Antibiotic pills spread out on counter

How to Stock Up on Antibiotics

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One of the things we preppers stress is stocking up on antibiotics. But, most of the people I have talked to do not know how to stock up on antibiotics.

Unfortunately, it can be tricky to do this because you have to have a prescription for antibiotics in the US and Canada. 

Disclaimer: The article is for informational purposes only. Be sure to consult a medical professional before following any options listed in the information below. 

In this post, you will learn about antibiotics, why you should stock up on them, and how to get them. Please refer to the CDC for accurate information.

What Are Antibiotics

Prescription Containers

Antibiotics are intended to kill or slow the growth of bacteria that causes infections such as pneumonia, Strep throat, MRSA, and Sepsis. Of course, there are over 101 different bacterial infections that you can get. 

Different antibiotics treat different bacterial infections. Which Antibiotics Work Best For Which Infection

Although antibiotics treat bacterial infections, they are absolutely useless against viral infections. So, you want to be careful about taking antibiotics on your own.

If you take them when you really don’t need them, it can lead to bacterial resistance (they won’t work when you need really need them). 

Why Should You Stock Up on Antibiotics

Today, we take for granted the fact that when we are sick we can just hop in a car, head to the doctor, and pick up antibiotics at our local pharmacy.

However, you could be in a life-threatening situation if there was an economic collapse, pandemic, or other SHTF scenarios. So, here are the reasons you should stock up on antibiotics:

  • You may not have access to a medical facility if SHTF. 
  • During a pandemic, antibiotics could be in short supply. 
  • If there is an economic collapse, there may not be facilities open to distribute antibiotics. Pharmacies may be shut down. 
  • You may be too sick to get somewhere to get antibiotics. 
  • There may not be medical personnel to treat you. 
  • Anything could happen! If you get a bacterial infection, it could lead to sepsis. Without antibiotics, sepsis will kill you. 

Which Antibiotics Should You Stock

Although you can stock up on pretty much any antibiotic you want, we recommend three different kinds: 


Amoxicillin is a penicillin antibiotic. It is used to treat many different kinds of bacterial infections such as tonsillitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and infections of the ear, nose, skin, urinary tract, and throat. 

This is kind of the go-to antibiotic most doctors will prescribe when they suspect a bacterial infection. Hence, this is a good one to stock up on. 


Ciprofloxacin is known as Cipro. It is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. Cipro is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections including skin infections, bone and joint infections, respiratory and sinus infections, urinary tract infections, and other stubborn bacterias. 

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Cipro is another antibiotic that covers a multitude of bacterial infections, but it is a little stronger than Amoxicillin. Therefore, this is a good one to stock up on as well. Cipro must be given within 36 hours if you are exposed to Anthrax. Point of Distribution


Azithromycin is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections as well. It treats things such as respiratory infections, skin infections, eye infections, ear infections, and sexually transmitted diseases. This antibiotic is also known as a Z-pack. 

Because this also covers STDs, it is a good variation to stock up on, and it treats many different infections. 

How to Stock Up On Antibiotics

Stocking up on antibiotics is super tricky. In America and Canada, you have to have a prescription to get them. So, how in the world do preppers stock up on them?! 

Disclaimer: The article is for informational purposes only. Be sure to consult a medical professional before following any of the options listed in the information below. 

There are three different ways that many preppers have found to stock up on antibiotics in case there is an SHTF scenario that would prevent us from getting them from our doctor.

Although I am listing these ways/options, I am not a medical professional and would encourage you to talk with a doctor before attempting to stock them in any way other than being prescribed by a doctor. 

Here are three ways you can stock up on antibiotics:

Ask Your Doctor For Refills

Some doctors actually work with preppers. They understand the importance of storing and stocking up antibiotics. If you find a doctor who within the law can prescribe what you feel you need, you could ask him to prescribe you two scripts or a refill each and every time you get antibiotics. 

This will only work if your primary physician knows your health history well. For instance, if you continually get things like sinus infections, ear infections, or bladder infections, they may give you one or two refills.

If you get a 10 day supply, you could also take it for 8 days and save the other two days (this is not recommended). If you do this you risk getting a worse infection, just giving you the heads up.

Take a Trip to Mexico

Many of the medications that we have to get a prescription for here in the US and in Canada, are available over the counter in Mexico. In fact, many people go to Mexico to get cheaper medications. There is no insurance so the medicine is much cheaper.

