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Seven Antibiotics to Stockpile and Why

phideaux

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#1
Seven Antibiotics to Stockpile and Why, by Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

By James Wesley, Rawles on February 18, 2011 7:49 PM

Assuming your personal physician will help you stockpile antibiotics for TEOTWAWKI, which should you request? Is there a logical reason to have amoxicillin on hand rather than doxycycline?

Here’s what I would suggest and why.

No antibiotic is effective against every type of microbe. Certain ones will kill aerobic bacteria, others are used for anaerobic bacteria, still others are effective against resistant strains, and certain people are allergic to or intolerant of various antibiotics. The following are all generics, running about $10 for about a month’s treatment.
  • Amoxicillin is the old standby for most respiratory infections (probably most of which are viral and don’t even require antibiotics). It is excellent for strep throat and some strains of pneumococcal bacteria. It is also safe for children and pregnant women. It is well-tolerated, causing little stomach distress or diarrhea. The drawbacks are that some people are truly allergic, and many bacteria have developed resistance to amoxicillin (especially staph) through overuse among both humans and animals. Anyone truly allergic to amoxicillin should substitute erythromycin or another antibiotic.
  • Cephalexin works on most of the same bacteria as amoxicillin, plus is stronger against Staph aureus, which mostly causes skin infections. It rarely works against MRSA (resistant staph), however. It is also well-tolerated in children and is safe in pregnant women, causing few side-effects. Like any antibiotic, it carries the risk of allergy. People who develop anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergy) with amoxicillin probably should not take cephalexin, as there is a good 10% cross-reactivity between the two. If I had to choose between stockpiling amoxicillin or cephalexin, I would choose cephalexin. The combination drug, amoxicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin), is as strong against staph, but more expensive and harder on the stomach.
  • Ciprofloxacin is useful for anthrax (which I’ve never seen), urinary tract and prostate infections (which are very common), and many forms of pneumonia and bronchitis. One of the more important and selective uses of ciprofloxacin is in combination with metronidazole for diverticulitis. This potentially life-threatening infection usually (or at least often) requires two antibiotics to resolve. (Levaquin and Avelox are a bit stronger than ciprofloxacin and could be substituted for this, but are much more expensive.) Ciprofloxacin is not used in women or children unless the benefit clearly outweighs the risk, although the risk of joint damage (seen in animals) appears minimal. Taking ciprofloxacin by mouth is nearly as effective as taking by IV.
  • Doxycycline is useful in penicillin/amoxicillin-allergic adults for respiratory infections and some urinary/prostate infections. It is avoided in children and pregnant women unless the benefit clearly outweighs the risk (of permanent tooth discoloration in children under the age of 8). Doxycycline is sometimes effective against penicillin-resistant bacteria. If I were limited to either doxycycline or erythromycin, I would choose erythromycin for stockpile.
  • Erythromycin is useful for most of the same infections amoxicillin is used for, and thus can be substituted in penicillin-allergic patients. However, erythromycin tends to cause the intestine to contract, often causing cramps or diarrhea. (This property is sometimes used to help patients with conditions that impair intestinal motility.) It can be safely used in children and pregnant women.
  • Metronidazole is an unusual antibiotic used for very specific infections. It is aimed primarily at anaerobic bacteria, primarily those found in the intestine. It is also used for certain STDs, including trichomonas. As mentioned above, it is very useful in combination with ciprofloxacin (or SMZ-TMP, below) for diverticulitis. It is the only inexpensive antibiotic effective for Clostridium difficile (c. diff, or antibiotic-related) colitis. It is also effective against certain amoeba. This drug is not used in children unless the benefit clearly outweighs the risk.
  • SMZ-TMP is a combination drug of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. The latter antibiotic is used mainly for urinary infections. The sulfa component is effective against many respiratory bacteria and most urinary pathogens, although ciprofloxacin is somewhat stronger. The main reason to stockpile SMZ-TMP is due to its effectiveness against resistant staph (MRSA).
Of course, only the most understanding fellow-prepper physician is likely to prescribe all these in quantity. The list can be narrowed a bit, by dropping doxycycline (since erythromycin covers most microbes that doxycycline would kill, and can be used in young children) and amoxicillin (because cephalexin covers most amoxicillin-sensitive bacteria and has the benefit of effectiveness against staph aureus).


