On a previous post I wrote about First Aid Supplies And Money Saving Tips For Preppers We received a comment from Michael asking the following question…
however I was wondering about your opinion regarding antibiotics. I know that many preppers like to buy amoxicillin and other antibiotics, but shouldn’t you be concerned about improper use of antibiotics?
I mean its nice when your nurse can establish a specific pathogen in your body and prescribe correct medication, but in survival situation I wouldn’t be messing with antibiotics unless I was absolutely sure about my problem. Since antibiotics also have considerable side effects I was just curious about your professional opinion about inclusion of antibiotics into first aid kit,
Because this is such a great question and I think everyone else can benefit from it, I decided it deserved a little more than just a comment at the end of a post. So thanks again Michael and here is my answer…
Thank You So Much!
And yes, I agree with your thinking. Having antibiotics is a good idea, if you know what you will be fighting. That being said, I do not have any oral (pills) antibiotics in my first aid kit…yet.
I say yet because we do have antibiotics in our home like penicillin and amoxicillin, but these are as a “just in case” for sinus infections. And we have them because I have discussed it with my doctor, and know what to look for as far as what antibiotic will be appropriate for what type of infection.
But at the same time, most people are put on antibiotics, and they don’t need them. Antibiotics will do nothing for a virus. Like the flu for example, the flu is a virus, and it doesn’t mater what type of antibiotic you have, it will not ‘cure’ it.
Knowing which antibiotic to use can be tough though without a lab. For example, if you have a foot wound, and you culture it, you will get back different types of bacteria, and in most cases, the lab will tell you what the bacteria is sensitive too (the drug that will kill it) If you give an antibiotic that the bacteria is not sensitive to, the infection will not clear. And the patient can have side effects like diarrhea, or yeast infection which can compromise their immune system even more, and then you end up with a very sick person, and a wound that won’t heal will get worse because of the depressed immune system.
How Do You Know What Antibiotic To Use?
How do you know what type of bacteria you are trying to fight? In a survival situation you will be without the benefit of a lab, you won’t really know. There are broad spectrum antibiotics that are good for sinus infections, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections that are pretty common knowledge, and in a situation where I wasn’t able to go to the doctor, I know I could treat myself, but I would be leery on treating someone else.
I have personally tested the fish antibiotics on myself, and it seems as many have said, they are the same thing, and they do work, and no prescription needed. They aren’t cheap though, and thankfully, I have a good health insurance plan so it is actually cheaper for me to go see my doctor, and get the correct antibiotic without having to guess.
I think it is up to each individual if they want to store antibiotics. If you do choose to do so, I do think there are two things that you should have in your bug out bag if possible.
Most importantly, get a nursing drug handbook. You can find older editions (like 2 years old) pretty cheap on eBay. This is an excellent item to have, because it tells you about every drug, what it looks like, what it does, the side effects, and contradictions (when you should not take the drug).
The second most important thing to have in your bug out bag if you are going to be storing antibiotics is acidophilus, or some other type of probiotic. The reason this is so important is because antibiotics not only kill bad bacteria, antibiotics kill good bacteria that is in your GI tract. As for woman that have ever been on an antibiotic, sometimes they are prone to yeast infections because of the antibiotics, so a treatment for this would be an important item to have as well.
And always check the expiration dates of your antibiotics, because some medications become toxic after their expiration dates.
So should you have antibiotics in your bug out first aid kit? Possibly, but that is really up to the individual and how comfortable you feel with medications. Personally, I think it is better to try natural ways first, and if everything else fails, then go on to the antibiotics.
Great question Michael, If you or anyone else have any other questions, leave a comment and I will answer to the best of my ability…or write a post about it.