By Kellene Bishop
I’ve received a LOT of questions lately as to the notion of using fish antibiotics (fish mox) for human use as well as livestock antibiotics and other livestock medicine for human use—of course not for everyday, but certainly in an effort to be medically self-reliant if an “end of the world as we know it” scenario occurs. (Yes, there actually are other euphemisms to describe a crisis other than “when the *bleep* hits the fan.” *grin*) Well, the short answer to these queries is NO, livestock medicines are not fit for human use and YES, fish antibiotics certainly are acceptable for human use. So…go fish.
Really? Fish Antibiotics? You've Got to be Kidding ME!
I gotta tell ya, when I was first introduced to the notion of people using medicines intended for animals that are only bred to be slaughtered AND being aware the pharmaceuticals are a self-regulated industry for the most part, I certainly didn’t have a good gut feeling about it. Bottom line, I don’t trust the drug companies as far as I can throw them; so I wasn’t about to trust them to enable me to put something into my body that doesn’t have at least the facade of oversight as human drugs do. But my stubbornness was weakened as there sure were a lot of folks who pushed back on my cautious opinions on the matter. So I finally decided to stop with the educated guessing and got serious with some good old fashioned research. An interview with two medical doctors and one nurse, all of whom actually believe in self-reliance AND alternative medicine really helped me out with this research. Additionally a trip to the library to peruse Physicians Desk Reference along with some very helpful prescription drug identification sites was just what I needed to cut through the clutter of misunderstanding and feel confident in my conclusion.
Wading through the sea of information on fish antibiotics
Most helpful and oh, so generous of their time and expertise were my two friends known as Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy of the Preparedness Radio Network’s “Doom and Bloom Show™” They are indeed long-term medical professionals who “quit their day job” to help others become more independent and effective with their health (still maintaining their licenses, though). They are also avid fish farmers, including raising tropical fish for 15 years (though they have switched from the somewhat useless tropical fish to the oh, so beneficial Tilapia fish pond now.) Poor water supply, lazy aquarium owners, and the raising of fish outside of their indigenous environment actually occasionally makes fish sick . As such, fish antibiotics are necessary. The thing is though, there’s no such thing as a manufacturer of fish antibiotics. There's not a pharmaceutical company on the planet that has yet provided valuable real estate space just so that they can manufacture "fish drugs" vs. "human drugs." So, whether it’s a guppy or a marlin, the pharmaceutical industry—never weary of making a couple extra bucks—has convinced the aquatic pet industry to just use the same antibiotics as us big humans do. Yup, fish antibiotics or aquarium antibiotics are the exact same as the antibiotics you and I might get for a sinus infection. (Do fish get sinus infections too; and if they do, is the “cure” for such an illness usually followed by a yeast infection? at least in female fish? Do the pathogenic L-forms multiply in the fish after using the antibiotics? Hmmm…good questions for later, I suppose.)
Are they really EXACTLY the same? Yes. And how am I so certain? Did Merck or Glaxo-Kline actually confess to me that they charge 10 times more to cure humans than they do fish? No. But the Physicians Desk Reference and drugs.com sure did. (see http://www.drugs.com/imprints.php ) You see, when you’re officially a crazy prepper to the point that you’re even interested in this kind of stuff and go to your local pet store to purchase fish antibiotics, you’ll take it home and open it up to see a familiar looking red and pink capsule with its special commercial markings that say “WC731”. Then you go to Drugs.com to look up that particular marking/pill and you’ll see that it’s the EXACT same thing that you have to pay $900 a month for in the form of “health” insurance premiums, along with a $5 co-pay, when you’re ill. And if I didn’t know better, I swear that when I went to the drugs.com website, there was a maniacal laughing sound in the background, mocking me that I had been snookered all these years by taking my written human prescriptions to the pharmacy like a good little sheeple.
How will purchasing fish antibiotics affect my pocketbook?
So, if these fish antibiotics will work well in a serious pinch, what do they cost, where can I get them, and what’s their shelf life?
The costs vary dramatically, but the best I found was 100 250 mg. capsules for $16.99 (regularly $19.99) (just put that in the search engine and you’ll find that deal). The 250 mg. is usually the dose prescribed for children. However, you can also find the more traditional adult dose of 500 mg., 100 capsules, for at low as $19.99. (again, just put it in the search engine that way and you’ll see it. Think about that for a moment. A standard medically prescribed antibiotic is 14 capsules per illness, per person. Just one order is a pretty dang good deal.