My top five antibiotics would therefore be:
  • Cephalexin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Erythromycin
  • Metronidazole
  • SMZ-TMP
Of these, SMZ-TMP and ciprofloxacin have the most duplicate coverage, as do cephalexin and erythromycin. Since the intolerance of erythromycin is much higher than is allergy to cephalexin, I would favor cephalexin. Ciprofloxacin is stronger for intra-abdominal infections than SMZ-TMP, and is less likely to develop resistance. Although its use in children is a bit of a concern due to the question of joint pain (although this is rare), I would favor ciprofloxacin over than SMZ-TMP, even though SMZ-TMP is effective against MRSA. However, when the use of antibiotics is severely curtailed, antibiotic resistance will also decrease, and therefore MRSA will become less of a concern.


Therefore, my top three antibiotics to stockpile would be:
  • Cephalexin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Metronidazole
Using these three alone or in combination would cover around 90% of the infections physicians commonly encounter, as well as several less-likely threats (including anthrax and C. diff).

About The Author: Cynthia J. Koelker, MD, SurvivalBlog's Medical Editor is the author of the book 101 Ways to Save Money on Health Care, which explains how to treat over 30 common medical conditions economically, and includes dozens of sections on treating yourself. She also hosts the popular medical prepping blog at www.ArmageddonMedicine.net.

http://www.survivalblog.com/2011/02/seven_antibiotics_to_stockpile.html
 

Rusty Shackelford

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#2
I have been thinking about doing some of this coupled with a few maintenance Rx. But I always get tripped up trying to find a way to access them without the Dr. note. Somewhat concerned about the legal issues. Also corn-fused by the fast number of "online" pharms to pick from. I know DYODD, but damn it is overwhelming at times trying to decide what is trustworthy.

Any Rx preppers got some subtle advice?
 

phideaux

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Bookmark this thread.
 
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#5
Many antibiotics are available prescription free right here. http://www.amazon.com/Fish-Mox-Forte-500-100/dp/B000ALFCIO/ref=pd_sim_k_1
I have purchased many to stockpile myself. I have used this amoxicillin for years for the occasional sinus infection. Works very effectively, and saves me from having to deal with a doctor. Look at the various antibiotics available on Amazon, and read the comments. I am certainly not the only person doing this. I have recently heard through the grapevine that the FDA will soon be cracking down on this loophole, so you might want to act soon.
 

KGMe

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#6
Can anybody answer why Penicillin is not on the list somewhere? Being allergic to Amoxicillin, that's what've I always been prescribed.

Also, any idea what the shelf life is on these products or storage ideas to increase it?
 

Bellboy

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#7
Does 1drugstore-online.com give shelf life. Fish-Mox-Forte on amazon has Penicillin.
Personnaly I am looking for longer shelf life than those shown at 4corners.
 
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#8
http://www.amazon.com/Fish-Pen-Penicillin-250mg-Tablets/dp/B00076NPTK/ref=pd_sim_k_42 Here you go.
Shelf life can be several years, though these Bio products in general do slowly degrade with time. Dark, cool, and dry are the ticket to keeping them. After a few years they may have degraded somewhat in potency, so a longer or higher dosage might be required. I have heard, some claims, that I have not been able to substantiate that long term storage of antibiotics ending in cycline may make them more likely to cause allergic reactions. I am not a doctor or pharmacist(obviously) so research this. I know that the cillins only lose potency, and there are no reports of danger from storage, only degradation of efficacy.
 

GoldWampum

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#9
Great info, thanks.
 

goldie40

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#11
or you could wein yourself from man made drugs and just stock some local honey and take a half ts every day.
 

