
|Amoxicillin||Moxilen||Capsule, 250 mg||6/97|
|Ampicillin||Pentrexyl||Capsule, 500 mg||12/99|
|Ampicillin||Apo-Ampi||Capsule, 250 mg||12/00|
|Doxycycline||Apo-Doxy||Capsule, 100 mg||5/95|
|Doxycycline||Doxy-M-ratiopharm, 100 mg||Tablet||12/31/94|
|Doxycycline||Doxycyclinum, 100 mg||Capsule||2/1/99|
The researchers caution that they “in no way promote the use of expired medications,” especially since this was a laboratory study, not one done in people to confirm whether the drugs in fact remained effective. But they also say, “neither was it completely out of the study to give any hint on the therapeutic value of these expired medications. Further studies are essential to verify the clinical efficacy of the expired antibiotics.”
What It All Means for You
After considering all this information, it’s clear that it’s most prudent to replace stored antibiotics before they expire. Taking expired antibiotics, especially if they haven’t been consistently stored optimally, poses risks that could be life threatening.
“It is evident that a drug does not become unfit for consumption the day after its expiry date.”
But what if you’re in a survival situation already and all you can get are expired antibiotics? This becomes a judgment call. You can hope your body is able to fight off the illness without antibiotics or that the disease is actually viral (in which case antibiotics wouldn’t work anyway), or you can chance taking the drug. Either way, there are potential risks.
“It is evident that a drug does not become unfit for consumption the day after its expiry date,” Essential Drugs acknowledges. For medications in general, if they’ve been stored optimally and “modification of aspects or solubility have not been detected,” Essential Drugs advises:
[I]t is often preferable to use the expired drug than to leave a gravely ill patient without treatment.
Expiry dates for drugs that require very precise dosage should be strictly respected due to a risk of under-dosage. This is the case for cardiotonic and antiepilectic drugs, and for drugs that risk becoming toxic, such as cyclines.
Often for survival scenarios, there are no easy, black-and-white answers, even for highly trained health care providers. The best plan, as with many things, is excellent preparation.
If you choose to store antibiotics, store them constantly as directed, and replace them before you have to worry about the expiration date. That way, if you do get into a survival situation, you’ll know you have a little wiggle room to work with.
Leigh Ann Hubbard has been a health journalist for over a decade. She’s the editor of TheSurvivalDoctor.com and the owner of Revolutionary Writing Consultants, a writing agency specializing in health.
Don’t miss part 1 of this series: Do fish antibiotics work in humans?
I asked the editor of The Survival Doctor, Leigh Ann Hubbard (a professional journalist and my daughter), to investigate fish antibiotics for use in humans. Here’s her in-depth report. (Don’t miss our related report: Do antibiotic expiration dates matter?)
by Leigh Ann Hubbard
But there are a few must-have lifesavers nothing can replace. One is oral antibiotics.
When antibiotics came on the scene in the 1940s, they changed the world. Suddenly, with one little medicine—penicillin at the time—more people could survive serious bacterial infections like staph and strep. Antibiotics brought hope, health, and life.
Today, we have many types of antibiotics that work for different bacterial infections. If we lost access to them, we’d revert to the time when people died for lack of a pill. So it’s common for preppers to stock up on a round.
The challenge is these meds are only available through prescription. Some doctors will prescribe antibiotics for survival storage. But another option many preppers explore is fish antibiotics. They’re commonly sold in human doses and available without a prescription.
Despite the fact that buying these meds is common, preppers struggle to find an answer to this seemingly simple question: Are fish antibiotics safe and effective for humans? The only answers provided thus far have been speculative.
So we decided to delve into the topic, The Survival Doctor style, seeking evidence and expert insight. We spent weeks contacting pharmacists, drug manufacturers, veterinarians, and safety watchers. We located key experts who shared invaluable, never-before-reported information—some on the record, some off.
Interestingly, many other people wouldn’t speak at all on this topic. Granted, it’s one most experts haven’t looked into, and it’s controversial because of antibiotic resistance and other potential dangers of using antibiotics without a doctor’s guidance.
