Accumulating medications for a possible collapse may be simple when it comes to getting Ibuprofen and other “over the counter” medicines, but it can be a major issue for those who need to stockpile prescriptions.
Antibiotics are one example of medications that will be very useful in a collapse situation. However, obtaining these drugs in any kind of quantity will be difficult, to say the least.
For these and other reasons, many people have explored using fish antibiotics for human use in an emergency. * (see disclaimer below).
What is Fish Mox? (and Other Fish Antibiotics)
Fish antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections in ornamental and pet fish. The antibiotics that are used to treat them are the same or similar to the antibiotics that are provided for human use, as well. Fish antibiotics currently on the market are available without a prescription and mainly come in lots of approximately 30-100. Labs make several forms of them, including capsules, tablets, single- use powder packets and pure bulk powder jars.
Now it may be a little reckless to rely on fish antibiotics when civilization is our safety net. Still, in the absence of such amenities, you’ll want to be thinking ahead to provide enough antibiotics to protect your family or group in a collapse situation.
Many survivalists often stockpile these fish meds in anticipation of emergencies where they might not have access to prescription antibiotics. This type of creative thinking can help you get much-needed medicine, thereby increasing your odds of long-term survival and putting you exactly where you want to be once disaster strikes.
Common Fish Antibiotics
Fish antibiotics are commonly sold over the counter. Labs make several forms of them, including capsules, tablets, single-use powder packets and pure bulk powder jars. Keep in mind that dosages listed on the containers vary for different brands, and they only represent what is added to fish tanks during treatment.
The list below discusses how these antibiotics treat ornamental fish and pet fish, their common brand names and price ranges, followed by a discussion about their human equivalents. Any prices listed are subject to change, and they don’t include taxes or shipping costs.
Fish Mox, as it is generically known, is Amoxicillin for fish. Fish Mox treats common bacterial diseases such as red pest, dropsy, fin rot and infection of the gills and cottonmouth. You can buy a 250 mg, 100-count bottle of Fish Mox for $18.99 online. Amoxicillin prescribed to humans is used to treat bacterial infections such as bronchitis, tonsillitis, pneumonia, and those of the ear, nose and throat.
Fish Penicillin is used to control common bacterial diseases, such as fin and tail rot and Flexibacter infections. Fish Aid Antibiotics carries bottles of Fish Penicillin for $14.99, while Fish Pen that’s made by Thomas Labs retails for around $18.99. Penicillin is the oldest true antibiotic invented, and bacterial infections in humans treated with it include syphilis, gonorrhea, strep throat, meningitis, pneumonia.
Fish Cillin, as it is generically known, is Ampicillin for fish. In humans, Ampicillin is prescribed for treating the infection of tissues and organs caused by bacteria that is ampicillin-sensitive.
More importantly, Thomas Labs, the manufacturer of Fish Cillin and all Ampicillin products, announced they were discontinuing the line. They recommend you talk to a qualified veterinarian about which of the following alternative products to Fish Cillin is the right for treating your fish.
- Fish Flox and Fish Flox Forte (Ciprofloxacin)
- Fish Flex and Fish Flex Forte (Cephanlexin)
- Fish Cin (Clindamycin)
- Fish Sulfa Forte (Sulfameth / Trimethoprim)
- Fish Mox and Fish Mox Forte (Amoxicillin)
You may find some places online that still carry Fish Cillin, but ones such as A to Z Pet Supply show a 100-count bottle for $48.99 as being back ordered.
Fish Zithro, as it is generically known, is Azithromycin for fish. It’s used in the aquarium for treating fish infections such as tail and fin rot, popeye and more. You can get 500mg tablets in packs of 3-6, and prices for those range from about $14.99 to $24.99, respectively. Azithromycin treats infections related to ears, eyes, skin and respiratory system, while also treating sexually transmitted diseases.