Avalon

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#12
I would have to add terramycin antibiotic eye cream to the list. A scratched eye that gets infected can be a common injury if you are doing a lot of physical activity that would be required during SHTF,. You can lose an eye to infection within less then a week. You can order the cream on the pet supply websites..
 
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#13
What the Patriot Nurse has to say about the true shelf life of drugs.
Thanks for posting this. I think she is the real deal, and truly wants to help. My research gave me my data, and it was glad to see from a professional, that I was not too far of base. BTW, I have also found in my research of this, that you should not freeze antibiotics. The moisture within the active ingredients will crystallize, expand, and cause damage. I have read this many times, though this may have come from educated sources, I have yet to read it from a drug company. To be honest, I have not looked too hard though.
 
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#14
or you could wein yourself from man made drugs and just stock some local honey and take a half ts every day.
If I cannot get to a doctor, and one of my children is desperately ill with some sort of bacterial infection, I am simply not going to trust their life to honey. I am all for holistic, and natural cures, but in a life or death situation, I am treating with antibiotics.

I have lots of livestock. All types. Not just a couple chickens. I have 70 head of cattle, and then on down the line. I have worked with both antibiotics, and non pharma meds. Trust me, If I give honey to a cow with bacterial pneumonia( shipping fever) I will likely lose the cow. If she does recover, she will be unthrifty the remainder of her life. If I treat the same cow with a long lasting broad spectrum antibiotic, she will recover with little damage (90% of the time). I try with low stress handling, and a good diet, and kelp for a mineral source to prevent these types of problems. But I do have the occasional major veterinary issue, and to lose the cow can really hurt my pocketbook. To lose my child by giving them honey in an emergency, would be unforgiveable. Or at least I would never forgive myself.
 

goldie40

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#15
If I cannot get to a doctor, and one of my children is desperately ill with some sort of bacterial infection, I am simply not going to trust their life to honey. I am all for holistic, and natural cures, but in a life or death situation, I am treating with antibiotics.

I have lots of livestock. All types. Not just a couple chickens. I have 70 head of cattle, and then on down the line. I have worked with both antibiotics, and non pharma meds. Trust me, If I give honey to a cow with bacterial pneumonia( shipping fever) I will likely lose the cow. If she does recover, she will be unthrifty the remainder of her life. If I treat the same cow with a long lasting broad spectrum antibiotic, she will recover with little damage (90% of the time). I try with low stress handling, and a good diet, and kelp for a mineral source to prevent these types of problems. But I do have the occasional major veterinary issue, and to lose the cow can really hurt my pocketbook. To lose my child by giving them honey in an emergency, would be unforgiveable. Or at least I would never forgive myself.
good luck to ytou, I hope that the days never comes when you can't get antibiotics,a vet,dr or even a place open to buy anything. no one said feed honey to a cow. feed the kids healthy foods,know where the kids and animals are and what they're doing,what they're eating and you won't have to worry about stocking a closet full of chinese meds.
 
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Unclad Lad

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Ethiostoma said:
If I cannot get to a doctor, and one of my children is desperately ill with some sort of bacterial infection, I am simply not going to trust their life to honey. I am all for holistic, and natural cures, but in a life or death situation, I am treating with antibiotics.
Furthermore, honey can be life-threatening to infants.
 

goldie40

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#17
Furthermore, honey can be life-threatening to infants.
well what can i say,if people don't know what they're doing by now, they never will, where did I say to give honey to a baby?Honey is not a cure all but it was used as a preventive med long before drugs came around.you people live your life on drugs and i'll continue to live mine with no meds.
when you get on a public forum and tell people to stock drugs, some people will just go out and get the things with no idea how or when to use them, that's why Drs and Pharmacists go to school for yrs so they know what to give, when to give it and how much to give and the side effects if someones allergic to it. maybe people should be told how to take blood and test it, so they know what meds to take and when to take it.

PS, your expert didn't mention that the number 1 use for Doxycycline in the NE is take 2 tabs a day for 21 days when there is a bulls eye after digging out a deer tick, been there done that 3 different times as have most of my family and neighbors, but it's a prescription drug and i don't take them every time someone sneezes.
 
