Antibiotic use

 (Survival Manual/ 6. Medical/ d) Medicine & Supplement/ Antibiotics use)

Disclaimer The information, ideas, and suggestions in the blog are not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Before following any suggestions contained in this post, you should consult your personal physician. Neither the author or Word Press shall be liable or responsible for any loss or damage allegedly arising as a consequence of your use or application of any information or suggestions in this blog.

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I.    Antibiotic Usage and Duration of Treatment
Under normal circumstances, antibiotics are intended to be used for approximately one to two weeks. This duration is prescribed in order to kill more slowly growing germs, such as those initially in spore forms that require incubation for disease expression.

Emergency situations may require less careful treatment durations. This is particularly true if antibiotic shortages occur as expected following a biological weapons attack. In this case, rationing may be necessary and helpful in saving more lives. The shortest duration of antibiotic coverage recommended following a biological attack is from the onset of symptoms to at least 72 hours after the person’s symptoms completely disappear.

Ideally, antibiotic prophylaxis (for prevention of disease) should begin as soon as a biological weapons attack is confirmed for individuals at risk of exposure. In other words, it is best to leave risky environments in advance of possible exposures. Certainly, urban populations are at greatest risk for biological and chemical weapons attacks.

Three self destructive self medication tendencies
1. Don’t assume if a little medication is good then a lot must be better.
2. Don’t stop taking the medication too soon, this only educated the microbes without killing the entire culture.3. Don’t take too small a dose to cure the ailment. Learn the correct dosage by reading medical texts, nursing manuals and pill books. In the case of veterinary supplies, users must learn to interpret  densities; learn to extrapolate that out into the correct dosages set out in literature for your specific needs.

A.  Shelf life
Your prescription medicines, including your antibiotics, probably had about a two-year expiration date from the time of their production. Your pharmacist puts a one-year expiration date on your particular bottle of medicine because of the time that has lapsed since production as well as the uncontrolled variables in storage outside the pharmacy. The practice is followed to increase the likelihood that the medicines you take are of the proper potency and quality.

Typically, the shelf life of a medicine is that period during which the potency of the medication drops a certain amount — often 10 percent. It can be less than this 10 percent figure when a drug is not effective unless a very precise amount of medicine is delivered in each dose. Conversely, if the dosage of the drug is less crucial, the potency of the drug can drop more than 10 percent and still be effective.

How long it takes for a drug to drop a certain percentage of its strength is influenced by the chemistry of the active and inactive ingredients. The condition in which a medicine is stored also influences its shelf life. Most are given a shelf life assuming that they will be stored in a 70-degree medicine cabinet in a closed container. Heat, humidity, air circulation and sunlight can dramatically shorten the shelf life of most medicines. In other words, don’t expect that open bottle of aspirin that has been rattling around in your car for two years to be much good.

Diseases tend to mutate out of reach of modern high powered antibiotics. As a practical matter, every microbe is developing an antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics fail to kill all the targeted microbes on the first pass through. If only one in a billion is resistant to an antibiotic treatment, that microbe reproduces its billions engendering even more organisms that are not killed, and so it goes until we have a non curable disease.

B.  Antibiotics 101
Antibiotics are a class of drugs that treat bacterial infections by stopping growth of bacteria or killing the bacteria directly. It’s important to remember that antibiotics are ineffective in treating infections causes by viruses, which include the majority of colds, sore throats (with the exception of streptococcus-induced, or so-called “strep throat”), coughs, and flu-like illnesses.

In fact, taking antibiotics when they are not really necessary will not speed your recovery and can even contribute to a problem known as antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance refers to the capacity of many bacteria to become resistant to a particular antibiotic so that it is no longer effective against these bacteria. It is known that the increasing use of antibiotics when they really aren’t needed has contributed to this problem and has led to the evolution of many bacterial strains that no longer respond to treatment with common antibiotics; a phenomenon known as antibiotic resistance.

The evolution of antibiotic-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus [methicillin-resistant Staph aureus or MRSA, and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)] has received much attention in recent years, and a new strain of the bacterium Clostridium difficile, which can cause intestinal illness in people taking antibiotics for other conditions, has arisen which is much more difficult to treat and is associated with a higher death rate.