Fish Doxy is the generic name for Fish Doxycycline. Fish Doxy is a tetracycline antibiotic that is used to treat Mouth Rot, Septicemia and Fin and Tail Rot in fish. Fish Aid Antibiotics lists a 100 mg, 30-count bottle of Fish Doxycline for $43.99. Doxycycline works in the human body to treat an array of bacterial infections that include periodontitis, eye infections, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
Metronidazole for fish is generically known as Fish Zole. Metronidazole for fish is used in the aquarium to treat bacterial infections known as Cottonmouth and Gill Disease, along with some common parasites. Fish Zole sells for around $39.99. The human equivalent of it treats bacterial infections of the brain, heart, stomach, intestines, liver, joints, skin and respiratory tract.
Fish Sulfa Forte
Fish Sulfa Forte, as it is generically known, is Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim for fish. Fish Sulfa Forte is used in the aquarium to treat Gill Disease and Cottonmouth. Its human equivalent is Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim. You can get a 30-count bottle of it online for about $20. Doctors use this combination antibiotic to treat ailments such as middle ear infections, UTIs, and infections of the intestines. Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim treats pneumocystis-type of pneumonia, too.
The generic name of Fish Cephalexin is Fish Flex, and it is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat the most active and multiplying stages of infection of certain pathogenic bacteria in fish. Fish Flex is priced very reasonably online, and $10.99 will get you a 30-count, 250 mg bottle of it. The human equivalent of FishFlex is Cephalexin, and it treats a host of bacterial infections, including those of the upper respiratory, skin, urinary tract and bones.
Fish Cin is the generic name for fish clindamycin. Fish Cin treats Gill Disease and Cottonmouth. At one website you can get 150 mg, 30-count bottle for $26.95 and 150 mg, 100-count bottles for $74.95. Clindamycin belongs to a class of known as lincomycin antibiotics. They work by slowing or halting bacterial growth. Certain types of bacterial infections it treats in humans include those in the blood, skin, lungs and female reproductive organs.
Fish Flucon is generically known as Fluconazole for pet and ornamental fish. However, Fluconazole is not an antibiotic and is an antifungal instead. Fluconazole is used in the aquarium for treating protist and fungal infections such as Ichthyophonus hoferi (Ick) and Saprolegnia. You can purchase a 30-count, 100 mg bottle of Fish Flucon for roughly $60.00. In humans, Fluconazole is used to prevent and treat certain fungal and yeast infections.
Fish Flox Forte Ciprofloxacin
Fish Flox Forte (Ciproflaxin) is generically known as Ciprofloxacin for fish. Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) for fish is a powerful, broad-spectrum antibiotic that treats fin rot, skin ulcers and Black Patch Necrosis Syndromes. Fish Aid Antibiotics offers an equivalent to Fish Flox Forte (Ciprofloxacin), and you can buy a bottle of 30-count, 500 mg tablets for $32.99.
In humans, Cipro should only be taken for infections that don’t respond to safer antibiotics. Cipro, also known Fluoroquinolone (flor-o-KWIN-o-lone), can cause a laundry list of serious and irreversible side effects in some people. We’re betting that the fishy version does, too.
Keeping that in mind, if it’s a case of survival after a collapse situation, consider that Cipro is known to treat serious bacterial infections in the body. People who have been exposed to anthrax and certain plagues are treated with it, too. So, weigh the option of stocking this one for a SHTF scenario wisely. More importantly, if it’s not doomsday, Ciproflaxin for fish shouldn’t be considered a part of your prepper’s arsenal.
Are Fish Antibiotics Safe For Humans?
As most of us already know, healthcare in the United States is really costly. Sick people and preppers alike have been known to stock up on fish antibiotics because they are a fraction of the cost that they would spend on getting a conventional prescription.
It’s important to remember that if you have a Penicillin allergy, you should not take Fish Penicillin, Mox, or Fish Ampicillin. Cephalexin is in a different drug family than Penicillin, but is quoted as having a 10% cross-reactivity rate with Penicillin.
What Is The Fish Mox Dosage for Humans? (or Fish Mox Forte)
Most penicillin and cephalosporin meds are taken at 500mg dosages 3-4 times a day for adults, (250mg dosages for children) and will treat many skin and respiratory infections.