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goldie40

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#18
Many antibiotics are available prescription free right here. http://www.amazon.com/Fish-Mox-Forte-500-100/dp/B000ALFCIO/ref=pd_sim_k_1
I have purchased many to stockpile myself. I have used this amoxicillin for years for the occasional sinus infection. Works very effectively, and saves me from having to deal with a doctor. Look at the various antibiotics available on Amazon, and read the comments. I am certainly not the only person doing this. I have recently heard through the grapevine that the FDA will soon be cracking down on this loophole, so you might want to act soon.
That's why the FDA is cracking down, there's to many Dr wanna bes taking drugs that are made in some cellar in Taiwan and people are dieing from it..
 
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#19
Goldie 40 I respect what you are doing, I truly do. I agree that proper nutrition, and supplements can go a long way to prevent an illness. I do hope that you took the Doxy for the lyme. A friend of mine did not, and now is horribly ill ten years later. She is on IV drip antibiotics, and many other meds. Her body was completely shutting down.
These fish meds are marked with a code. They are manufactured by a large drug company in New Jersey. Not in a Taiwan basement.

I certainly do not believe that modern medicine is perfect, but antibiotics have saved many lives. I do not take antibiotics for a cold or a sniffle. But If I have no doctor available, and am very ill, I am taking antibiotics.

Meanwhile, I eat healthy, take supplements, eat local raw honey, and half my veggies, and all of my meats are raised right here under my control. All of these positive things do not guarantee that I am safe from bacterial infection. A good friend of mine got kicked by a calf, and developed cellulitis. A life threatening staph infection. He waited a few days before seeking medical attention, and by that time was on the verge of becoming septic. They have a place, and if you have a fear that sometime medical attention won't be available, antibiotics are a little bit of insurance. And if any one in my family had an allergic reaction, I have the epi pens to counteract the anaphylaxis. Though none of us have any known allergies.
 

goldie40

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Goldie 40 I respect what you are doing, I truly do. I agree that proper nutrition, and supplements can go a long way to prevent an illness. I do hope that you took the Doxy for the lyme. A friend of mine did not, and now is horribly ill ten years later. She is on IV drip antibiotics, and many other meds. Her body was completely shutting down.
These fish meds are marked with a code. They are manufactured by a large drug company in New Jersey. Not in a Taiwan basement.

I certainly do not believe that modern medicine is perfect, but antibiotics have saved many lives. I do not take antibiotics for a cold or a sniffle. But If I have no doctor available, and am very ill, I am taking antibiotics.

Meanwhile, I eat healthy, take supplements, eat local raw honey, and half my veggies, and all of my meats are raised right here under my control. All of these positive things do not guarantee that I am safe from bacterial infection. A good friend of mine got kicked by a calf, and developed cellulitis. A life threatening staph infection. He waited a few days before seeking medical attention, and by that time was on the verge of becoming septic. They have a place, and if you have a fear that sometime medical attention won't be available, antibiotics are a little bit of insurance. And if any one in my family had an allergic reaction, I have the epi pens to counteract the anaphylaxis. Though none of us have any known allergies.
I guess we agree on everything, but there are people reading these forums that take everything as gospel, hope i didn't offend anyone, but when it comes to meds, people have to be very carful, I have a friend who is waiting for a kidney now because the Navy was giving him to many pills that was good for his illness at the time but also distroys kidneys unless monitored. I know several people who are crippled up from lime disease, they didn't know at the time what they had, one couple was being treated for tennis elbow and it was lime di, My neighbors hands look like someone beat them with a hammer, his fingers look like bent spikes. My wife removes on the average of 6 ticks a month out of me, out of them most are wood ticks but some have been deer ticks but have only taken the Doxycycline on 3 different occassions when there is a bulls eye, my DR finally let me keep some here so i wouldn't be in the emerengcy rm so often.
 
