essential medication

Antibiotics are of uttermost importance. Online pharmacies are decently safe to order from, but in some countries you can also buy veterinarian antibiotic products without prescription.

  • broad-spectrum antibiotics (e.g. MetronidazolešŸ‘, Gentamicin, Clarithromycin, Ampicillin)
  • NSDAIDs (Aspirin, Tylenol)
  • Lugol’s iodine (5% iodine, 10% potassium iodine)
  • one-a-day vitamins
  • first-aid kits

If you have any severe health conditions, you need to stockpile medication against it as well.

how to use

For doomsday survival purposes, please take the following simplifications as guidelines:

  • all pills, except for maybe 10 year old tetracyclines, have an infinite shelf-life
  • non-narcotic medicines can be safely and arbitrarily combined in 99% of cases
  • antibiotics are safe and work wonders, even if taken just once or for 1-3 days
  • antibiotic resistance is a hoax insofar as that it has anything to do with your behavior
  • if in doubt, always administer antibiotics for serious conditions and deep wounds
  • in absence of better information, take 2 whatever a day but no more than 4

In order to get the best out of your antibiotics, wait until disease has seriously manifested and is hard to tolerate (usually day 3 or 4). Take them a couple of days until you feel better. If disease returns, repeat. If they don’t make you feel better stop taking them or try a different one (esp. if also experiencing weird new symptoms, such as rash or itchiness). If the source of infection is a dirty cut or gunshot wound, take antibiotics immediately every day for 6-10 days instead, possibly longer if symptoms have been severe. Metronidazole and tetracyclines are the most versatile ones and also works against amoeba. But resistance with some diseases (esp. with tetracyclines) is not uncommon.

Take NSDAIDs only to lower fever, avoid using them for pain.

Lugol’s iodine (5% I, 10% PI) can be used for water purification (see “water”), wound disinfection and thyroid blockade (nuclear disaster). For the latter purpose, take 130mg throughout the day (20 drops, 1 drop = 0.05ml) for about 30 days, reduce dosage the next 30 days. After the first 30 days, the radioactive iodine has decayed 10x, the following 30 days it will decay 100x. If you are over 50 or the country/site of the nuclear disaster is very far away from you, take only 1mg/day (2 drops) for 60 days. Thyroid blockade only protects the thyroid against radiation, not the rest of the body. Its usefulness for bare survival is rather small.

Control bleeding: Apply a tourniquet if the wound is severe (e.g. gunshot) and bleeding is considerable. Tourniquets should not be left in place longer than 2 hours and removal of the tourniquet can become life-threatening after 6 hours. Pack the wound with gauze if possibe (but not in abdomen, chest or neck), then apply a pressure bandage. If the injured person is not in shock and a hospital is not available, loosen the tourniquet and monitor the wound for bleeding. The key here is to get rid of the tourniquet within 2 hours, but not at the expense of killing the person with blood loss. Please watch more detailed instructions on how to provide first-aid and apply tourniquets.

Wound disinfection: Try to wash the wound thoroughly with soap and clean water, rinse, tap dry with sterile tissue. Use Lugol’s iodine on wound. If not available use alcohol in case of severe contamination, if not use nothing. Try to avoid dressing the wound initially, if conditions are clean and uncomplicated. Use iodine or alcohol only once initially. Slashes from knives or machetes may only need superficial disinfection, because the blade was clean to begin with and the grime wipes off and concentrates at the upper skin layer. Similarly, bullets and puncture wounds might be rather clean in nature. However, as there are many types of more severe injury, the best cleaning strategy depends on the individual situation and further considerations are necessary. If the wound is huge, you need to be careful with the amount of iodine you use inside the wound (as too much of it can be poisonous) and rather resort to alcohol or washing it off with alcohol.

Surgery: I am not an expert on surgery, and you are unlikely to find any good DIY survival books on this topic (The Survival Medicine Handbook has a small section on sewing, the 1982 US Army Special Forced Handbook has a chapter “emergency war surgery”). If at all possible, you should not attempt it, but have a hospital deal with it instead. Also consider other methods, such as duct tape, for addressing superficial skin cuts. However suppose someone cut off half your leg, you live remotely and hospitals are not operational. What can you do about it? I would say that it is highly unrealistic to sew severed arteries back together. It might however be realistic to be able to sew tendons and muscles back together. Similarly, deep tissue cuts could be addressed by sewing and of course skin can be sewn together. Surgery requires a lot of knowledge and skill. It needs to be practiced beforehand, on sponges, fruits or latex mockups. Silk will actually absorb after 1-2 years, so it might still be a viable alternative, if vicryl/collagen is not available. In summary, surgery is a questionable and very advanced skill to ever put to use.

optional medication

  • antibiotic wound spray for cattle
  • Hemostatic gauze
  • large dog dewormer
  • misoprostol (hold 2400mcg under tongue, then 800mcg after every 3 hours, up to 5 times, until fetus is aborted. Might be unsafe after 20 weeks pregnant. Extremely painful. May need hospital assistance, esp. after 1st trimester. Triple as effective when combined with 200mg mifepristone given 32 hours earlier. In this case only half of the misoprostol doses are needed, i.e. 1200mcg, then 400mcg up to 5x.)
  • ivermectin (works against various parasites, anti-viral in huge doses)
  • potassium supplement (rehydration therapy, not contained in one-a-day vitamins)
  • absorbable and regular sutures with needle and forceps (metric 3-8, USP #2-0, #0 - #2, Chinese #10 - #15, vicryl/collagen & silk)
  • nitrile gloves
  • alpha-1 agonists for surgery (e.g. epinephrine injection, oxymetazoline nasal spray)
  • tranexamic acid for cases of significant bleeding or trauma