But the surprising reason some people wouldn’t speak on the record is companies selling fish antibiotics are walking a fine legal line. And this fact affects how safe and effective these drugs may be—for fish and humans.
General Tips for Using Animal Drugs
Before delving into murky waters, let’s start with some general guidelines. Say you get your hands on a medication—antibiotics or not—that’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in animals. Will it work for you too?
First, keep in mind that animal doses may be different from human ones. So make sure you have the correct human dosage. Also confirm that the medication can be safely used in humans. (Some animal meds aren’t safe for humans, and some go by different names than the human ones, so make sure you’re not allergic.)
If you’ve satisfied these two requirements, you still have a couple of other things to consider. Namely, even animal drugs that have the same name as human drugs may not be exactly the same. For example:
- FDA regulations for animal and human drugs are determined separately. Animal drugs may contain fillers, additives, and impurities that aren’t allowed in human medications.
- Medications are manufactured to absorb just right in the type of body they’re approved for. A cow has two stomachs. A chicken has a gizzard. A fish is tiny.
It’s up to you whether to take the med, but for an expert opinion, we asked pharmacist Jim Budde, president of the Society of Veterinary Hospital Pharmacists, if he’d take such a medicine. He says if it were FDA approved for dogs or cats and it was safe for people, yes, he would feel comfortable taking it.
But now’s the time we wade into those murky waters. Note that he said he’d take a product that was FDA approved. Believe it or not, there are no such antibiotics for ornamental fish.
Antibiotics or Cornstarch?
Yes, those popular antibiotics that are sold online for ornamental fish are actually not FDA approved, even for the fish. In fact, marketing these drugs for use in fish is illegal, according to an FDA source we spoke with. So is selling them in stores, the source said. (Preppers usually order these drugs online).
Therefore, there is no government oversight regarding the safety, purity or effectiveness of fish antibiotics. Budde likens the lack of FDA scrutiny to that of nutritional supplements: there is no guarantee that the pills contain what the manufacturers say they do, either in amount or purity.
For example, in the case of a 250-milligram capsule of amoxicillin, “There could be nothing in there—meaning no active ingredient. It could just be a bunch of cornstarch or other inert ingredient. Or it could have some amoxicillin but not 250 milligrams,” Budde says. “There could also be impurities in there that would cause harm when taken.”
In addition, the medication may not absorb correctly. A drug must be manufactured properly to absorb properly. For example, some should melt immediately in the mouth; some should dissolve in the stomach; and others must survive the stomach and dissolve in the intestines.
Budde acknowledges that some preppers don’t care too much about government scrutiny, but he notes, “That’s kind of the whole purpose of the FDA. It was created to ensure safe and effective medications. It’s the premise of the whole pharmaceutical industry these days—that what they make is pure.”
“USP Certified”? Not Really.
Some online prepper articles about fish antibiotics speculate that you can get around this lack of FDA oversight by making sure the pills are “pharmaceutical grade” and/or “USP certified.” Yet we found that neither of these terms means much when it comes to fish antibiotics.
“If it says ‘pharmaceutical grade,’ I personally wouldn’t know necessarily what to make of that,” Budde says. Neither would the FDA, which doesn’t regulate or define the term for animal drugs (or for human supplements, where it also often appears on labels).
“USP certified” seems more promising at first—until you look into the details.
The United States Pharmacopeial Convention is a nonprofit organization that sets quality guidelines for medications. They don’t assess whether a drug is effective or safe; they do set standards for things like storage, purity, and strength. To be sold in the U.S., a drug must pass these standards.
We could find no antibiotics for ornamental fish that are USP verified.
However, there are fish antibiotics whose appearance is identical to USP grade human antibiotics. They have the same coloring and imprints (codes printed on the pills), suggesting that they are, in fact, the same capsules.
