How to Stockpile Antibiotics for Long Term Survival

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Medicine AntibioticsA while back I happened to mention that I had purchased some antibiotics to stockpile for long term survival purposes.  It’s not, you know, that I believe in popping antibiotics every time I get a sniffle.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  But a recent situation where I had a very bad tooth abscess that had to go untreated for almost a week convinced me that antibiotics for use in a collapse situation were an important part of my preps.

Let me say this:  I am not a health care professional nor am I especially qualified on all things health related.  On the other hand, I do believe in medical self-care and I do believe in doing my own research.  It was during that research that I learned that fish antibiotics are the exact same formula as human antibiotics.  WTF?

This was not casual research.  I went to many sources, looked at bottles, and asked a lot of questions.  I came away confident that lacking proper medical facilities, the judicious use of fish and veterinary antibiotics would be safe in a SHTF situation.  And the best part about it?  They are readily available online at reasonable prices without a prescription.

But as I said, I am not a health care professional and am hesitant to offer even a modicum of advice on this subject.  So what I did is contact my friend Dr. Joe Alton better known as Doctor Bones who, along with  Nurse Amy, host the Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy Doom and Bloom Nation.  As an MD and ARNP, Joe and Amy have written The Survival Medicine Handbook: A guide for when help is NOT on the way and are uniquely qualified to provide guidance on the matter of using fish antibiotics in a disaster or collapse situation.

antibiotics bottle 205pxDr. Bones recommends the following list of antibiotics  along with their veterinary equivalents:

Amoxicillin 250mg/500mg (FISH-MOX, FISH-MOX FORTE)
Ciprofloxacin 250mg/500mg (FISH-FLOX, FISH-FLOX FORTE)Cephalexin 250mg and 500mg (FISH-FLEX, FISH-FLEX FORTE)Metronidazole 250mg (FISH-ZOLE)
Doxycycline 100mg (BIRD-BIOTIC)
Sulfamethoxazole 400mg/Trimethoprim 80mg (BIRD-SULFA)
Azithromycin 250mg, 500mg (AQUARIUM AZITHROMYCIN)
Clindamycin 150mg/300mg (AQUARIUM CLINDAMYCIN)

All of the above, with the exception of Amoxicillin and Ampicillin, are acceptable to those with Penicillin allergies.  And furthermore, with the above antibiotics, you should be able to to treat 90% of the bacterial diseases that will appear on your doorstep in times of crisis.

With this introduction, I want to let you know that Doctor Bones and Nurse Amy have graciously and generously given me permission to share their four part series on Antibiotics and their Use in Collapse Medicine.  Why is this important?  Because a list of antibiotics is only a list.  Which drug do you use for what?  For how long?  And how much?  These are extremely important questions that will need to be answered before taking any antibiotics.

Today I present part 1 of the series on Antibiotics and Their Use in Collapse Medicine, along with some links to sources for the items mentioned above.  And as always, if you have a medical condition, the advice and counsel of your own physician come first.

Antibiotics and Their Use in Collapse Medicine – Part 1

One of the most common questions that I am asked from prospective survival medics is “What antibiotics should I stockpile and how do I use them?” There isn’t a 60 second answer to this. Actually, there isn’t a 60 MINUTE answer to this, but anyone that is interested in preserving the health of their loved ones in a collapse will have to learn what antibiotics will work in a particular situation.

It’s important to start off by saying that you will not want to indiscriminately use antibiotics for every minor ailment that comes along. In a collapse, the medic is also a quartermaster of sorts; you will want to wisely dispense that limited and, yes, precious supply of life-saving drugs.

Liberal use of antibiotics is a poor strategy for a few reasons:

· Overuse can foster the spread of resistant bacteria. Antibiotics routinely given to turkeys recently caused a resistant strain of Salmonella that put over 100 people in the hospital. 36 million birds were destroyed.

· Potential allergic reactions may occur that could lead to anaphylactic shock (see my recent article on this topic).

· Making a diagnosis may be more difficult if you give antibiotics before you’re sure what medical problem you’re actually dealing with. The antibiotics might temporarily “mask” a symptom, which could cost you valuable time in determining the correct treatment.

You can see that judicious use of antibiotics, under your close supervision, is necessary to fully utilize their benefits. Discourage your group members from using these drugs without first consulting you.

