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The 9 Best Survival Antibiotics

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Survival antibiotics are often overlooked by preppers. One reason is because preppers don’t know which ones to buy or even where to get them. Another reason is because they haven’t needed them before so they forget they might need them in the future. That was the reason I hadn’t stocked up on antibiotics until a long, painful week set me straight.

Last year, on an ordinary evening shortly after dinner, my stomach started bothering me. It wasn’t nausea or a normal stomach cramp. It was a strange type of gnawing pain I’d never felt before. I tried antacids and Pepto Bismol, but nothing worked. I finally took some Tylenol and went to bed.

The next day the pain was still there, but now it had moved over to my lower right abdomen. And as the day continued, it got worse. And worse. Pretty soon it was so bad that I decided to go online and do some research. I thought it might be something like a torn muscle or my appendix, but nothing I found really fit my symptoms. That evening, the pain was so bad I could barely move. I had to walk hunched over and take tiny steps. Any type of sudden movement caused excruciating pain. It was so severe that my wife had to help me take my shirt off before bed. The following morning she took me to urgent care.

It was a long day. The doctor asked a lot of questions and felt my abdomen, but he wasn’t sure what it could be so he ordered blood work and a CAT scan. He thought it might be my gall bladder, in which case I would need emergency surgery. But again, he wasn’t sure if that was the problem because my symptoms just didn’t quite fit. Of course, my wife and I were both afraid it could be something life-threatening.

Eventually a radiologist looked at the scans and identified the problem: I had some type of infectious colitis in my ascending colon (similar to diverticulitis). Basically, my colon was severely inflamed by a bacterial infection. They couldn’t say exactly how it happened, but it’s possible I got it after eating some undercooked meat. That’s rare, but it can happen.

This infection could have killed me if not for the medication he prescribed. And what was this wonderful medicine that saved my life? You guessed it. Antibiotics. Specifically, Ciprofloxacin and Metronidazole. After 10 days of taking those, I was good as new! But I wondered, What if I hadn’t had access to a doctor or antibiotics when this happened? I probably would have died. See how important it is to stock up on antibiotics for survival?

Before we move on, a few disclaimers: First, I am not a doctor and I am not giving you medical advice. I’m just repeating some information I learned. I recommend you ask your doctor if he will write you some prescriptions for antibiotics so you can stock up, just in case. There are other ways you can acquire antibiotics. For example, you could buy the ones that are meant for control of common bacterial infections in fish and/or birds. I’m not saying you should consume them, I’m just pointing out how interesting it is that they’re the exact same as the ones prescribed by doctors.


And please, don’t take antibiotics every time you have pain or a fever. Antibiotics are not good for you and should only be taken in an emergency. You should have a good medical book on hand to help you diagnose the problem. And then, only when you are very certain that antibiotics will help, should you take them. I also want to remind you that if you take antibiotics and develop a rash or any other reaction, you should stop taking them immediately. If there is no reaction and your condition improves, continue taking the antibiotic for two weeks, even if you feel better after a few days. Though you might feel better, you want to make sure the infection is completely eliminated.

There are a lot of antibiotics, but I’ve narrowed it down to what I think are the 9 best. These should cover almost 99% of infections. You don’t need to get every single one on this list (for example, Cephalexin, Amoxicillin, and Erythromycin are all very similar, but you might have trouble finding a couple of them).

I can’t tell you everything you need to know in one post. I suggest you look for some books on antibiotics so you’ll know what and how much to use. It’s my hope that this post will at least get you started. Here then, are the 9 Best Survival Antibiotics. I’ll begin the list with the two that helped me.

