Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Medical Needs and First Aid

Antibiotics and their use.


I have been doing some reading on some first-aid subjects, and one thing that I have noticed is a lot of prep minded folks asking about antibiotics to put into a survival first-aid kit, and where to get them.

While I do not have any formal training in the medical field, my mother was an RN (now retired ) for over 20 yrs. I have picked her brain on many medical subjects over the years, and I do a lot of reading myself on subjects that  are survival and prep related.
While this does not qualify me to give medical advice, it does give me some insight into what works and what does not. So I will pass along some information, with the disclaimer that you should consider the source, and take what I say with a grain of salt. Always seek professional medical help.

Antibiotics are a good thing, but only should be used with a doctors prescribed instructions. There a lot of different ones for different uses, and unless you know which one to use for the infection that you are trying to combat, you can do more harm than good, and you can get someone killed by doing so. Also,it does not always do a lot of good to administer antibiotics in some cases. For times like these, a doctors prescribed treatment may not use them, because it may do better for the patients own immune system to fight the infection, than to use medications to combat them.

If you are still inclined to go and stock these and other related items ( medications ) seek the advice of a doctor on which ones to use, and what they are to be used for. If you have a dedicated survival group, a couple of your group members should be trained in the medical field, so that if for some reason one is not present, you still have medical help in an emergency.

These folks should be the only ones to have access to the medications, which should be locked up in a secure place until needed. If you have a small group, the need for a couple of people with medical training is a must. If all members are trained, so much the better for the whole group.

Once you have decided to stock antibiotics, and do so with the direct guidence of a doctor that is willing to help you prepare your group for the use of them, follow their instructions to the letter. Do not guess at any of this stuff. Your survival, as well as the other members of your group depend on this. If need be, put all of the information down on paper, laminate the sheets, and keep with your medical supplies, for quick reference by all your medical people when needed.
This should include ALL the required information for the antibiotic being used.
Dose info, length of time to be administered, adverse reactions, etc, etc, .......ALL INFORMATION FOR THE ANTIBIOTIC BEING USED.

And on the subject of where to get them, I have noticed some folks going the route of vet antibiotics as an alternative to getting prescriptions from their own doctors. I can not say for you to do this, because I am not a MD. But I have seen some posts on a few medical boards from folks that claim to be a doctor or a vet, and some of them do say that certain ones can be used, but they also made the same statment that I did should only do so with a doctors guidence, and should only do so if there is no other alternative, and only the ones prescribed for the infection that you are trying to treat.

While the information that I have given you here does not cover everything, you get the general idea. If there are any folks in the medical field that have anything to add to this, please jump right in and add what you know.
This is for peoples survival, and the right information must be had by all of us to continue to be safe.

I've been researching this myself as well and totally agree with what you say on this subject.
Having said that, surely broad-spectrum antibiotics have a place in a post-SHTF scenario.
Is anyone on this forum a medical doctor or field paramedic who is prepared to give advice about this?
What antibiotics are most useful, which are easily available and how well do they store?
Or is it as simple as - if you're not a doctor - don't use them?!

Cheers - Jon

My folks have another place near the Mexico border and they buy two year supply of Amoxicillin each year for us. I would also like to know of other 'cillins to get if I can.


Been trying to find a definitive answer on the safety of fish antibiotics in a survival situation..... no luck. I know the chemical is the same as equivalent human medications but the form of the medication and route of delivery is different...  :-\    Anyone got more info on this?

Dim Tim is very correct in his cautionary advice.

You need this-

It is the Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy and is available in a new version every year in print, pocket guide, and on digits (Palm, PDA).  It contains every sort of information on the bugs, as well as primary and alternate or even tertiary treatment regimens.  It is what your MD looks at before giving you that pill bottle of salvation for your strep throat or the UTI that is making your life a living hell.  Anti-infectives and other antimicrobial therapies are a very complicated and dangerous field of study.  What you give your patient may not effect the bug at all because the bug is slightly different, or the bug is in a spot that the drug cannot effect, or the bug is resistant, or the bug is too well established, or the major fungal infection that bloomed and made things worse when it took over because you didn't check before you gave them an anti-bacterial, and did I mention the bug might be resistant?  I don't even have to mention how quick your loved one will die in front of you if they happen to be allegic to what you give them (ie: Penicillin, Sulfa-drugs, etc.).  They will be gone in minutes if you are that unfortunate and don't have Epinephrine to correct their anaphalactic rxn.  It is a very treacherous path where the risks are just as big as the gains.  There are some antibiotics that are good for a general overlay of common conditions or prophalactic but you still need to have an idea of your target.

That large part of giving anti-infectives is knowing what bug you are trying to treat. 

Bacteria are classified according to their:

1. Disease producing ability
2. Growth requirements
3. Morphologic characteristics
4. Colonial morphology
5. Toxins produced
6. Biochemical activity
7. Gram's Stain Reaction

That is a lot of stuff to know and you won't have the luxury of growing cultures or doing other lab work at your bugout homestead.  You can make wild guesses or even good educated ones in the field but you really need cultures to be sure of what you are dealing with.  I am in the middle of a lot of study and course work on antimicrobial therapies and will be able to add more on the subject for the forum in the next few months.  Sorry I don't have more for you guys right now.  I know enough right now to realize how much I don't know.

Hope this helps,


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