Metronidazole (250mg) and Doxycycline (100mg) are taken twice a day and will treat many types of diarrheal disease.
Fish Mox comes in a pill dosage of 250mg and Fish Mox Forte comes in 500mg. According to Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, an Amoxicillin dose is usually administered 3 times a day. Usually, 20-50 mg per kilogram of weight (20-30 mg per kilogram for children less than 4 months old).
A common child’s dosage would be 250 mg and a common max dosage for adults would be 500 mg. Works out conveniently that these are the exact amounts that they come in the bottles. The drug is taken orally 3 times a day (2 for children) for 10-14 days.
If it is a child or somebody that can’t swallow a pill, it is possible to crush the capsules up and mix into a liquid (flavored even if you want), but don’t do this with any medication that has a “time-released” marking on them. These are intended to be absorbed over time, and too much at once may not be good.
One of the most important things to do when using an antibiotic is to not stop taking the medicine, even if your condition starts improving. Many times, patients will improve after 3 days, because most of the bacteria are killed, but if you stop taking it, the remaining bacteria can multiply (sometimes even with resistance).
Case Studies of People Using Fish Antibiotics
Read some of these case studies from people who have successfully used Fish Mox and other fish antibiotics:
Broke College Student Cures UTI
Carrera Howie described how FishMox worked when she used them for a urinary tract infection. Howie, who was a cash-strapped college kid at the time she used the fish meds, said she got the idea to turn to fish antibiotics from her mom.
Howie explained that her mom gave her a bottle of fish meds she’d purchased from a pet store to take for the UTI after finding out that Carrera couldn’t afford to go to the doctor.
Howie added that “urgent care and doctors’ copays are so expensive and it sometimes feels like I have to make a choice between having a provider and having groceries. They worked incredibly. The UTI was completely gone within a week, and I didn’t get another one for at least 4 more years.”
WBUR Boston Interview
One man, Andy Shecktor, said he turned to fish antibiotics 15 years ago when doctors started tightening up. The 63-year-old told WBUR Boston how it all started. Shecktor said doctors at that time were cutting down on prescribing antibiotics to patients in response to the growing prevalence of strains that no longer responded to the first round of antibiotics.
He told WBUR that he understood the importance of antibiotic resistance. When he met some resistance to getting antibiotics from his doctor for the phlegm in his chest and sinuses, he took matters into his own hands.
He discussed the main reasons why he turned to the aquarium for answers instead of his doctor saying, “It’s not so much the cost as the availability. It’s just the way the medical industry is these days. It’s just tough to get the care you need. It’s tough to get the medications you need. It’s tough to even see a doctor.”
He and his wife have an aging cat, a rabbit and some guinea pigs. They even had bottles of penicillin lying around that they’d gotten for the cat, he explained. The Shecktors no longer had fish but still had some of the fish antibiotics stowed away that had been bought for them. Knowing he had a little stash, Shecktor performed a little research online to see how to use them.
He decided to try them in an attempt to cure his infection. After all, he used them on the guinea pigs once when they got sick with success. Shecktor told WBUR, “The penicillin used for fish and that sort of thing are actually the exact same pills [as antibiotics for humans].” He also said the meds made him well, and that “he’s had great success with it actually”
Is Fish Mox Effective on Other Animals?
Aquarium fish are dosed with many of the same antibiotics as we are, including clindamycin, ciprofloxacin, amoxicillin (Fish Mox), penicillin and more. Is Fish Mox effective in treating other animals though? Yes; bacterial skin wounds and pneumonia in birds, dogs, cats, horses, ferrets, rabbits, and other small animals can all be successfully treated with Fish Mox.
Fish Mox works so well because it contains Amoxicillin which is an effective, all-purpose antibiotic. However, it doesn’t clear up Staph infections. Cold Spot for Healthy Pets recommends dosing the animals with 9-18 mg per one pound of Fish Mox every 8-12 hours.