  1. Ciprofloxacin – Best for things like urinary tract infections, prostate infections, respiratory tract infections (such as bronchitis or pneumonia), bacterial diarrhea, anthrax, and diverticulitis or infectious colitis (when combined with Metronidazole). It should never be used by children, pregnant women or nursing mothers. (Do a web search for “Fish Flox”)
  2. Metronidazole – Usually used for getting rid of anaerobic bacteria which is found in the intestine. Like I said, it can treat diverticulitis or colitis if you take it with Ciprofloxacin. But it can also treat bacterial vaginosis, diabetic foot ulcer, joint or bone infections, lung or brain abscesses, meningitis, and a few other infections. This also shouldn’t be taken by children, pregnant women or nursing mothers. (This one is also sold as “Fish Zole”)
  3. Cephalexin – Great for almost any type of respiratory infection (bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat, etc.) and middle ear infections. It is safe for pregnant women and children and only has a few side effects. (Do a web search for “Fish Flex”)
  4. Amoxicillin – This will handle most of the same types of bactiera as Cephalexin. It’s also safe for pregnant women and children and has very few side effects. However, some people are very allergic to it. In that case, you should try the next one on the list. (This is also sold as Fish Mox”)
  5. Erythromycin – Like the previous two, this one can also treat most respiratory infections and middle ear infections. It’s also good for Syphilis, Lyme Disease and Chlamydia. And it’s safe for women and children. So why not just forget the other two and store this instead? Because it has several potential side effects including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  6. Doxycycline – Treats the same types of infections as Erythromycin. However, Erythromycin can be hard to find whereas this one is often sold as “Bird Biotic.” This is not labeled for human consumption. I’m just pointing it out. This one can also treat sinus infections, Typhus and Malaria. However, it should not be used by children, pregnant women or nursing mothers and there are some side effects including kidney impairment and sensitive skin. (Dixycycline is actually just a newer type of Tetracycline, also sold as “Fish Cycline”)
  7. SMZ-TMP – That is short for Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim. Together, these can treat most respiratory infections, but they’re mainly used for urinary tract infections. But the best thing about SMZ-TMP is it can treat MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), also known as resistant staph. This is a strain of bacteria that spreads easily and is resistant to most antibiotics. (Do a web search for “Bird Sulfa”)
  8. Azitrhomycin – This one is similar to numbers 3 through 6 because it treats respiratory infections and all sorts of things like Chlamydia, Lyme Disease, PID, Syphilis, Typhoid, etc. Side effects include abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea but that is rare. It’s a great antibiotic to have because it treats so many different things. The problem is that it’s hard to find and can be a bit expensive.
  9. Ampicillin – Similar to penicillin, but more effective against things like anthrax and less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Also useful for respiratory tract infections, bacterial meningitis, urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal infections and many other things. (Do a web search for “Fish Cillin”)

If you don’t want to get every one of these, you should at least get the first three on the list. Those three will cover 9 out of 10 infections you might get. As far as storage, just keep them in the refrigerator. You don’t have to, but it will extend their shelf life. Don’t freeze them, though! That can permanently alter their chemical composition and they might not work anymore. They should continue to be effective for years after the expiration date, with one exception: Tetracyclines (which includes doxycycline). These can become toxic if they get too old.

Don’t be caught with a life-threatening infection when it’s too dangerous to go out or after the stores have run out of antibiotics. They don’t cost much and they could save you or a loved one’s life.

What to read next: 17 Over-The-Counter Meds You Need To Stockpile

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  • Sam

    Great info.  What isn’t mentioned is that the author has already done more homework than listed.  Other antibiotics require a prescription to order. By following the guidance, you have a better chance of not getting hung up with that.

  • CanadianParamedic

    It would be nice if you listed ones that are not penicillin based. Penicillin allergies are fairly common, and its hard to know if some of these are penicillin or not, unless you’re a pharmacist.

  • http://raymondburton.com RaymondBurton

    Thanks for doing the homework on this and sharing the info. I’ll start with the first three and learn which situations are best for which ones.