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#21
So often with meds, the cure is worse than the disease. I have suffered from anxiety, and depression my entire life. Sadly I am more afraid of the treatments than I am the disease. I have chosen not to take antidepressants because the side effects scare me to death, and they are only slightly more effective than sugar pills.

I certainly hope that no one here takes what I say as gospel. I am just an average guy who has done a decent amount of research. I am not a medical professional. Sadly I don't trust doctors any farther than I can throw them either. Most are just drug pushers with a license. They push the latest greatest, almost untested medications. Whatever the drug representative recommends to them over an expensive lunch (paid for by the rep.) is what they push this month. Years later after the drug is recalled, and a class action suit is filed, we finally find out the truth.

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/he...-fatal-heart-problems-propoxyphene-risks.html

This stuff has been on the market since 1957, and we are only now being told how dangerous that it really is. Unbelievable!

And as far as the ticks go, that is unfortunate. I would venture to guess that you prefer not to smother yourself with Deet every time you leave the house. I never put that stuff on myself. I try to perform regular tick checks, and we actually keep a jar of alcohol that we throw ticks in. It is cheaper than flushing them down the toilet, this became very evident after seeing how many we collected the first year year. The jar sits on the kitchen window sill in plain view, and also helps serve as a reminder to check frequently. Luckily we do not have deer ticks in my area, but recent research is showing that dog ticks may also be a potential vector. I know from first hand experience that those damn deer ticks are easy to overlook during a tick check. Good luck. Lyme disease is one of the fastest growing epidemics in this country, and is sadly under researched. Only a handful of doctors specialize in the treatment of lyme, and the CDC does not recognize chronic latent lyme disease. Good info here. http://www.ilads.org/
 
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Avalon

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#22
Furthermore, honey can be life-threatening to infants.
not only can honey be life threatening to infants but so can karo syrup. Both can carry small amount of botulism.. Still the Pediatric community still suggest karo syrup and CORN SYRUYP as common ingredients in baby formula. I read the ingredients one the hypoallergenic formula and the number one ingredient was corn syrup..
 
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#23
Good points Avalon. In Goldie 40's defense it became evident to me that he was recommending honey as a preventative, and not as a cure. Honey from a local source can really help to alleviate allergies, and strengthen the immune system. But like you mentioned too much of a good thing, or administered to infants with undeveloped immune systems can be a very bad practice. I had not heard about the corn syrup link. Very good to know, as I have used it for treating ill infant livestock for a quick energy boost. Had never even crossed my mind about the potential negative side effects. Medical science is scarcely a science. If it is a science it is bastardized by big money, as is everything else in our society.
 
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#24
Back to shelf life for a minute. I've purchased some of those from Amazon in the last year. If I put the unopened container in the fridge, will that extend shelf life?

Thanks,

Gregg
 

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#25
My favorite drug: Garlic(this is from a conventional medicine site)

Garlic has long been used medicinally, most recently for its cardiovascular, antineoplastic, and antimicrobial properties. Sulfur compounds, including allicin, appear to be the active components in the root bulb of the garlic plant. Studies show significant but modest lipid-lowering effects and antiplatelet activity. Significant blood pressure reduction is not consistently noted. There is some evidence for antineoplastic activity and insufficient evidence for clinical antimicrobial activity. Side effects generally are mild and uncommon. Garlic appears to have no effect on drug metabolism, but patients taking anticoagulants should be cautious. It seems prudent to stop taking high dosages of garlic seven to 10 days before surgery because garlic can prolong bleeding time.

Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. Sanskrit records show its medicinal used about 5,000 years ago, and it has been used for at least 3,000 years in Chinese medicine. The Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans used garlic for healing purposes.1 In 1858, Pasteur noted garlic’s antibacterial activity, and it was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II.

...

Easy to obtain, and easy to grow.
 

elroy

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#26
I highly recommend BM Pharmacy [online]

I have used them several times, always got exactly what I ordered. Many of their drugs are from New Zeeland, some from India.

The hardest thing to get is pain meds due to federal narcotic laws.