Be sure that the particular fish antibiotic that you use on your animals only has antibiotics in it, though. When inspecting the label, it should indicate that the only ingredient contained is antibiotics, just the same as those you pick up with a prescription at your nearby pharmacy. For instance, Fish Mox with fish scale brightener added to your aquarium helps the ornamental fish within get shiny. On the other hand, it might make your animal or someone in your household very sick if ingested.
Where to Buy Fish Antibiotics
You can buy fish antibiotics at just about any place that carry pet supplies such as Thomas Labs, WalMart, and Gotta go retailers. Don’t look for Fish Mox on Amazon, though. Amazon tends to shy away from carrying anything controversial and has since discontinued carrying them.
A search for it yields results for Ampitrexyl, which sounds like an antibiotic, but it’s probably disappointingly not for people looking for fish antibiotics. Amazon appoarently dropped products such as Moxifish right after careless tweets debuted from certain verified buyers. For instance, the one that extolled the virtues of how perfectly the Moxifish cleared their fish’s infection after their wisdom teeth were removed probably raised a few eyebrows.
With increased attention shining a light on this certain self-diagnosis and medication movement over the past few years has led pet stores to review their sales tactics, too. One social media user tweeted that a pet store employee told them that “they caught onto us and took them out” when he into a store to buy some.
How Expensive Are Fish Antibiotics?
Prices are pretty reasonable for fish antibiotics, but they can sometimes vary depending on brand and quantity. One thing that becomes glaringly obvious after a little online legwork session is that, for the most part, infection-fighting fish meds are cheaper than ones you’d have to get with a scrip, especially if you don’t have healthcare insurance.
Some of them are cheaper than the copay you pay to your primary caregiver with insurance. That, and the fact that fish are given the same antibiotics as their human equivalents are what leads people to check out fish antibiotics as a viable alternative to human ones.
So, Can Humans Really Take Fish Antibiotics? [A Doctor’s Opinion]
from Dr. Bones of The Doom and Bloom Hour with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy
The following advice is contrary to standard medical practice, and is a strategy that is appropriate only in the event of societal collapse. If there are modern medical resources available to you, seek them out.
However, thinking long and hard for a solution has led me to what I believe is a viable option: fish antibiotics.
For many years, I was a tropical fish enthusiast. Currently, we are growing Tilapia as a food fish in an aquaculture pond. After years of using these medicines on fish, I decided to evaluate these drugs for their potential use in collapse situations.
A close inspection of the bottles revealed that the only ingredient was the drug itself, identical to those obtained by prescription at the local pharmacy.
That’s right, there are NO added ingredients in fish antibiotics–Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Penicillin, and more.
If the bottle says FISH-MOX, for example, the sole ingredient is Amoxicillin, which is an antibiotic commonly used in humans. There are no additional chemicals to makes your scales shiny or your fins longer.
I understand that you might be skeptical about considering the use of aquarium antibiotics for humans in a collapse. Those things are for fish, aren’t they?
Yet, if this is the case, then why are all of the above antibiotics also commonly used on humans? More importantly: Why are these antibiotics in the exact same DOSAGES that are used in humans? Why would a guppy require a dosage of FISH-MOX FORTE that would suffice for a 180 pound human adult? It is my opinion that they are manufactured in the same way that “human” antibiotics are made; I don’t have proof that this is true, but I suspect that they might even come from similar batches.
These medications are available without a prescription from veterinary supply stores and online sites everywhere. They come in lots of 30 to 100 tablets for less than the same prescription medication at the local pharmacy. If you so desired, it appears that you could get as much as you need to stockpile for a collapse. These quantities would be close to impossible to obtain from your physician.
Of course, anyone could be allergic to one or another of these antibiotics, but it would be a very rare individual who would be allergic to all of them. There is a 10% chance for cross-reactivity between Penicillin drugs and Keflex (if you are allergic to penicillin, you could also be allergic to Keflex).
This one additional fact: I have personally used some (not all) of these antibiotics on my own person without any ill effects. It’s important to note that I am speaking primarily about aquarium antibiotics, as some dog and cat medications also include other chemicals and are not just the antibiotic.