If you live near Mexico or could take a trip there, you can bring back a 90 day supply of antibiotics. 

However, when you buy drugs from Mexico, you are buying at your own risk. 

Are they the Same?

Although the antibiotics may be labeled the same as they are in the US or Canada, the drug’s manufacturing processes are not regulated. Therefore, you will not know if they were stored at the right temperature, if the dosage strengths are the same, or if it has the same chemical compounds are configured properly. 

Ultimately, many antibiotics found in Mexico work the same way, but they may be different than what you would find here. You really are running the risk of getting what you need for your unique medical situation. Remember the adage, Buyer Beware.

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Buy Aquatic Antibiotics

Aquatic Antibiotics are also known as fish antibiotics. Many preppers stock and store fish antibiotics instead of human antibiotics. 

Should You Take These?

There is a lot of controversy as to whether aquatic antibiotics are actually ok for human consumption.

What many preppers have found and attested to is that the aquatic antibiotics are the exact same antibiotic you would get with a prescription through your pharmacist.

The way they discovered it was through a pill identification wizard that tells you what a pill is based on the label on the outside of the pill (found online). 

For example, when you put in the label WC731 which is what is found on “Fish Mox” antibiotic pills, the pill identification wizard tells you it is Amoxicillin 500 mg. It does not tell you it is a fish antibiotic. So, it seems they are actual human pills. 

However, when I asked my pharmacist, he said they were not the same and made with different chemicals and compounds. He recommended against using them.

Why You May Not Want To Take Them

According to Smithsonian Magazine, you should not take fish antibiotics. The reason is that the manufacturing of fish antibiotics is completely unregulated. This means they are not approved by the FDA. 

Additionally, they make note that when you are prescribed antibiotics by a doctor, the doctor makes sure you actually have a bacterial infection, and then makes sure what type of bacteria you have and the best medication to address the infection you have.

If you just take any old antibiotic, you may not get the right one for the infection you have. Also, if you take them when you don’t need them, you could cause your immune system to lose its ability to kill the bacteria. 

However, it does not say on their page whether or not the antibiotics are the same, just that they are not regulated. Keep in mind, when something is not regulated, it could have different compounds or chemicals than what it says on the label. 

Stock Your Home Pharmacy

Final Word on How to Stock Up on Antibiotics

I would personally recommend getting all your antibiotics from your doctor. Use the information given and stock antibiotics at your own risk if you use a different approach. If you feel it is better to have something, like fish antibiotics, rather than nothing, that is up to you and your body. 

If it comes down to you not being able to get antibiotics when SHTF, you could be in a life or death situation. At that point, trying anything is better than doing nothing. 

I would not suggest taking fish antibiotics unless you are in an emergency situation and that is all you can take. However, I will leave it up to you to decide. 

Again, I am not a doctor! Please check with your doctor before deciding what to do. Have you stocked up on antibiotics? How do you do it? Share in the comments below! 

A lot is at stake right now with the uncertainty of the Coronavirus, please be safe, be aware of your surroundings. May God bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Antibiotics Depositphotos_35905227_s-2019, Antibiotic Jars Depositphotos_13760876_s-2019,

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  1. “Not regulated” given the track record of fake meds and recalls for human consumption meds and knowing what all was done when I worked for a vet for years I think I’ll be ok with alternatives.

    1. Hi Matt, I have to laugh every time I see a commercial on TV about regulated FDA approved medications, all the adverse reactions or side effects!!! Who really knows what is safe to take anymore. The cost in the US for prescriptions is ridiculous. Just my 2 cents. Linda

  2. I can’t even take antibiotics because it awakens c-dif in my body. Many people have the same situation. I’ve found the essential oils that are antiviral and antibacterial. They even kept me alive when my doctor misdiagnosed my double lung pneumonia three years ago. I would research the alternatives since antibiotics are actually created based on plant oils.

  3. What antibiotics in the animal world are for people who are allergic to Penicillin and can’t take the ones you have mentioned. And, how do we protect ourselves when the companies will not let us get a refill until the day if the last pill. I tried and they wouldn’t let me get a prescription that keeps me alive one day sooner. What say you.

  4. I get them from Walmart Pet RX. They come quickly and in a non-descriptive box. I did my homework and found the appropriate drug for most common infections and printed out pages to put in my Bug Out Binder. I also have the appropriate dosages. Anyone can research this info. If my leg is about to rot off, I am not going to worry what compounds are in the drugs.