There are many antibiotics, but what antibiotics accessible to the average person would be good additions to your medical storage? Here are some common antibiotics (most available in veterinary form without a prescription) that you will want in your medical arsenal and their veterinary equivalent:

· Amoxicillin 250mg AND 500mg (FISH-MOX, FISH-MOX FORTE)
· Ciprofloxacin 250mg and 500mg(FISH-FLOX, FISH-FLOX FORTE)
· Cephalexin 250mg and 500mg (FISH-FLEX, FISH-FLEX FORTE)
· Metronidazole 250mg (FISH-ZOLE)
· Doxycycline 100mg (BIRD-BIOTIC)
· Ampicillin 250mg and 500mg (FISH-CILLIN, FISH-CILLIN FORTE)
· Sulfamethoxazole 400mg/Trimethoprin 80mg (BIRD-SULFA)

There are various others that you can choose, but the selections above will give you the opportunity to treat many illnesses and have enough variety so that even those with Penicillin allergies with have options. Cephalexin, although not in the same drug family, has been quoted as having a 10% cross-reactivity rate with Penicillin.

Amoxicillin (Aquarium version: FISH-MOX, FISH-MOX FORTE, AQUA-MOX): comes in 250mg and 500mg doses, usually taken 3 times a day. Amoxicillin is the most popular antibiotic prescribed to children, usually in liquid form. More versatile and better absorbed than the older Pencillins, Amoxicillin may be used for the following diseases:

· Anthrax (Prevention or treatment of Cutaneous transmission)
· Chlamydia Infection (sexually transmitted)
· Urinary Tract Infection (bladder/kidney infections)
· Helicobacter pylori Infection (causes peptic ulcer)
· Lyme Disease (transmitted by ticks)
· Otitis Media (middle ear infection)
· Pneumonia (lung infection)
· Sinusitis
· Skin or Soft Tissue Infection (cellulitis, boils)
· Actinomycosis (causes abscesses in humans and livestock)
· Bronchitis
· Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis (Strep throat)

This is a lot of information, but how do you approach determining what dose and frequency would be appropriate for what individual? Let’s take an example: Otitis Media is a common ear infection, especially in children. Amoxicillin is often the “drug of choice” for this condition.

First, you would want to determine that your patient is not allergic to Amoxicillin. The most common form of allergy would appear as a rash, but diarrhea, itchiness, and even respiratory difficulty could also manifest. If your patient is allergic, another antibiotic such as Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprin or Cephalexin could be a “second-line” solution.

Once you have identified Amoxicillin as your choice to treat your patient’s ear infection, you will want to determine the dosage. As Otitis Media often occurs in children, you might have to break a tablet in half or open the capsule to separate out a portion that would be appropriate. For Amoxicillin, you would give 20-50mg per kilogram of body weight (20-30mg/kg for infants less than four months old). This would be useful if you have to give the drug to a toddler less than 30 pounds. A common child’s dosage would be 250mg and a common maximum dosage for adults would be 500 mg. Take this orally 3 times a day for 10 to 14 days (twice a day for infants). Luckily, these dosages are exactly how the commercially-made medications come.

If your child is too small to swallow a pill whole, you could make a mixture with water (called a “suspension”). To make a liquid, crush a tablet or empty a capsule into a small glass of water and drink it; then, fill the glass again and drink that (particles may adhere to the walls of the glass). You can add some flavoring to make it more palatable. Do not chew or make a liquid out of time-released capsules of any medication, you will wind up losing some of the gradual release effect and perhaps get too much into your system at once. These medications should be plainly marked “Time-Released”.

Anytime you, as medic, place a person on a new medication or supplement, they should be carefully watched for signs of allergy. If they develop a rash, itching, diarrhea, or other untoward symptoms, you should discontinue your treatment and look for other options.

You will be probably see improvement within 3 days, but don’t be tempted to stop the antibiotic therapy until you’re done with the entire 10-14 days. Sometimes, you’ll kill most of the bacteria but some colonies may persist and multiply if you prematurely end the treatment. In a collapse, however, you might be down to your last few pills and have to make some tough decisions.

For official recommendations regarding the use of Amoxicillin to treat the other illnesses listed, consider investing in a book called the Physicians’ Desk Reference. It will have all this information (and more) on just about any medication manufactured today. Listed are indications, dosages, side effects, risks, and even how the drug works in the body. Online sources such as or are also useful, but you are going to want a hard copy for your library. You never know when we might not have a functioning internet.