  • Lanette Atkins

    I just wanted to make a few comments about your antibiotic choices. I am glad you did not include tetracycline because when past expiration dates it can become toxic. A problem with azithromycin is that it has been overused so there is a lot if resistance. Erythromycin causes a lot of gi upsrt

  • sewcom

    He listed several that weren’t Penicillin based, actually only 2 or 3 were Penicillin based.

  • Friendlypest

    These are far from stocking up on GOOD antibiotics. These are man made and they destroy your immune system. There is a natural antibiotic made from tree bark in brazil. That would put all of this science made crap to shame. I know as I use it when necessary, no dehydration, no allergic reactions, nor any of the crappy side effects from shit made by the pharmaceuticals scientists of the church of scientology. God bless

  • injesuslove

    More info please. I cannot take ANY Antibiotics. Severe allergic reactions and usually an ER visit.

  • DCantu

    natural garlic, turmeric, clays are already here and will be too after the FARMacy closes.

  • ksok

    I’ve heard of that but can’t find the name..could you provide the name and where you get them?

  • Scientist

    I would recommend that rather than amoxicillin, take co-amoxiclav. This drug combines the beta lactam antibiotic with clavulanic acid, a beta lactamase inhibitor.

    Beta lactamase is an enzyme produced by certain resistant bacteria, which prevents many common antibiotics from working effectively. The clavulanic acid stops this process and allows the antibiotic to do its job.

    As bacterial resistance becomes increasingly common, this antibiotic remains one of the few that is effective against certain resistant bacteria. There are exceptions, most notably MRSA, however the addition of clavulanic acid has allowed this antibiotic to remain effective against many bacteria.

  • TheEssentOILs

    Young Living Essential Oils had some very powerful oils that have antibacterial properties. These would be my go to before antibiotics!!

  • J Galt

    • FISH-MOX (Amoxicillin 250mg)

    • FISH_MOX FORTE (Amoxicillin 500mg)

    • FISH-CILLIN (Ampicillin 250mg)

    • FISH-FLEX (Cephalexin 250mg)

    • FISH-FLEX FORTE (Cephalexin 500mg)

    • FISH-ZOLE (Metronidazole 250mg)

    • FISH-PEN
    (Penicillin 250mg)

    • FISH-PEN FORTE (Penicillin 500mg)

    • FISH-FLOX (Ciprofloxacin 250mg)

    • FISH-CIN (Clindamycin 150mg)

    • BIRD BIOTIC (Doxycycline 100mg)

    • BIRD SULFA (Sulfamethoxazole
    400mg/Trimethoprin 80mg)

  • Bodhisattvya

    Clindamycin would be a great alternative to Penicillin for Dental & soft tissue infections. A great adjunct for Penicillin’s, Cephalosporins & possibly other antibiotics is Probenecid. A prescription medication usually taken for gout.
    One gram taken 30 – 45 minutes prior to the antibiotic dose results in delayed renal excretion of the antibiotic dose, which means it stays in your system longer & you don’t have to take as frequent doses of the antibiotic. This means you can ration your finite source of antibiotics during TEOTWAKI much better.

  • Charles Creiglow

    Not a bad idea, but I would rather use more natural things like Grapefruit seed extract, oregano oil, Colloidal Silver, etc

  • Seaprimate

    in the US, it’s called Augmentin.

  • Seaprimate

    Only meds end in -cillin in their GENERIC names are penicillins…

    the later gen cephalosporins
    and penicillins cross-reactivity is negligible according the the US
    national institute of health. PS- sulfa drugs ties a close second for
    abx allergies.

  • OldRed

    If you stock Doxycycline or any Tetracycline make sure it isn’t too far past its storage life. The breakdown products can be toxic to the the live.

  • Henry Sanders

    Problem is I’m allergic to all of these antibiotics on the list as few of them I took almost killed me. Only I can take alternative antibiotic are oil of oregano, garlic and some other herbal supplements. They do not have side effect which those antibiotics on the list do have side effect that I avoided.

