Investigative Report: Everything You’ve Wanted to Know About Fish Antibiotics for Humans

I asked the editor of The Survival Doctor, Leigh Ann Hubbard (a professional journalist and my daughter), to investigate fish antibiotics for use in humans. Here’s her in-depth report. (Don’t miss our related report: Do antibiotic expiration dates matter?) by Leigh Ann Hubbard When you’re in a pinch, everyday items can substitute for many traditional medical supplies: honey for cough syrup, vodka for rubbing alcohol, a T-shirt and safety pin for a sling. But there are a few must-have lifesavers nothing can replace. One is oral antibiotics. When antibiotics came on the scene in the 1940s, they changed the world. Suddenly, with one little medicine—penicillin at the time—more people could survive serious bacterial infections like staph and strep. Antibiotics brought hope, health, and life. Today, we have many types of antibiotics that work for different bacterial infections. If we lost access to them, we’d revert to the time when people died for lack of a pill. So it’s common for preppers to stock up on a round. The challenge is these meds are only available through prescription. Some doctors will prescribe antibiotics for survival storage. But another option many preppers explore is fish antibiotics. They’re commonly sold in human doses and available without a prescription. Despite the fact that buying these meds is common, preppers struggle to find an answer to this seemingly simple question: Are fish antibiotics safe and effective for humans? The only answers provided thus far have been speculative. So we decided to delve into the topic, The Survival Doctor style, seeking evidence and expert insight. We spent weeks contacting pharmacists, drug manufacturers, veterinarians, and safety watchers. We located key experts who shared invaluable, never-before-reported information—some on the record, some off. […]

By | July 21st, 2015|Infectious Disease|69 Comments

Coming Next Week: Everything You Want to Know About Fish Antibiotics

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH There will be no post this week because we’re putting the final touches on a special investigative report we’ve been working on for weeks. It’s about a topic that’s often speculated about in the survival community: the possibility of using fish antibiotics in humans. Are these medicines safe for people? Are they effective? We found some surprising, never-before-reported information. Stay tuned for more. (And if you’re not subscribed, sign up to the left to get a reminder when it’s published!) […]

By | July 14th, 2015|General|Comments Off on Coming Next Week: Everything You Want to Know About Fish Antibiotics

Beyond Antihistamines: 5 More Allergy Meds That May Work Better for You

Part 3 in my three-part seasonal allergies series. Click here for part 1 (how allergies work). Click here for part 2 (how to choose an antihistamine). by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Have you chosen an antihistamine to try out or to store in your survival stash? Well, we’re not done yet. You may want to add an additional medication or two to your seasonal-allergies arsenal. That’s because antihistamines don’t do the trick for everyone. But there are other types of allergy medications that might. They can be used in addition to or instead of antihistamines (and each other). It’s a mix-and-match world. Just be aware that each med you take brings its own risk of side effects, interactions, and so on. Read up on precautions before diving in. […]

By | May 11th, 2015|General|1 Comment

How to Choose the Best Allergy Medicine for You

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH This time of year, allergy-medicine aisles see a steady stream of sniffling souls turning over box after box to figure out which of the million medications will give them the best relief. Despite their varied names and colorful labels, most of these boxes boast similar claims: They’ll fix your sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose. That’s because most of them contain one form or another of the same type of drug: an antihistamine. Antihistamines are the go-to medicine for most people with seasonal allergies. The different types of antihistamines all work in a similar way. Which type works best for you depends on a few factors, including simply which one your own unique body prefers. […]

By | May 4th, 2015|General|5 Comments

The Most Common Side Effects I See From OTC Meds—and How to Avoid Them

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH It’s disaster time and you have a problem. Maybe pain from an injury or headache or misery from indigestion or a cold. You delve into your stash of over-the-counter medications you’ve saved for times just like this and take one you’ve taken many times before. Two hours later, you have a rash or stomach pain or some other odd new problem. Is it related to the medicine? I mean, you’ve taken it so many times in the past. […]

By | November 3rd, 2014|General|8 Comments

Why You Need to Start Allergy Treatment Early

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Sneezing You have to admit, the commercials are convincing: Your allergies are keeping you inside, virtually blocked from the outdoors. Otherwise you’re sneezing, have watery eyes, just miserable. You take a pill, and whammo, you can do what you wish. Want to roll in the grass, sniff a little ragweed? No worries. Pet a cat even if they usually make you break out in hives? No problem. Whatever you were allergic to before, you’re not anymore, as long as you take the pill. But do these allergy medicines actually work? If so, how well? And what about home remedies for allergies? Have they gone the way of the iron lung? Here’s my take. […]

By | March 24th, 2014|General|16 Comments

In the News: Dangers of Combining Two Popular Medications

(This is a bonus post this week due to the timeliness of the topic.) An example of clarithromycin. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Some of my readers stock up on antibiotics. (Read more about doing that in my free report about medical supplies.) Whenever you’re storing prescription meds for disaster prep, remember that there are reasons these medications are tightly regulated. In other words, be careful. For one thing, some of them can have serious interactions with other medications. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reminds us of this. Canadian researchers reconfirmed that taking a calcium-channel blocker and the antibiotic clarithromycin (Biaxin) together can cause serious side effects, including a dangerous lowering of blood pressure, kidney damage, and even death. […]

By | November 16th, 2013|Infectious Disease|7 Comments

Surprising Side Effects of 10 Over-the-Counter Medicines

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Every medication has potential side effects. Every one. That includes all herbs, supplements, and “natural” medicines. Anything you ingest, rub on, or inhale that treats your problem can have negative effects as well. The trick is finding the ones with the best positive effects and least potential negatives. […]

By | October 23rd, 2013|General|14 Comments

The Dangers of Acetaminophen (Tylenol)—Put Into Context

Due to newsworthiness, this week’s post is being published early. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Part of a public service announcement from the FDA about acetaminophen overdose. Taking too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be dangerous to your health. The medical community has known this for a long time, but I guess the media, prompted by a ProPublica investigation, has decided it’s time to spread the word. The problem is it’s so easy to accidentally overdose on the stuff. Every year about 150 people—including children—die from an accidental acetaminophen overdose. That’s more than any other over-the-counter medicine. So what makes this commonly used pain and fever reliever so dangerous? It’s really two things: […]

By | September 30th, 2013|General|31 Comments

How the Doxycycline Antibiotic Shortage May Affect You

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Thanks to The Survival Mom for reminding me of the public concerns over the doxycycline shortage. For several months now, this commonly prescribed antibiotic has been in short supply. There are plenty of other antibiotics, so why the worry? Well, this one’s particularly good for Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever—and we’re right on the verge of peak season for those two dangerous diseases. Uh-oh. […]

By | June 12th, 2013|Infectious Disease|20 Comments