    1. Hi Angela, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment. My doctor said he went over to another country with several other Docs and he said that’s what they used the antibiotics the most for: legs that were about to rot off. Not his exact words but that’s why he said if we have a really bad injury we NEED antibiotics. Thank you for understanding what I was talking about in this post. I just wanted to give options for people to decide what’s best for them. Linda

  5. I know you have to be careful about what you say, Linda, and you cannot recommend a place to buy fish antibiotics. So I thought I would help out readers who have no idea where to start.

  6. Hi Linda,
    Am anxious to get the info about the fish anti-biotics. Being an RN, am more than cautious about a good, safe source for this medication. Look forward to seeing what she has to say.

    I have another issue that I really need help with. I have no idea where you live, so don’t know if you can help me at all.

    We recently moved to the Dallas, Texas area from Oregon. WOW, what a difference in weather!. This is precisely what I need help/information on. I have no idea what kinds of tomatoes I can plant here and reap a good harvest. When living in Oregon, I mainly planted Heirlooms but don’t know if I’ll have a long enough growing time before it gets beastly hot. I did have one nursery man tell me that I could start planting anything as early as March 15th. Just have to watch the temperature and if it gets below 50, to cover up the plants.
    Someone else told me that Heirlooms would not grow well here.

    I am starting my own seedlings tomorrow and hoping they will be ready to plant when the weather is ready.

    In any case, can you help,or send me to someone else that has the experience in this climate to give me some accurate answers?
    Surely would appreciate it.

    Thanks so much. Look forward to your next post.


    1. Hi Suzanne, it’s all about the soil and the weather where you live. I moved from northern Utah to Southern Utah and it took me about 3 years to figure out the soil. Yikes! I would visit your local garden shop and check your soil and see the best tomatoes to grow in your area. Linda

  7. Hi question there is a couple of antibiotics that you should not keep after expiration date. Did I miss that or do you know which ones they are. Love your information.

    1. Hi Libby, I’m not sure about that. My doctor told me these are good for 5-10 years after their expiration. Does anyone really know? I sure do not. The bottles say one thing and a doctor says another. You would have to research that information yourself. I’m so sorry. I have to be so careful what I write because I knew a blogger a few years ago that the FDA shut down her website over essential oils. Thank you for your kind words, Linda

    2. My Bishop was a pharmacist. He said that drugs don’t necessarily go bad but do lose their potency. The trick to see if something has “turned” is to open the bottle close to your nose. If it smells like vinegar, don’t take it. Otherwise, it’s safe. Metformin stinks no matter it’s age so that method won’t apply there! (It’s for diabetes).

      Every year I go to see my doctor for an assessment for my kidney stones. Being as kidney stone movement can happen anywhere/anytime, he gives me a prescription of pain meds (believe me, it’s needed if those suckers start moving!), Cipro for a UTI, a water pill to help flow and a “pee pill” to open the ureter for easier passing of stones. Luckily, I haven’t had any stones in about 4 years (uh oh, now that I said that, it’s gonna happen!) I got all those prescriptions filled and have saved them for “in case.” Yes, they may not have as high a potency as brand new pills but they will still work and I have them readily on hand. I have done with other prescriptions, too.

      I also am not a medical doctor, nurse, professional, etc. but I don’t believe in cutting short any antibiotic regime if you’re on one just to save up extra pills. In alot of cases, a person really needs the full dosage of antibiotics to combat the bacteria it was prescribed for. Things are getting really dicey out there and as we get more and more resistant to antibiotics, we need all the defenses we can get!

      I have an awesome doctor who is sympathetic to giving refills, within reason. He will not, however, do any opioids such as narcotic cough syrup. Can’t blame him there. I’m just lucky. I have the same issue with my midwife; she gives me a refill for yeast infection Rx’s – that’s been greatly appreciated!

      1. Hi Robbie, great comment, thank you for sharing. In Utah, we have one of the highest opioid problems in the US. I doubt any doctor would give extra refills for those. I was only talking about antibiotics. Great comment, Linda

  8. Just another remark about “skipping” the last dose or two of antibiotics. When I smashed my hand open and broke a finger, I ended up having to do a double course of antibiotics. I normally fight off infections easily.

    1. Hi Lance, wow, sometimes we do need a second dose to fight off the infection! Yikes, smashing a hand breaking a finger!! I’m glad it finally got it to heal. Linda

  9. Stocking up on medications is now more important than ever. If anyone wants a doctor-prescribed antibiotics kit, it’s now available.

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