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#123756 - 02/13/08 10:45 PM First Aid Kit Question?
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
I have a fairly extensive first aid kit, but what I don’t have in it and would like to have is some kind of antibiotic pill or something like that to fight off infection if needed. I have no source for them; don’t want to buy then illegally. I was wondering if any one has an idea how to address this?

My dad was a first aid captain on the local fire department for 40-years, and my brother now has the exact same job, but neither of them can help. My brother does not have access to that type of thing, lots of other useful things, but not pills.

You can run, but you'll only die tired.

#123763 - 02/13/08 11:13 PM Re: First Aid Kit Question? [Re: BobS]

Antibiotics cover a broad area. In reality it would be better to keep a wound clean or seek professional medical help if you think you have an infection than to try to carry the right abx for particular infectious states. A broad spectrum antib. would suffice for a first line round, but without actually testing the susceptibility of an infection to match it with the best abx it would be more advisable just to seek medical help for anything thing long term or acute.

#123804 - 02/14/08 03:07 AM Re: First Aid Kit Question? [Re: BobS]
MtnRescue Offline

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 30
Loc: NoVA
Following graduation from college several years ago I embarked on a backpacking trip in Europe and Russia. Prior to my departure I went to my doctor, informed her about my trekking plans and asked for some prescriptions for meds I might need while out of the US if I got sick. She had no problem giving me the scrips and advised me under which conditions to use which drugs.

If you feel you still need some meds, check with your doctor to see if he/she will provide a script.
Wilderness Search and Rescue . . . . smrg.org.

#123817 - 02/14/08 07:53 AM Re: First Aid Kit Question? [Re: MtnRescue]
7point82 Offline

Registered: 11/24/05
Posts: 478
Loc: Oklahoma
I regularly take long backpacking trips and use the same procedure as MtnRescue. My doctor has had no qualms about writing me scripts for broad spectrum antibiotics and/or narcotic analgesics.
"There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother." -Theodore Roosevelt

#123824 - 02/14/08 01:00 PM Re: First Aid Kit Question? [Re: 7point82]
tomfaranda Offline

Registered: 02/14/08
Posts: 301
Loc: Croton on Hudson, NY
I have also been able to get prescriptions for antibiotics when travelling/camping. your physician shouldn't have a problem writing one -

in the book "Wilderness Medicine: Beyond First Aid" (an excellent book!) the recommended antibiotics are zithromax and levaquin, both broad spectrum antibiotics.

#123851 - 02/14/08 03:38 PM Re: First Aid Kit Question? [Re: ]
paramedicpete Offline

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
I am not sure I understand the logic your doctor is using in saying “Because I've had surgery, my doctor says I can never take z's again, they're too weak.” While it is true more and more organisms are becoming resistant to standard antibiotics, it is not you becoming resistant, but the bacteria. The bacteria you may have needed to fend off post surgery last time are not the same ones you may encounter next time. Automatically, using a higher-powered antibiotic without trying a standard antibiotic first, is one of the reasons we are in the situation we are in with an ever increasing population of antibiotic resistant organisms.


#123885 - 02/14/08 10:43 PM Re: First Aid Kit Question? [Re: paramedicpete]
Polak187 Offline

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: Brooklyn, New York
Get Cipro which covers wide range of things. Here's how to get it. Go to your doc and tell him that you want a prescirtion for Cipro because you want to keep it with you when you travel overseas. He will give you one (haven't met a doctor that wouldn't do it). In the pharmacy when they give you pills ask them for expiration date.

Edited by Polak187 (02/15/08 12:57 PM)

#123904 - 02/15/08 04:27 AM Re: First Aid Kit Question? [Re: Polak187]
SARbound Offline

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 503
Loc: Quebec City, Canada
You mean Cipro, right Polak? (ciprofloxacin)
"The only easy day was yesterday."

#123920 - 02/15/08 12:58 PM Re: First Aid Kit Question? [Re: SARbound]
Polak187 Offline

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: Brooklyn, New York
Originally Posted By: SARbound
You mean Cipro, right Polak? (ciprofloxacin)

Yup mate.

#124193 - 02/18/08 07:01 AM Re: First Aid Kit Question? [Re: ]
redflare Offline

Registered: 12/25/05
Posts: 647
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA
I wrote this for another forum, re-posting here.

Antibiotics usage is a very complex subject, since a good diagnosis is essential for a correct prescription.

Very important! Make sure your patient is not allergic to the drug your are giving him/her, or you might have bigger problems to worry about then just an infection.

Generally speaking, its OK to give cephalosporin type drugs (Keflex, Rocephin, Ceftin etc) to a penicillin allergic patients. When I say generally, I mean you have to find out what kind of allergy patient had to penicillin. Is it nausea, rash or a full-blown anaphylaxis with throat swelling? If its the swelling, I would be very cautious of giving cephalosporin to that patient.

