If you are like me you have probably heard a lot about prepping and fish antibiotics, should you have them in your bug out bag? Are they the same as prescription antibiotics? what are they and what they do?
There’s a lot of information on fish antibiotics but there isn’t a lot of “detailed information.” We know where we can get them, but do we know what they do or how they can help?
The reason fish antibiotics is such a popular subject is because we can get large quantities of these without a prescription even though they are the same thing as human antibiotics. In any post collapse situation prescription antibiotics will not be readily available, and these antibiotics would be a good alternative.
If you’re going to take the time and spend the money to either have fish antibiotics in your bug out bag or just stockpiled for future use, it’s important to know what their uses are, what their expiration’s are and understand whether you’re helping or hurting the situation by using them.
Disclaimer: This information is for post collapse use only. Have you heard the saying “just smart enough to be dangerous”? Don’t be that person. Always seek proper medical help whenever possible.
Listen to the podcast we did about fish antibiotics or download it and take it with you.
So let’s go over a few of these fish antibiotics first, and then we will go over what the different uses and precautions are. The side affects and usage apply to some, but not all cases.
Some but not all interactions are listed here, be sure to check which prescription medications you might be taking that will interact with these antibiotics. You might Make sure and do your research for more detailed information.
One note before we start talking about these antibiotics, while they are identical to prescription antibiotics you want to make sure that there are no other ingredients other than the antibiotics. The ingredients are listed on the bottle and you don’t want them to include any other supplements… We don’t need healthy gills or shiny scales.
Here are eight different types of fish antibiotics, each of these come in 250 mg pills. There is what is called a FORTE version of each of these, which is just a larger 500 mg dose.
For each human antibiotic there are three names given to them, the chemical name, the brand name and the generic name. The generic name does not mean that these are antibiotics are less effective, it just means they were manufactured by someone different than the original manufacturer.
Fish – Flex
Prescription Medication: Keflex Generic name: Cephalexin
Usage: Keflex is used to treat skin infections, urinary tract infections and upper respiratory infections.
Some Side Affects: The most common side affect is diarrhea but can also include abdominal or stomach pain, headache, joint or muscle pain and general tiredness and weakness.
Important Note: People who are allergic to penicillin class antibiotics have about a 10% chance of having an allergic reaction to Cephalexin (Keflex)
Interactions: Metformin and Lasix,
Fish – Flox
Prescription Medication: Cipro Generic Name: Ciprofloxacin
Usage: Ciprofloxacin is used to treat or prevent certain infections caused by bacteria such as a urinary tract infection will. Ciprofloxacin is also used to treat or prevent anthrax.
Some Side Affects: The most common side affect is diarrhea but can also include confusion, chest pain or discomfort, dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position, nausea and vomiting and skin rash.
Interactions: There are many different interactions with Cipro, check here to find out more.
Fish – Mox
Prescription Medication: Amoxil Generic Name: Amoxicillin
Usage: Amoxicillin treats only bacterial infections. It is sometimes used with other medications for stomach problems and ulcers. Amoxicillin is also used before medical/dental procedures to protect against heart infection.
Some Side Affects: Joint or muscle pain, difficulty with swallowing, sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips and watery or bloody diarrhea.
Interactions: Methotrexate, Trexall, Folex and Rasuvo
Fish – Cillin
Prescription Medication: Principen or Omnipen Generic Name: Ampicillin
Usage: Ampicillin is in the “Cillin” class of antibiotics called penicillins, they used for treating bacterial infections. Ampicillin is effective against many bacteria including: influenzae, gonorrhoea, E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella, streptococci and some strains of staphylococci.
Some Side Affects: Hypersensitivity, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, rash and can make birth control pills less effective.
Interactions: Allopurinol and Probenecid.
Fish – Penn
Prescription Medication: PC Pen VK, Pen-V Generic Name: Penicillin
Usage: Penicillin is used to treat different types of infections caused by bacteria such as ear infections.
Some Side Affects: Fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash, nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.
Interactions: There is only one medication that has interaction with Penicillin and that is Coumadin (warfarin)
Important note: Fish Mox, Fish Cillin and Fish Penn are all part of the “Cillin” family, if a person is allergic to one type of cell in there probably allergic to all three types of these fish antibiotics.
Fish – Sulfa
Prescription Medication: Bactrim and Septra Generic Names: Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim
Usage: Bactrim treats gram positive infections, it is used to treat such things as staph infections, ear infections, urinary tract infections, bronchitis, traveler’s diarrhea and shigellosis.
Some Side Affects: Abdominal or stomach pain, loss of appetite, lower back or side pain, unpleasant breath odor, blood in the urine or stools and continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears.
Interactions: Albuteral, Lisinopril and Metformin.
Fish – Cin
Prescription Medication: Cleosin Generic Name: Clindamycin
Usage: Clindamycin is used for treating serious infections like bone infections, dental infections and vaginal infections caused by bacteria. clindamycin is also a good alternative for people who are allergic to the “cillin” and family of antibiotics.