The following points are critical to remember when taking any antibiotic:

  1. Take all the medication that your doctor has prescribed for the recommended length of time. Because antibiotics tend to work fairly rapidly, you may feel much better after taking only a few days’ worth of a prescribed seven-day course of antibiotics. Never stop taking the medication because you feel better. Taking the full prescribed course of antibiotics ensures that the infection is eradicated and won’t recur.
  2. Because your doctor chooses antibiotics based upon your individual medical history along with the type of bacteria likely to be causing your infection, never assume that an antibiotic prescribed for someone else will be effective for you – never “borrow” antibiotics. Sharing any prescription medications is a dangerous practice and can even be deadly. Likewise, never “save up” antibiotics for your own later use.
  3. Antibiotics generally work rapidly. Be sure to ask your doctor when to expect results and find out what you should do if you experience no improvement after a couple of days.
  4. Antibiotics can cause a number of side effects. Nausea, diarrhea, and allergic reactions are some known side effects of antibiotics. Antibiotics also may kill naturally-occurring bacteria that protect the body from yeast infection, so yeast infections may occur while you are taking antibiotics. Be sure to ask your doctor what kind of side effects you may experience with a particular antibiotic. Always call your doctor if the side effects are severe or worrisome.
  5. If your doctor directs you to stop taking an antibiotic or switch to a different antibiotic, properly dispose of all unused medication. Ask your pharmacist about take-back programs and places where you can return unused or expired medications for safe disposal. A person needing an antibiotic should be evaluated by a physician each time an antibiotic is needed – don’t save old antibiotics to treat future infections.
  6. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether or not you should take the medication with food and if you should change your habits during the course of treatment (for example, avoiding direct sunlight, not drinking alcohol or eating certain foods).
  7. Be certain that you have a clear idea of the directions for taking an antibiotic. If you have questions, ask. For example, does “four times a day” mean every six hours even in the night, or just at meals and at bedtime?

C.  Preventive Foresight Regarding Pharmaceutical Supplies
The likeliest source of breaking news concerning a biological or chemical attack, launched by terrorists or other foes, is the mainstream media. By the time you hear such reports, it is likely that hospital emergency rooms, and doctor’s offices, will be full of ailing victims. It typically takes a day or longer for symptoms of infectious diseases to manifest. The first signs and symptoms of a covert attack include inexplicable headaches and flu-like symptoms.

Such is the case with anthrax. The first indication of an anthrax attack, providing the strain had not been modified, is cattle becoming sick and dying. This can happen in a matter of hours. Moreover, this is an indication to begin antibiotic prophylaxis.
Under such trying circumstances, you can expect there to be tremendous demand for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals in the wake of a terrorist attack. It is, therefore, highly advisable to consider beforehand what medical supplies might be essential for your survival and the protection of your loved ones.
Obviously, people on a regimen of prescription drugs should stock, perhaps, a three months supply in a cool, dark, and dry closet or basement.
Antibiotics can be purchased in bulk from pharmacists or livestock and veterinarian supply stores.

In case you need to leave your home or workplace in an emergency, try to plan, in advance, transporting your antibiotics and other medicinal requirements with you. Maintain access to standard emergency kits, particularly during times of possible trouble. Keeping one in your car is a good idea, providing the car doesn’t overheat.

Given these constraints, diabetics, on the move in an emergency, should try to keep their insulin at room temperature until they are resettled. Above 80 degrees and while freezing insulin will begin to degrade.
In general, when traveling or storing antibiotics and medications in your car, be aware of extreme temperatures. Extreme heat and cold often inactivates, like insulin, many medicines.

D.  A Simplified Guide to Antibiotics and Their Uses
1.  Penicillins
The original penicillin-G (Pen G), along with more the common penicillin-V (Pen V), are used to fight gram-positive bacteria, such as anthrax. Pentids, the brand name for penicillin-G, come in 400 and 800mg pills. Brand names for penicillin-V include V-Cillin-K and Pen Vee K. The basic Pen G may be purchased from farm and veterinary stores for far less expense than through pharmacies, though make sure you only buy the refrigerated brand. The active ingredients in the unrefrigerated variety are far lower and potentially inadequate.

Pen G must be taken on an empty stomach. This is not as critical for Pen V. A dose of 250mg (i.e., 400,000 units), for people weighing 50 pounds or more, is taken four times daily. A rule of thumb for children weighing less than 50 pounds, the dosage should be reduced by 20% for every 10 pounds of less body weight.

These penicillins are more likely to cause allergic reactions, and fatalities, than synthetic penicillins such as ampicillin. Some of the allergic reactions are caused by procaine (Novocain) that is added in some Pen G formulas.

Brand names of this synthetic penicillin include Principen, Omnipen, Polycillin and Totacillin. These are also affective against gram-positive microbes such as anthrax.
Dosages of ampicillin are the same prescribed for penicillin. This antibiotic should be taken, ideally, on an empty stomach.
Strains of anthrax that resist penicillin may be more susceptible to destruction by ampicillin. Also, ampicillin may be more helpful than penicillin for killing a broader spectrum of infections.