The Final Word

medicinesThe ultimate decision as to whether or not you should treat yourself or a loved one with antibiotics is a personal one.  For sure you need to be aware of any and all allergies because in a disaster or other crisis, there may be no one to call if things go awry.  In my own case, I would not take a drug that I had not taken before and without incident so luckily, over the years I have kept a list of antibiotics that have been troublesome.

At the end of the day, medical self-care may be all you have.  Learn as much as you can now and gather your resources – in printed form – in advance.  If you have not so already, this would be a good time for starting to compile a listing of medications that have been bothersome if not downright dangerous to you and your family members.

Over the next month of so, I will be posting the rest of the series on “Antibiotics and Their Use in Collapse Medicine”.  In the meantime, I highly recommend Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook and also the useful and medically credible information that you will find at the Doom and Bloom website.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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Spotlight Item: The Survival Medicine Handbook: A guide for when help is NOT on the way will teach you how to deal with all the likely medical issues you will face in a disaster situation, and shows you strategies to keep your family healthy even in the worse scenarios. You’ll learn skills like performing a physical exam, transporting the injured patient, and even how to suture a wound. This medical reference belongs in every survival library!

Bargain Bin: For your convenience, I am listing some sources for pet and veterinary medicines below.  I want to remind you, however, that I am not a medical professional and not qualified to give medical advice. If you have a medical condition, the advice and counsel of your own physician should always come first.

Fish Mox 250mg:   This is the veterinary equivalent to Amoxicillin 250mg (
Fish Mox Forte 500mg:  This is the veterinary equivalent to Amoxicillin 500mg (
Fish Flox 250mg:  This is the veterinary equivalent to Ciprofloxacin 250mg (
Fish Zole 250mg:  This is the veterinary equivalent to Metronidazole 250mg (
Bird Biotic: This is the veterinary equivalent to Doxycycline 100mg (Amazon)
Bird Sulfa: This is the veterinary equivalent to Sulfamethoxazole 400mg/Trimethoprim 80mg (Amazon)

Note: is well stocked on meds for your “fishies” and other veterinary medications.  Shipping is free on orders over $49.

Physicians’ Desk Reference:  I think that it is important to mention that although the latest edition is pricey, older versions are equally useful at a fraction of the price.  For example, I found the 2011 version used, on Amazon, for less than $10 including shipping.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.

Fruit Combo

I eat a lot of fruit (usually three whole fruits a night as a bedtime snack) and in a SHTF situation, fruits will be something I will really miss. The Freeze-Dried Fruit Favorites Combo from Emergency Essentials is something I use all year round. With the grocery store a 20 mile round trip journey, I like the thought of being able to rehydrate my own fruit, in the quantity I want, at a moments notice.

The selection includes Apple Dices, Bananas, Peaches, Pineapple Dices, Blueberries and Strawberries.

But not to be left out, there are veggies too. The deluxe supply of Freeze Dried Vegetables includes 18 #10 tins of the following veggies in various quantities: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Corn, Green Beans, Green Peppers, Green Peas, Mushrooms, Potato Dices, Spinach, and White Onions.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials


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How to Stockpile Antibiotics for Long Term Survival — 20 Comments

  1. Gaye, THANK YOU for doing all you can for us…my family is especailly greatful for the information you get for us. We love ya. Rusty

  2. And all antibiotics should be paired up with pro-biotics for afterwards

    Goldenseal is a natural antibiotic that leaves the good bugs alone. It’s the only thing I’ve ever used except for one time on Africa when I
    Forgot to pack it

  3. Thanks so much for this article! Having it all organized so clearly helped me to determine exactly what I needed to puchase, and I’m happy to say that I just completed my orders!

  4. Rob..I agree on using goldenseal and I use it a lot ..but..I have seen times this year in fact , that I needed a much stronger antibiotic and that brought my attention to what Gaye has brought to our attention in her writings here , that we all need to put some serious thought to..As a Herbalist for years I see the needs for additional ideas and I thank Gaye for bringing this to our attention..
    Gaye…Thank You so much..

    • I am so glad you found this information useful. A lot of what I share with my readers is the result of my own pursuit of knowledge. And likewise, I learn a lot from the comments of readers such as yourself.

  5. So many people are looking at survival preparedness and thinking “End Of the World as we Know it”. Think again, we may need this survival stuff when the cost of living far outreaches the money we have coming in. I’m looking at retirement in a year or so and I can promise you that my “preparedness” is not going to be unrewarded.