Some Side Affects: The most common side effects are stomach pain and diarrhea, but can also cause nausea, vomiting, rash, and itching.
Interactions: Xanex, Cipro and Lipitor.
Fish – Zole
Prescription Medication: Flagyl Generic Name: Metronidazole
Usage: Metronidazole is used to treat bacterial infections of the vagina (not yeast infection), stomach, skin, joints, and respiratory tract. It is also used to treat Other GI infections and some bacterial diarrhea.
Some Side Affects: changes in speech patterns, burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the hands or feet, unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination and weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet.
Interactions: Crestor, Singulair and Levaquin.
Gram Negative and Gram Positive Bacteria
Gram-Negative and Gram-Positive refers the two types of bacteria based on the structural differences in their cell walls. When you’re looking at bacteria under a microscope, if the bacteria is gram-positive it is purple in color. If the bacteria is gram-negative the dye will not be as readily absorbed and will create a sort of force field around the cell wall and will be red or pink under the microscope.
As preppers, most of us will not have a microscope in a post collapse situation, but this is important to know as you are researching these antibiotics.
Over Usage of Antibiotics
Over usage of antibiotics today or miss usage of antibiotics can cause them to be ineffective. We don’t want to be giving out antibiotics anytime somebody has a runny nose or a cough. This article here from web M.D. is a good example of how antibiotics can become useless because of overuse.
It’s also important to remember, that antibiotics don’t do anything for viral infections, antibiotics are only used to treat bacterial infections.
It can be hard sometimes to differentiate between a viral infection and a bacterial infection, although viral infections can sometimes lead to bacterial infections.
Infections caused by bacteria include strep throat, tuberculosis and urinary tract infections. Diseases that result from viruses include chickenpox, AIDS and the common cold.
If you have a viral infection, and you take an antibiotic you could actually do more harm than good because the antibiotic will not only kill the bad bacteria, but it will kill the good bacteria as well.
What is Good Bacteria?
Good bacteria are what are referred to as normal flora, we all have staff or strep bacteria but normal flora is when these bacteria work in harmony with the other bacteria on our bodies. This becomes an infection when these bacteria begin to multiply out of control.
By taking the wrong antibiotic you can actually kill the good bacteria allowing other bacteria to grow unchecked. On a microscopic level our bodies are like the ecosystem, in my neighborhood the deer are everywhere because there are no predators to keep the population in check, everything in nature works in harmony to create a symbiotic relationship.
Which Antibiotic Should I Use?
These days when we need to figure out which antibiotic to use we should just go to the doctor, have them run a culture and find out which antibiotic is needed. In a post collapse situation this might not be an option at all so it would be up to us to figure out which antibiotic to use.
While it is possible to find out which is the right antibiotic to treat an infection by doing a culture at home, not many of us will have Petri dishes in our bug out bag’s. In a post collapse situation we are going to have to rely on educated guesses.
This goes beyond the scope of this article because they’re just too many factors to take into consideration. This is why learning what these antibiotics do, learning the symptoms of some of these illnesses and learning what an infection looks like are important.
Like I said earlier, the last thing we want to do in a survival situation is give the wrong antibiotic, or give somebody an antibiotic when it is unnecessary and cause more damage.
Storage and Expirations
Storing any antibiotic is basically like storeing your food, you will want to keep it dry, you want to keep it at an average temperature and away from any air that can decrease it’s shelf life.
This is why I personally don’t suggest keeping antibiotics in your bug out bag unless your bug out bag is in your home. My bug out bag is in the backseat of my truck most of the time, and depending on the time of year it can get really hot or really cold.
Most of these fish antibiotics, or antibiotics in general have a shelf life or expiration date of between one and three years. An expiration date doesn’t necessarily mean that the medication is no good at that point, the expiration date is the final day that the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of a medication.
This website has a list of these antibiotics with the expiration dates listed. It is not the typical expiration date list, it is the expiration from when they purchased them.
When an antibiotic is past its expiration date the potency will decrease over time causing it to be less effective, it will not harm the person unless it is the wrong antibiotic in the first place.
I’m not going to give any advice on whether you should or should not use antibiotics past their expiration date, I’m just saying I probably would.
My personal opinion on this is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, if we take every precaution we can before an infection happens, we can forgo possibly having to use the wrong antibiotic in the first place.
Deciding which antibiotic to use would be a little easier with a flesh wound or a wound on the outside of the body, but it becomes a little more difficult when you’re treating something inside the body.
Do You Store Antibiotics?
I personally don’t store antibiotics right now, I do however know where to get them if needed. So I guess the question is, would you spend the money now and risk having them expire? Or would you make sure you know where the local pet store is and hope you have time to head out and get some while everyone else is at Walmart getting canned food and water?
I think both answer’s might be correct!
The First Aid Course
Lisa and I are also working on a First Aid Course at the Survivalist Prepper Academy that will not only go through infections and antibiotics but many other different wounds, supplies and procedures as well. Have a look at the video and see what we are doing.
Or you can take a sneak peak at the first 2 lessons in module 1 here. These will only be available to nonmembers for a limited time.
The Prepping Crash Course