We contacted one popular company that sells such fish meds. A representative, who asked not to be identified, confirmed that they are the same pills. They’re sourced from a manufacturer that makes them for humans, the representative said. The fish company repackages them.
Still, this does not mean the antibiotics are USP grade, even when a company claims they are.
That’s because, to be USP grade, the pill has to meet every USP standard for that medication. And the standards go far beyond ingredients. They also ensure medications are packaged, labeled, and stored correctly. For example:
- Antibiotics are sensitive to heat, so they must be stored at room temperature. (Consider the shipment temperature as well as conditions in facility storage.)
- Antibiotics are sensitive to moisture, so they must be stored in tight containers.
- The pills must be tested to make sure they don’t have bacteria, mold, or yeast.
- The packaging material must not interfere with the drug. For example, plastic shouldn’t absorb into the pill, nor the medication into the plastic.
The USP also has labeling standards, requiring certain warnings and guidelines to be displayed.
Finally, there’s the issue of expiration, which is especially a concern if a medication isn’t stored or shipped optimally. With no FDA oversight, there’s no guarantee of how old a medicine is.
Considering all these things, any fish antibiotic could pose problems to humans. Perhaps the biggest concern is its effectiveness may be reduced. In that case, the med may not work on your infection—or it could weaken the infection, only to have it resurge as an antibiotic-resistant version.
The Gamble You May Not Have to Take
All this is not to say fish antibiotics would never work for or be safe in humans. If you had no other option, and you were certain you were not allergic to the fish antibiotic you got your hands on, it would be up to you whether to try it.
The point is, it would be a gamble. And antibiotics aren’t something you want to gamble with if you can at all help it because a life may be at stake.
If you’re planning for a time when you can’t get to a doctor and you’re going to store antibiotics, your best bet is to store human ones so you never have to make that choice. Generic human antibiotics are cheap, and some doctors will prescribe a round if you explain what it’s for.
However, with this power comes this responsibility: a personal stash of antibiotics should only be used carefully, knowledgeably, and as a last resort. In normal circumstances, if you can get to a doctor before taking antibiotics, do. This helps you avoid dangerous side effects, interactions, and antibiotic resistance. The doctor will also decide whether antibiotics will likely work on your infection (they won’t if it’s viral) and which of the many types of antibiotics is your best bet.
We are fortunate to live in a time when we have access to these life-saving medications. We don’t yet have to decide whether what’s good enough for a guppy is good enough for us. If we ever do have to make that choice, at least we can do it knowledgeably, having learned the facts, not just the speculation.
Leigh Ann Hubbard has been a health journalist for over a decade. She’s the editor of TheSurvivalDoctor.com and the owner of Revolutionary Writing Consultants, a writing agency specializing in health.
Don’t miss our related report: Do antibiotic expiration dates matter?
First aid training and resources are readily available for a number of medical emergencies. These skills and resources are focused on mitigating harm and keeping someone alive long enough to get them to professional medical care. But what if there is no professional medical care available? What if it is too dangerous or will take too long to get to professional medical treatment? What do you need to know–what do you need to do–to treat someone who may never see a doctor?
Fortunately for anyone preparing for this kind of scenario, for many people in this day and age this is already a fact of life. Aid workers and missionaries in remote parts of the world, for example, may find themselves dealing with all kinds of medical conditions in places with not enough medical professionals and not enough medical supplies and equipment. Ships’ crews on the open sea are also interested in treating medical conditions that would send one to Urgent Care back on dry land. Here is a short list of some of the resources developed for such people, plus some references used by medical professionals:
No professional medical care?
Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook
amazon.com Kindle FREE download
Arguably the most widely-used health care manual in the world. Practical, easily understood information on how to diagnose, treat, and prevent common diseases. Special attention is focused on nutrition, infection and disease prevention, and diagnostic techniques as primary ways to prevent and treat health problems.
Where There Is No Dentist
amazon.com FREE download
Caring for teeth and gums plus: examining patients; diagnosing common dental problems; making and using dental equipment; using local anesthetics; placing fillings; and removing teeth.