 2.  Cephalosporins
These are also effective against anthrax. One gram of Cephalexin taken every six hours is recommended. Brand names for this are Keflex, Keflet and Keftab. One gram of the related Cefadroxil, brand named Duricef, should be taken every twelve hours.
Erythromycin (Macrolide family of antibiotics)
Erythromycin and its relatives provide a broader spectrum of coverage than penicillins. Brand names of Erythromycin Pediamycin, Erythrocin, Eryc, EES, Ery-Tab, PCE, Ilosone, and E-Mycin. Other related antibiotics, such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) and azithromycin (Z-pak or Zithromax) may also be effective. A liquid form of erythromycin, called Gallimycin, is available for injection. The oral dose of this injectable product is the same.

Taken on an empty stomach, this may be used to treat more difficult cases of anthrax. If upset stomach occurs, it should be consumed with a bit of food. Avoid eating citrus fruits or products, which deactivate these antibiotics during digestion. Note: Fatal heart attacks may result from taking these antibiotics in combination with Seldane (terfenadine), Hismanal, or Seldane-D.
For individuals weighing 150 pounds or more, a 500mg dose is recommended. People weighing less should reduce their dosage proportionately.

3.  Aminoglycosides
These antibiotics that are effective against anthrax, tularemia, and the Bubonic plague, include: Streptomycin, Gentamycin, and Neomycin. They can all be extremely toxic. Primary organs at risk for destruction by the aminoglycosides include the kidneys and inner ears.

Each of the aminoglycosides must be injected, and cannot be taken orally. The oral dosage forms of these antibiotics are effective only against gastrointestinal (GI) tract infections of the stomach and intestines.

Gentamycin (Garacin) powder can be purchased in bulk. It cannot be absorbed when taken orally, but it can be effective against certain biologicals striking the GI tract such as botulism.

Streptomycin, taken two to four times daily, in one to four gram doses, equally spaced throughout the day. It can be used in combination with tetracycline until the person’s fever breaks. Then the tetracycline can be continued alone. Otherwise, streptomycin should be used consistently for a week to ten days.

Gentamycin, is effective against tularemia and the plague. It should be injected intramuscularly or intravenously every eight hours in emergency measures of 1.7mg per kilogram body weight. As soon as symptoms of disease disappear, the dose should be reduced to 1.0mg per kilogram of body weight for the remaining 7-10 day period.

This antibiotic is available in bulk through veterinary stores. It is likely that this less expensive product may be successfully used orally to defend against the plague or tularemia germs infecting the gut.

Neomycin, when given in doses of 500mg, four times daily, may be helpful against anthrax, plague, and tularemia, though it has not been traditionally prescribed for these. Use this only if the other aminoglycoside antibiotics are unavailable.

4.  Fluoroquinolones
In daily doses of 300mg per kg. of body weight (i.e., 65mg. per pound), Ciproflavoxin (Cipro) is effective against tularemia and anthrax. The daily dose should be divided into four doses taken every six hours for two weeks. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 on the Pentagon and World Trade Center, this extremely expensive drug has been in high demand as the FDA’s antibiotic of choice against anthrax. Disturbing politics regarding this selection and its manufacturer-Bayer-may be found at

5.  Chloramphenicol
Effective against anthrax, tularemia and plague, Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin) has a relatively high rate of lethal side effects. Thus, persons allergic to safer antibiotics should only use it, or in the event other medications are unavailable. More expensive than other antibiotics, this injectable product can also be consumed orally and absorbed effectively into the bloodstream. Ideally, taken on an empty stomach, it may be consumed with food to reduce stomach upsets.

Chloramphenicol has the same spectrum of activity as erythromycin. Thus, it should never be given with erythromycin unless under emergency conditions at the first sign of biowarfare-induced illness. It may, however, be taken with Tetracycline for a broader spectrum of effectiveness. This combination may be wise if it is unclear which biological weapon is causing illness, and if rationing is not in effect.
The injectable form of chloramphenicol tastes awful! For people weighing 200 pounds or more, 2,500mg doses recommended.

6.  Tetracyclines
Tetracyclines (brand named Sumycin and Achromycin-V) are broad-spectrum antibiotics available from farm supply shops and veterinary stores in the form of oxytetracycline. These can be used effectively against all most strains of anthrax, plague, and tularemia.