Shelf-life? Well, stay way from the liquid antibiotics and you’ll fare much better as they lose potency over time—so stocking up now for the “hail storm the size of a talent” event probably won’t do you much good. But, if you stock up on the other kind, the capsules/tablets of fish mox, here’s a little secret—and I DO NOT use that word lightly—Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy were able to share with me an honest to goodness inside scoop. *cue the dramatic murder mystery background music* In the July 2006 edition of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, there was an interesting piece of research that was published. FEMA, under the directive of he Department of Defense conducted an extensive research project (which no doubt cost us millions of dollars on top of those expensive human antibiotics) called "Stability Profiles of Drug Related Products Extended Beyond Labeled Expiration Dates" in which they discovered that the shelf-life of most capsule/tablet antibiotic and other pharmaceuticals had a shelf-life of 2 to 10 years. Now the 2 years may be a deal breaker for you but consider this. They didn’t do the study over the course of two to 10 years, rather it was a project that lasted several months in which they tested drugs that were between 2 and 10 years old and found them to still contain their original potency. Here’s the “secret” part. That study was no longer publicly available--anywhere. BUT...I found it. hee hee. So now you won't get nasty threatening results such as "you are not authorized to enter this site". You know, warm fuzzy stuff like that. Now, this top secret information was no longer available...unless... you happen to “know a guy.” *wink, wink* I guess FEMA and DOD were not interested in letting the public in on the results of this study. *ahem* Here’s another interesting facet of this. The motivating reason for this study was because FEMA had stockpiled tens of millions of doses of antibacterial and antiviral medications. I think we'll put that under the category of "things that make you go 'hmmmm..."
Where do I find fish antibiotics?
You can obtain these “fish antibiotics” at any pet store or online at a myriad of different places. You don’t need a medical license, or even a business license, for that matter. And for those of you who claim that you can’t afford to get more self-reliant---hello! I just threw you a delicious bone! Go into the aquarium antibiotic business! Hey, you’ll get to use cool word combinations such as “fish mox”!
Now, here’s my word of caution—seriously. Those of you who know me know that I am NOT a fan of putting antibiotics in the body. If I can help it I will NEVER swallow another antibiotic voluntarily again. I know way too much of how harmful it can be to the body. But, I also understand that alternative methods of fighting debilitating bacteria in the body can require a lot of time that some people may run out of in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. So I get it. Some folks could really have no other option other than the pharmaceutical one. Well, now you have a solution. But IF you’re going to use them, you’ve GOT to use them for their intended purposes or you’ll only end up exposing yourself to much more serious bacterial strains.
For those of you who would like to learn more about the non-chemical method of nurturing the body, do some research here on the blog by clicking on the cute little red and yellow icon up on the right that depicts a red cross on it. (It’s constantly rotating to reflect the other principles of preparedness, so just click on the reel box until you get to the symbol you’re looking for.) Doing so will bring up every article I’ve written that relates to the Principle of Medical Preparedness. And you can always ask questions on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/preparednesspro I also will be on the Doom and Bloom show this Saturday night, May 5th at 7:00 p.m. Mountain/9:00 p.m. Eastern that you can listen to on your computer at the Preparedness Radio Network. We’ll specifically be discussing the science behind essential oils and what to watch out for when using or selecting them.
The fact of the matter is, our medical care is sorely threatened today on so many fronts. Shortages of some of the most common, life or death, kinds of medications. Rising fuel prices making gluttonous manufacturers rise the pharmaceutical prices. Medical professionals prying into our private life in exchange for the privilege of paying them an arm and a leg. In fact, I believe strongly that we’re already experiencing a medical crisis of serious proportions. Getting in gear and ensuring that we are prepared and committed to taking care of ourselves is important today and certainly will be that much more important if we’re hit with any of the common “what if” scenarios. So, think about it. Research it. And then get into action.
Oh, and here are several links to the fabulous and exhaustive work that Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy have put into the ins and outs of using fish antibiotics. I’ll let THEM explain to you why we’re not willing to put up a green flag on medications intended for our other pets of livestock.
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