The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide
amazon.com FREE download
Contains a wide range of authoritative advice – from birth to death, from first aid, general nursing, hygiene and the prevention of disease, to the treatment of injuries and diseases. The recommended measures for prevention and treatment can be safely carried out by an intelligent layman.
The Ship’s Medicine Chest and Medical Aid at Sea
amazon.com FREE download
Information upon the occasion of an injury to any of the crew or the appearance of sickness among them, to aid in obtaining a knowledge of the act of preventing disease, to give the necessary information as to the means of obtaining hospital or dispensary relief, and to serve as a guide to the proper use of the medicine chest.
Get ready with these medical references:
Bates Guide to Physical Examination and History-Taking
CURRENT Medical Diagnosis and Treatment
The 5-Minute Clinical Consult Standard
The Merck Manual
Essential information on diagnosing and treating medical disorders.
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I’m sure that most of you have heard of MRSA, whose full name is “Methicillian-resistant Staphylococcus aureus” and is often called a “SUPERBUG” since it is resistant to most antibiotics that are used to treat normal Staph infections. MRSA is not a superbug in the way that it is NOT something new, but something that has grown an immunity to normal antibiotic treatments through overuse in medical and agricultural fields. This is the perfect example of Survival of the Fittest, we all know the concept, the weak are killed, the stronger survive. This works in the bacterial world, every time a bacteria is treated with antibiotics there is a chance that a few survive and grow immune to those antibiotics and then multiply, over time there will be NO treatment of certain bacteria with any treatment, however since this is in the future and there is nothing we can do about it we will focus on MRSA and what we can do.
- MRSA results in 27% mortality rate
- Cirrhosis, Renal Insufficiency, Having lived in Nursing home before hospitalization and Admission to ICU increases death by 7-15%
- In 2005 over 94k cases were reported
- Older age and weakened immune systems resulted in higher rates of death
- Contact Sports, close proximity to healthcare workers and unsanitary conditions led to higher rates of infectiosn.
HOW CAN WE TELL IF IT IS MRSA?
Red bumps will appear and look like Pimples or Boils and can resemble a spider bit. If you never felt the pain of a bite or saw a saw a spider on you, chances are it is not.
It will often progress to an open inflamed area of the skin that may “weep” pus or drain other fluids (THESE ARE INFECTIOUS!!!!).
The Following Photos also illustrate MRSA infections
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
This goes without saying that this is ONLY if you cannot reach a medical doctor or Hospital, in normal times NEVER try to treat this on your own, only in the most dire of situations. First of all do not share personal hygiene items, towels, sheets, clothing or toiletries with others. Or if you do make sure they are sterilized and/or treated with 10% bleach solution. To find out how you can create a near limitless (for personal use) supply of Bleach read my post on how to make Bleach from POOL SHOCK.
First you can try to treat with Anti-biotics. it is getting harder and harder to find antibiotics to stock up on. I would look at going to pet supply stores as you can find most anti-biotics for humans for animals as well. Bactroban can still be found via Amazon, click the picture above or the link below.
- SEPTRA (SULFA BASED) Also known as BACTRIM (Trimethoprim)
- Anti Biotic Cream (Prescription)
- Mupirocin (Bactroban)
If you have a boil (It Often does), you need to drain it via lancing. You can often get rid of the infection with proper draining. Make sure that you keep any of the discharge away from any cuts or scrapes or this infection can spread. Keep it clean and clean the area around it that may have been touched by any of the drainage with 10% bleach solution. Look up how to lance a boil properly and NEVER squeeze it like a pimple, this will only spread the infection. Some tips from medical professionals..
- Drain wounds immediately, then soak it with warm water 2-3 times a day and keep it open and allowing to drain
- Make sure it drains all the way or it will come back worse than before
- Clean House/Vehicle/Weapons anything the person may have touched with bleach solution
- Lysol spray will kill it if you have it.