Oxytetracycline comes in bulk powder form under the brand name Terramycin-343. It also comes in combination with livestock feed (Advance Calf Medic). This could be used in a pinch if other antibiotics were unavailable. There are 3 grams of active antibiotic in each pound of feed. A low dose could be provided by consuming almost 1.5 ounces; a high dose twice that could be measured and eaten.

Two newer classes of tetracycline are Doxycycline and Minocycline . Brand names for these tetracyclines include the Doxycyclines-Vibramycin, Vibra-tabs, Monodox and Doryx; and the Minocyclines called Minocin.

Tetracycline is typically taken four times a day, doxycyclines once per day or twice per day when taken with Minocycline. The two newer cyclines can be taken with food, not the older tetracycline. They, thus, tend to cause fewer stomach upsets. Doxycycline is typically less costly than traditional tetracycline, and Doxycycline and Minocycline provide a broader spectrum of antibiotic effectiveness than the old standard. Stains of biological weapons the may have been manufactured to resist tetracycline might be more susceptible to the newer cyclones.

Tetracycline should be taken one hour before or two hours after antacids, laxatives, and calcium supplements.

As a rule of thumb, four 250mg doses of tetracycline are prescribed daily, that is, one dose every six hours for your typical 100-pound person. For persons weighing less than 100 pound, reduce this dose accordingly. For instance, if a 100-pound person receives 1,000mg per day, then a 50-pound person would receive 500mg per day, or four 125mg doses q. 6 hours. The Doxycycline dosage is typically 200mg the first day, and 100mg doses following for up to ten days. The oxytetracycline (Terramycin) dose is the same as standard tetracycline. Another alternative tetracycline, called demeclocycline (Declomycin), may be substituted for standard tetracycline employing the same dose schedule as well.

Throw away any tetracycline that is out of date. Old tetracycline can cause serious problems with the kidneys.

E.  Preserving and Administering Your Antibiotics
Most antibiotics and drugs can be preserved by refrigeration, so long as they are kept dry. If traveling through extreme temperatures, antibiotics should be encased in Styrofoam containers, at best, and efforts should be made to avoid heat or freezing cold.

Warning: No drug should be consumed beyond its expiration date, especially Tetracycline antibiotics. Severe reactions may result from this expired antibiotic. However, when faced with a life-or-death situation, as might be presented with biological warfare or bioterrorism, such chances might have to be taken.

Antibiotics are typically administered orally or by injection. However, if the patient is comatose, the oral route may be circumvented rectally by using a plastic oral syringe available in most drugstores. This should be inserted as deeply into the rectum as possible. Use of a few drops of water, then larger amounts of cocoa butter, for dissolving the antibiotic. Cocoa butter is available in most drugstores in sticks that are melted in a jar placed in hot water. The butter is commonly used for suppositories and will hold the antibiotic for absorption better than water. Water may run out of the rectum and thereby precious antibiotic may be lost. So if water is all you have, use as little as possible to dissolve and inject the measured amount of powdered antibiotic.

Antibiotic tablets can be crushed and powdered by placing them between two napkins on a hard surface and pounding them with another flat hard object or instrument.

The absorption of active antibiotic is less, given the rectal route of administration. For this reason, the dosages should be increased to compensate.