  6. THANK YOU so much for this!!
    I NEVER take them, as the “side effects” are NOT worth it for me, but i have had Cellulitis a few times in my leg and with the damage from that makes me more susceptible to that and then i HAVE to have them! So as you can imagine, this has been one of my BIG concerns!
    Thanks again!

  7. I love your site, Gaye, especially your testing projects! I have purchased lots of products through your site. I was interested in the fish antibiotics because I had read about them in the 299 Days series. Unfortunately, I clicked over to the doomandbloom site and purchased them through their site. Then when I came back to yours, I see your source has them for less than half what I paid. Unless your sources come from outside the USA, I think i made a big mistake. Lesson learned.

    • Vickie – Oh I hate it when I overpay for something! On the other hand, Joe and Amy are really great people and contribute a lot to the prepping community so you have supported them with your purchase and that is a good thing!

  8. Doxycycline is a member of the tetracycline family which are known to produce renal toxicity when they become outdated. There is also a concern when taking the medication during pregnancy as it has been linked to skeletal and developmental issues to the fetus. This drug will also pass through to the breast milk and is not recommended for children under the age of 8, depending on the source.

    Everyone needs to use extreme caution when playing the role of a physician. I realize that in the scenario you are describing we will be doing the best that we can with what we have, however you need to be careful and do your research. These medications are largely not available to the public for a reason regarding drug interactions, previous medical history, and various other issues.

  9. I have been looking for the best way to actually store antibiotics for the long term. I keep finding all types of other info but not much on how to actually store the darn things! I would love to know the best way to package and store them for the long run!! Help!!

  10. I did some research on this myself. I’ve been a registered nurse for 16 years. I think tetracycline, if stored properly is safe for a few years. The research backs this up. I would not give it to someone with a pre-existing kidney problem or AIDS or the elderly or very young. My sources are cited below.

    Fanconi syndrome from ASN Clinicopathologic Conference
    Ajay K. Singh* and Lorraine C. Racusen†
    Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 6: 2722–2728, 2011.

    There are many causes for Fanconi syndrome. It has been known since 1960 that breakdown products of tetracyclines used after their shelf life are toxic and cause Fanconi syndrome (4). In 1963 Gross (5) and Frimpter et al. (6) identified the major degradation products present in the outdated tetracycline capsules. Subsequent animal studies by Benitz and Diermeier (7) evaluated the toxicity of three separate tetracycline degradation products, demonstrating that epianhydrotettracycline was the most toxic. In reported cases glucosuria, aminoacidurioa, phosphaturia, and proteinuria occurred in most if not all of the patients. Acidosis was common, and azotemia and hypokalemia were sometimes observed. Some of these clinical features were sometimes observed. … these derivitives of tetracycline develop only in hot, moist, acid conditions. Because citric acid is no longer used in the production of tetracycline, tetracycline associated Fanconi syndrome is now rare.

    (4) Whelton A: Tetracyclines in renal insufficiency: resolution of a therapeutic dilemma. Bull N Y Acad Med 54: 223–236, 1978
    (5) Gross JM: Fanconi syndrome (adult type) developing secondary to the ingestion of outdated tetracycline Ann Intern Med 58: 523, 1963
    (6) Frimpter GW, Timpanelli AE, Eisenmenger WJ, Stein HS, Ehrlich LI. Observations on Degraded Tetracycline. JAMA.1963;185(5):414.

    The air force did a major study on expired drugs.
    The Shelf Life program encountered no toxicity with tetracycline and typically found batches effective for more than two years beyond their expiration dates.

    Not all meds pass the tests though. Liquid medicines especially antibiotics, nitroglycerin, and insulin are the most likely to turn bad after the expiration date. The military has found that water-purification tablets and mefloquine hydrochloride, for malaria, routinely fail stability testing beyond their expiration dates, so it has removed them from the program.

  11. Well when the SHTF u can do all u want but in a year or 2 all ur stuff will be out dated then what?You will be back to square one and u will barder here and there but when it is over it is over,so u will need to know what mushrooms,flowers,roots,berry’s etc,to eat,better have protection guns,knife’s cause people will go apeshit and u will have to dust a few,just get to hi ground and water and learn to live off the land that is all u can do til ur time is up,it will be like the walking dead make no mistake,,good luck,,,

  12. One other thing is that u cannot carry ur old way of life with u into ur new life,it will not work one thing is ur gonna be on foot more than anything til u reach ur place then u must protect it with ur life,,,

  13. Chewing on garlic all around the abscessed tooth and spitting it out can clear up an abscess. Have water nearby to rinse.

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