- Use bleach for laundry
- A Soap called Chlorahexadine will kill MRSA on the skin. You can buy this at Walmart and other stores. once you have the wound draining, shower daily with it. Once healed wash with it a few times a month to keep the staph that may be on you in check.
- Keep Fingers out of your nose if you have it, Staph can live in there, so you may want to coat your nose with Prescription Cream.
Honey Has been known to Kill it, if you can use Medical grade Honey like “Medihoney”
TEA TREE OIL has been said to treat it as well, however i would only use this as a last/only resort.
You can STOP the spread of MRSA within your home or community by
- Keeping wound bandaged and covered.
- Sterilize ALL equipment used, or throw it away if it cannot be sterilized. I have a Post on Sterilizing Equipment.
- Wipe any areas exposed with 10% bleach solution.
- Wash Hands vigorously and overdue it.
*This information comes from various sources like medicinenet.com, survivaldoctor.com, the CDC and others.*
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(photo courtesy of correywallace.com)
I have a copy of “Where there is no Dentist” an excellent book about rural dental care in areas of the world where a dentist is not easily found or cannot be found at all. It is an excellent book and provides some great advice and ‘How To’s’ in regards to doing some of these things when you have no other choice.
My issue was a stabbing pain in my mouth that grew in intensity over a week-long period, I hoped that it would just “go away” as I didn’t want to pay for another co-pay this month, however it did not. Turns out it was an infected salivary gland that was the result of a “salivary stone” much like a kidney stone but occurs in the salivary gland. A few days on antibiotics cleared it up, but it got me thinking about how I need to take preventive care now for an uncertain future.
We all hate going to the dentist because of the hassle and the constant reminders to “brush better”, “Floss more”, etc. However this is not merely just routine things to say, it could be a matter of life and death in a SHTF scenario.
We may not recognize it here in the U.S. but issues such as cavities, gum disease or a disease of the tooth can result in death if one was not able to get to a dental professional in time. Very quickly a abscess could result in an infection that could very easily bring about your early demise.
The best time to start taking care of your teeth and gums is not when something happens, but NOW. Even if nothing ever happens you will be saving yourself some serious bills in the future by practicing proper oral hygiene.
- Avoid sugary food and drinks
- Brush twice a day at a minimum using a circular technique
- Floss at least twice a day
- Dont brush hard and damage your gum line exposing roots of your teeth
- Toothpaste is great but not necessary, baking soda concoctions or even charcoal or just water is fine (in hard situations)
- Rinse with an oral solution like Listerine, but alcohol can do the trick as well in a pinch.
If you do these things it will not guarantee that you will not have any issues with your teeth , but you will reduce the risk dramatically and this is what we do as preppers, reduce risk as much as possible.
I have realized that my oral hygiene while ‘ok’ is not great, I need to brush and floss more often and have started to brush (when possible) if i ever eat or drink anything with sugar in it like soda or have some candy. Whenever your teeth are exposed to sugar (or certain carbohydrates) your mouth creates bacteria that can leave your enamel damaged, if you brush right after you keep that bacteria from forming. That being said if you ever eat or drink anything acidic (like orange juice, etc.) brushing soon after is not a good idea as this can damage your enamel further as it softens it.
It makes no sense to spend money and time preparing for a worst case scenario, stocking up on hundreds of pounds of food, building backup systems, etc. and then get an abscessed tooth a week after something happens, and be dead within a few weeks.
Take care of your teeth!
If you want to learn more about basic dental care, pulling teeth, etc. Get the Book “Where there is no dentist”, it will list the tools needed for basic exams, scaling of tartar from teeth and even how to treat various dental issues such as and abscessed tooth and how to pull teeth.
CHECK OUT AND JOIN THE GREAT NORTHERN PREPPER FORUM, LEARN, DISCUSS AND SHARE!
Want to help support the site? find out more here! Or just click the amazon link below, bookmark it and go there every time you shop on Amazon, it costs you nothing more, but they will kick back a portion of your purchase to the site to help run things smoothly and keep you informed!