II.   Self medication observations:

•  Medications designed for horses especially are higher purity and therefore higher quality than the exact same medication designed for human use. Generally, they are stronger (more potent) and safer as well. In fact, just about any medication designed for a farm type animal is at least as good as human grade and frequently it is higher quality than human grade medications.
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•  Ok, I have taken fish penicillin for a nasty tooth infection. Cleared it right up. Came in 250 mg tablets and took 2 every 6 hours. I would not suggest taking large animal antibiotics, but the fish stuff is great. My new husband has been taking them for years.
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•  In response to JIT’s comment, RE: a 25 gram goldfish; this is the thing. A 250 mg tablet of penicillin treats a 10 gal aquarium, which weighs approximately 83 pounds. So if you weigh 160 pounds, the dose would be 500 mg. of penicillin. Funny, that works out to just about what my doctor prescribed for me the last time. I used to manage a pet shop that specialized in aquarium fish and accessories, plus their medical needs. We went ’round and ’round with the health dept. trying to abolish our ability to sell these types of antibiotics; because it was becoming known at that time (about 5-8 years ago) that people were using the meds on themselves. I find it interesting that the Health Dept. main reason for wanting to outlaw the sales, was not fear that the drugs weren’t safe for humans; but their main argument was that most people are unlearned in the proper dosages they should use and might harm themselves due to simple ignorance.
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•  Hmmm, I am a veterinarian and I buy the conventional drugs from the exact same suppliers as your pharmacist in most cases.
They are the same generics you get at any drug store. I recommend cipro, amoxi, and doxycycline as basics in a survival situation.
There are a few antibiotics that animals get that are not safe for humans… enrofloxicin (Baytril) is not metabolized well by humans, and Chloramphenical is rarely used in humans, but has very very serious, often lethal side effects. Clinadamycin is commonly used in pets but can cause pretty bad diarrhea in humans.
At any rate, antibiotics should only be used in emergency situations. We have already created some superbugs by misuse, and the drugs are not harmless in our own bodies, no matter how innocuous they may seem.
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•  I have used and will continue to keep fish Mox and Fish Mycin on hand for various problems. The brands sold by Thomas pharmaceuticals are prescription grade and work very well. I get bronchitis and have gotten walking pneumonia in the past, as well as ear-throat infections for my kids, and having antibiotics on hand makes solving these problems easy. I mentioned it to my GP physician and he said just to be careful with them. (he knows that I am) they even have a fish cypro (which I plan on having on hand next time I place an order as it will wipe out an anthrax infection)
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•  The animal antibiotics are high quality. Many people have valuable race horses, show dogs and cats and if their antibiotics were not quality the vets would get sued.
Doxycycline, tetracycline, oxytetracycline are available over the counter for live stock in farm supply stores.
Doxycycline is very good because it successfully fights the biowar/new/emerging/chronic diseases.
Like MRSA, Lyme, CFS, Gulf War Illness, MS, arthritis, diabetes, chrones,
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•  10 to 30 mg/kg per day is a good rule of thumb. If there is no doctor to diagnose and treat, then stick with the 30 mg/kg per day (split into two doses morning and evening) to treat most common infections that a person would get without a doctor being readily available.
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•  I also had a friend of mine look up the fish meds in a PDR, it’s the EXACT same pill. Not made crudely not made cheaper than regular meds.. same pill, same stamp and same factory.
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•  I asked my obgyn and he put it this way, “If for any reason there was no medical supply to be had and the fish antibiotics were all that were available, and the person would probably suffer/die/ if not given treatment, then what would you think I would tell you to do? Do not use them when the regular meds are available but I would rather have them than nothing”.
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•  Go to and visit his Discussion Forum. Go to Health. Go to the archives under Health. You will find reams of advice on vet antibiotics. Nurses moderate the Health area, and an occasional doctor contributes. They reassured us that these vet antibiotics are IDENTICAL to the ones, produced by the SAME pharmaceutical houses, even in the same pill color/shape as the human antibiotics. They explained that the drug houses will only charge what the traffic will bear: thus, the high cost to US citizens for the same medications they sell cheaply in Mexico, Canada, and all other countries!! They know people would not pay high for pet antibiotics.
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III.  Antibiotic Resistance Spreads Rapidly Between Bacteria
Apr. 13, 2011, ScienceDaily
“…More and more bacteria are becoming resistant to our common antibiotics, and to make matters worse, more and more are becoming resistant to all known antibiotics. The problem is known as multi-resistance, and is generally described as one of the most significant future threats to public health Antibiotic resistance can arise in bacteria in our environment and in our bodies. Antibiotic resistance can then be transferred to the bacteria that cause human diseases, even if the bacteria are not related to each other…

The research team has studied a group of the known carriers of antibiotic resistance genes: IncP-1 plasmids. Using advanced DNA analysis, the researchers have succeeded in mapping the origin of different IncP-1 plasmids and their mobility between different bacterial species. “Our results show that plasmids from the IncP-1 group have existed in, and adapted to, widely differing bacteria. They have also recombined, which means that a single plasmid can be regarded as a composite jigsaw puzzle of genes, each of which has adapted to different bacterial species,” says Peter Norberg, a researcher in the Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Gothenburg. This indicates very good adaptability and suggests that these plasmids can move relatively freely between, and thrive in, widely differing bacterial species.

“IncP-1 plasmids are very potent ‘vehicles’ for transporting antibiotic resistance genes between bacterial species. Therefore, it does not matter much in what environment, in what part of the world, or in what bacterial species antibiotic resistance arises. Resistance genes could relatively easily be transported from the original environment to bacteria that infect humans, through IncP-1 plasmids, or other plasmids with similar properties, as ‘vehicles’,” says Professor Malte Hermansson of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg…

It has been known for some time that plasmids are important in the spread of antibiotic resistance. The research team’s findings show that IncP-1 plasmids can move, and have moved, between widely differing bacterial species and in addition have interacted directly with one another, which can increase the potential for gene spreading.”


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