  • Henry Sanders

    Also to add is oil of oregano (Oreganol P73) by North American Herb and Spice that I use as natural antibiotic.

  • Allen

    As well does DoTerra essential oils!

  • Sandra V

    So do non-brand name oils that don’t cost a fortune. Easy to mix yourself. In a shtf scenario, oils alone will not work for the worst of it.

  • Sandra V

    How easy is it to get?

  • Patti Ireland

    Ciprofloxacin is in the family of Fluoroquinolone antibiotics, that were designed to be used only in life threatening situations, as a last line of defense in a situation with a bacterial infection that has not responded to any other class of antibiotics. These drugs ( Fluoroquinolones) have the potential for devastating and permanent adverse reactions. They are currently being handed out like candy for all sorts of minor infections, and even in the case of no infection, or as a “prophylactic” measure, which is completely inappropriate. Ask any of the thousands of people who became disabled by these drugs.

  • Emily

    NO. Antibiotics should ONLY be used when prescribed by a doctor. Overuse is leading to a higher rate of bacterial resistance to the drugs.

  • IrishSouthernPatriot

    The problem is that you can’t find most of these and a lot of the pet stores do not carry them any longer because of folks like us trying to buy them. They do not want the Liability if someone dies taking this stuff. So that leaves us with the delima of where to purchase these…something which I fail to see everytime I see these post.

  • Illini Warrior

    I’d like to add a great “Antibiotic Indication and Dosage Guide” that Dr. Koelker (Armageddon Medicine) has composed … it’s a great augment this article ….


  • Darth Vapor

    Not true

  • Zach

    I agree. I have read accounts where Levaquin and other drugs of that class have caused, IIRC, widespread rabdomyalosis and death in some poor patients, after just a few treatment. These last line antibiotics should be reserved for cases of life threatening infections, that have shown resistance to multiple other treatment.

    And to the people suggesting bark extracts, natural oils, and other homeopathic treatment in place of a proper examination by a medical professional, and treatment with modern medicines that have been proven effective and general safe, well, I find that a bit outlandish. I agree that some botanical and natural products have antibiotic and healing effects, the vast majority of homeopathic remedies are nothing but pure and dishonest quackery.

    Modern, scientifically derived medicine is far from perfect, but it sure as hell has been a vast improvement over the hocus pocus and shot in the dark treatments that were common before the advent of modern medicine and proven efficacy through scientific methodology.

    You done see faith healer or homeopathic specialist saving lives in hospitals, for the same reason you dont see psycics winning the lottery….

  • helobuff

    You need a print page friendly button

  • Jennifer

    We’re not talking about taking “fish mox” because you have a runny nose and don’t feel like paying for a dr. visit. We’re talking about worst-case scenarios, where there are no doctors and you have to help yourself.

  • survivalkit

    But before taking those medicines be sure you are not allergic to it, or better yet just take medicines that has lower dosage.

  • Tsandi Crew

    Go online.

  • RileyS59

    Doctors will not write Rx’s for an antibiotic unless you have an immediate medical need for one. And even then, they are reluctant to give you an Rx unless it will actually cure an infection. At least this is the case with my own doctor and her medical group. Do you have a different source for prescription antibiotics like the ones mentioned in your article?

  • ryan

    Some of the worst advice I have read on the internet to date!

    Yeah take cipro as a survival antibiotic… just don’t expose yourself to the sun afterwards or try not to do anything strenuous that may cause you to experience tendon failure.

    Cipro is intended for life and death situations only and can cause serious and deadly side effects on its own. Please do not take it at your own discretion.

  • sevines

    They aren’t for treating normal illnesses. You don’t pop one of these when you’ve got a cold or feel under the weather. These are to possibly save lives when nothing else seems to be working, especially for those of us who aren’t doctors – like when you cut yourself deeply or eat something nasty, get a serious infection and can’t get to a doctor who has access to a pharmacy.