Investigative Report: Do Antibiotic Expiration Dates Matter?

This is part 2 in our special series about antibiotics controversies. See part 1, about fish antibiotics for humans, here. by Leigh Ann Hubbard The expiration date is not a magic number. This is one of the first things preppers (preparedness-minded people) learn when they start stockpiling. Shelf-stable products tend not to suddenly go rancid on the stamped date. Sometimes they last a long time after that. Their quality, however, may begin to decrease. A can of vegetables that’s a while past its date may not taste as good. A supplement may be less potent. An antibiotic may not work as well. The first two situations won’t necessarily kill you. That last one? It could. If the antibiotic doesn’t pull its weight, you’re at the mercy of the infection—which, thanks to that weak medicine you just took, has likely mutated into an antibiotic-resistant strain. Whoops. So as a prepper, if you store antibiotics, should you immediately replace them when they’re expired? It’s a much-discussed topic online since antibiotics aren’t like ibuprofen. If they don’t work exactly right and you’re in a survival situation, it’s bad news. Really bad news. Some people say, “Yes!! Replace them immediately! Even before!” Others say, “No, they’ll last at least a decade, if not longer! Don’t worry about it.” It’s a tad confusing. So who’s right? […]

By | August 5th, 2015|Infectious Disease|24 Comments

When Vaccine Fears Attack: My Response to the Immunization Controversy

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH You probably thought last week’s post was an innocuous little thing. The one about the study that suggested flu shots may help prevent heart attack and stroke in some people? I guess I thought many people think like me—“Hmm, that’s interesting”—and go about their business or delve deeper into the study to see what they make of it. I didn’t expect personal attacks. […]

By | November 6th, 2013|Infectious Disease|40 Comments

“Sunscreen Causes Cancer”: Truth or Fiction?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I didn’t realize until a few days ago how prevalent the view is—at least on the Internet—that sunscreen causes cancer. Many people state the claims of dangers as given facts. And they say organizations like the American Medical Association stand behind them. (Not true. I don’t know of any mainstream medical organization that recommends against sunscreen when you’re in the sun.) The truth matters here. Because not even the fiercest critics of sunscreen debate against the fact that absorbing too many UV rays from the sun is a big risk factor for skin cancer. […]

By | June 5th, 2013|Hot, Skin, Weather|13 Comments

Do Birth Control Pills Cause Abortions? An Ob-Gyn’s Take

Some people have claimed that birth control pills can cause abortions. But is that true? A doctor looks into the debate, and offers an unbiased—and perhaps surprising—rundown of what various groups believe. […]

By | February 23rd, 2013|General Health|11 Comments

When Does Life Begin? Medical Experts Debate Abortion Issue

When does life begin? Two experts share their opinions on this issue, as it relates to abortion. They discuss scientific and religious views. Share your opinions here too. […]

Flu Shots: The Good and the Bad. Take the Quiz and Make Up Your Mind.

Photo by sylvar on Flickr. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH It’s as predicable as the change of the season. Come cold weather, you begin to see dire forecasts of the worst flu season. Will millions die this year? Who knows? It’s kind of like the usual pre-hurricane warnings. Many times they’re wrong, but if they’re right and you don’t heed them, it can be the last decision, or indecision, you ever make. I think anyone who’s worth his/her salt in preparing for disasters should take a serious look at flu shots. Know the facts. Like, how effective are flu shots? What are the alternatives? What are the downsides? After you gather the facts, and if you think it’s worth it, get immunized. If you think the risks outweigh the benefits, prepare accordingly. But remember, one of these days, those forecasts are going to be right. […]

By | January 10th, 2013|Infectious Disease|51 Comments

Obama’s Health-Care Plan: Pros and Cons Debate

[Editor’s note: This article was originally hosted on, our sister site. It’s now featured here as part of our new general-health section.] Pros and Cons of Obamacare by Leigh Ann Otte In 2009, we asked two doctors to debate the pros and cons of President Barack Obama’s health-care plan. Back then, the plan was an idea. Now, it’s a law, the Affordable Care Act. (Opponents derisively call it Obamacare.) Some of the details of Obama’s health-care plan have changed since 2009, but the overall goals remain similar. For example, as planned back then, insurance companies will soon not be allowed to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. And small businesses now get a tax credit to help them provide health insurance. You can see more highlights of the current Affordable Care Act at Obama’s website. (Of course, given the source, they’re highlighted with a positive spin.) Rules of Engagement We invited each participant to write an argument, then read the opponent’s argument and write a rebuttal. Neither was allowed to read the other’s initial argument before writing his own, and neither could read the other’s response before rebutting. We asked our debators, if the United States does adopt a universal health-care plan, is Obama’s headed in the right direction? Here’s their take. You can share your opinion in the comments section below the debate. Home remedies + science = do-it-yourself survival medicine! Get prepared for disasters with TheSurvivalDoctor’s e-books. […]