Yes, you can buy veterinary antibiotics.

Doxycycline will cover a variety of pathogens for example for skin infections, pneumonia and intestinal infections. It also covers bugs that cause plague, anthrax and can be used for malaria prophylaxis, among other things. Do not use doxycycline or tetracycline after it is expired, since it becomes toxic. Also don't give to kids, unless its a life and death situation, since it causes permanent discoloration of the teeth.. Adults take 100 mg twice a day

Amoxicillin can help with less serious respiratory infections, but resistance is more common in our days. Adults take 500 mg three times a day.

Cephalexin will cover skin infections. Adults take 500mg four times a day

Metronidazole will cover anaerobic infections and parasitic infections (giardia) . Adults take 500 mg four times a day. Do not drink any alcohol while taking this drug, since you may get very sick if you do.

This is the ultimate antibiotic reference out there: http://sanfordguide.com

Another poster recommended the following:

"The items listed below where recommended to be carried in a foctor's bag forAnti-infection. At least some may be gotten from vetinary supplies.
 Benzylpenicillin 600mg powder for inj 10
 Ciprofloxacillin 500mg tab 10
 Cefuroxime 750mg powder for inj 20
 Erythromycin 250mg tab 40
 Trimethoprim 200mg tab 30
 Medendazole 100mg tab 6
 Metronidazole 1gm supp 12
 Metronidazole 400mg tab 14
 Doxycycline 100mg tab 10
 Tetanus vaccine 0.5ml amp 5
 Tetanus immumoglobulin amp 1"

Redflare continues

Although not a bad list, I would like to make some further recommendations and clarifications regarding the antibiotic issue.

Penicillin is rapidly becoming an obsolete drug due to very high levels of resistance. In the hospital I work at, we barely, if ever, use it. Either amoxicillin, doxycycline, clindamycin or cephalexin will cover all of the pathogens, and then some, that penicillin can cover with only variable success. Some may argue that this drug is used to treat gangrene, but if you are self treating gangrene you may have other problems. smile

Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)(Rx only) is most likely headed the way of penicillin as well, for similar reasons. Although it still covers a large number of pathogens, notably the once that causes Anthrax and a nasty Pseudomonas infections, the resistance is widespread. Levofloxacin, as well as newer "floxacins" are a better choice, if you can get your hands on them. They are of course more expensive as well.

Cefuroxime pwd for injection (Rx only), not a bad choice. If I had my way I would probably choose Rocephin (ceftriaxone), since it has wider antimicrobial coverage and is easier to use (can be given by an intramuscular injection once a day). This drug can also treat gangrene if given in high enough doses.

Erythromycin is good to have around especially if you have children, it treats whooping cough and diphtheria. Chances are, one will get diarrhea while taking it.

Trimethoprim (Rx only). I am fairly certain the author meant Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole (aka: Bactrim or Co-Trimaxazole). Pure Trimethoprim is almost never used, but together with Sulfamethoxazole it makes a great combo drug. Treats all kinds of infections from urinary tract and pneumonia to travellers diarrhea, malaria as well as otitis media in kids. Don't use if you are allergic to Sulfa drugs

Mebendazole treats all kinds of intestinal worms. Good drug especially if kids are around.

Metronidazole suppositories (Flagyl). I would question the utility of suppositories. For an extremely rare occasion of a woman in your party getting a bacterial vaginosis, it can be used. Normally women don't get bacterial vaginal infections but rather urinary tract infections (treat with Bactrim as above) or Candida infections (treat with GynoLotrimin from the corner pharmacy). Otherwise, its probably better to carry 500mg tablets to treat a very common Giardia infection and anaerobic infections, for the rest of us.

Doxycycline (Vibramycin). Can't say enough good things about this drug. Available without a prescription from vet houses, relatively inexpensive, relatively low incidence of side effects and treats just about anything that comes your way, especially if epidemic diseases are a problem.
Treats: syphilis, anthrax, chlamydia, cholera, gonorrhea, Lyme disease, plague, some pneumonia, and typhus to name a few.

Tetanus vaccine. Most likely the author meant tetanus toxoid as no vaccine is available.

The bottom line. IMHO it is good to have at least some antibiotics stashed away for when doctors are not available. I would stash the following, since no prescription is necessary and either by themsleves or together in combination these drugs can treat just about any mild to moderate infection.

1. Doxycycline 100mg tabs/caps
2. Cephalexin 500mg tabs/caps
3. Metronidazole 500mg tabs/caps
4.+/- Erythromycin
5. ... and a good pocket reference that lists symptoms of diseases

DISCLAIMER: Please, do not just go out, get antibiotics and treat your infections during "normalcy times"! The advice given above is only meant to be followed if the proverbial S--- has finally hit that fan and doctors are simply NOT AVAILABLE.

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