These antibiotics are used at specific doses for specific illnesses; the exact dosage of each and every medication is beyond the scope of this handbook. It’s important, however, to have as much information as possible on medications that you plan to store, so consider purchasing a hard copy of the latest Physician’s Desk Reference.
This book comes out yearly and has just about every bit of information that exists on a particular drug. The book lists medications that require prescriptions as well as those that do not. Under each medicine, you will find the indications, which are the medical conditions that the drug is used for. Also listed will be the dosages, risks and side effects. I don’t have to tell you that this is a large book!
Strategies for Getting Other Prescription Medications
For medications that treat non-infectious illness, such as cholesterol or blood pressure drugs, you will also need a prescription. These medications are not available in aquarium supply houses, so how can you work to stockpile them?
You may consider asking your physician to prescribe a higher dose than the amount you usually take. Many drugs come in different dosages. If your medicine is a 20 milligram dosage, for example, you might ask your doctor to prescribe the 40 mg dosage. You would then cut the medication in half; take your normal dosage and store the other half of the pill. It’s very important to assure your physician that you will continue to follow their medical advice and not take more medicine than is appropriate for your condition. Your success in having your request granted will depend on the doctor.
Others have managed to obtain needed prescriptions by indicating that they are traveling for long periods of time out of the country or telling their physician some other falsehood. I can’t recommend this method, because I believe that dishonesty breaks the bond of trust between doctor and patient. Consider having a serious discussion with your healthcare provider. Describe your concerns about not having needed medications in a disaster situation. You don’t have to describe the disaster as a complete societal collapse; any catastrophe could leave you without access to your doctor for an extended period.
If we ever find ourselves without modern medical care, we will have to improvise medical strategies that we perhaps might be reluctant to consider today. Without hospitals, it will be up to the medic to nip infections in the bud. That responsibility will be difficult to carry out without the weapons to fight disease. Accumulate equipment and medications and never ignore avenues that may help you gain access to them.
Alternative therapies such as herbal supplements and essential oils should be stockpiled as well. Honey, onion, Silver, and garlic have known antibacterial actions; be sure to integrate all medical options, traditional and alternative, and use every tool at your disposal to keep your community healthy. If you don’t, you’re fighting with one hand tied behind your back. Remember that traditional medicines and even essential oils will eventually run out in a long term collapse. Begin your medicinal garden now and get experience with the use of these beneficial plants.
by Dr. Bones of The Doom and Bloom Hour with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy
When summing up reasons for stockpiling fish meds when the SHTF, one benefit of the practice is that it allows you to have an alternate supply of antibiotics when needed. That being said, there are ways you can easily stockpile antibiotics that would otherwise be difficult to get your hands on in large quantities.
However, before you go on to play survival doctor and ‘heal thyself’ during a collapse situation, consider that there are downsides to consider before taking meds intended for your aquarium creatures. For instance, Cipro is an antibiotic that’s not to be trifled with in any circumstance unless you really have the training and background that goes with administering it.
Additionally, preppers that know what they are doing may want to stockpile human antibiotics and antivirals, along with fish antibiotics in the event of a doomsday scenario.
The following plan is a good short-term fix and will give you one to two courses of antibiotic or antiviral therapy. Simply, tell your doctor that you are going out of the country and would like something prescribed to combat “Travelers’ Diarrhea.”
You can also ask for Flagyl and human-grade Doxycycline and Amoxicillin for protozoal and bacterial infections during your doctor’s visit. Likewise, you can ask for the antiviral Tamiflu during peak flu seasons by telling the physician you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
You may also want to team your stockpiled medicines with alternative medicines, too, in order to have a longer-term solution. Survivalists know that it is always a good idea to be prepared and to not put all your eggs in one basket.
While many people have used fish antibiotics to successfully treat their infections, they have not been reviewed or approved by the FDC, and are specifically labeled “not for human consumption.” This article is for reference purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice. Misdiagnosing, self-treatment and misuse of any antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance. We assume no responsibility for using any substances in a way contrary to their indicated use.