Monday, May 24, 2010

Preparedness 101 - #4

Several readers have posted comments asking what to do about prescription medications in terms of preparedness.

This is a dicey question. I don't have any easy answers.

Most over-the-counter medicines have a long shelf life and it's worth stocking up on the basics. But what about those essential prescriptions that quite literally are saving lives?

The only thing I can suggest is to speak candidly with your doctor about your fears, and ask him if he'll prescribe as long a backlog as the medicine's shelf life will allow. He may or may not do this.

A lot depends on the relationship you have with your doctor. When Y2K hit, our youngest was a baby, so I asked my OBGYN if he could prescribe certain medicines (chiefly painkillers) "just in case." He knew us well (he delivered both our girls) and trusted that we would not abuse his trust when it came to prescribing medicines we didn't need but wanted to have on hand.

So ask. Can't hurt, might help.

I don't expect society to shut down if this economic mess wrecks our economy. People will still need medications. I just pray they can still get them.

I know this is not a satisfactory answer to a lot of people, so I hope others will post their own ideas and suggestions. If any doctors wanted to jump in the loop, I'd appreciate their insights as well.


  1. My son has autism and migraines. I've managed to get a 6 month backstock of meds for him by reordering as soon as I can. Mail order typically allows 3 weeks on a 90 day prescription before and normally only takes a few days, so I get an extra 2 weeks each time. When meds have to be adjusted or dosages change, I use up the old meds first (ex two 50 mg = 100 mg dose) before opening the new prescription. Keep the reorder on schedule and this will garner a good month or three.

    An added benefit of using up the old meds first came up when my son changed migraine med dosage. The doc was worried a side effect was from the different dose medication as it may have had a different manufacturer. We were able to rule it out immediately as I was using up the old medication so no change there.

  2. I refill my medicines every 28 (instead of 30) days which is 2-3 days before they're due and thereby gain 24-36 days of medicine every year. I'm comfortable with having only one year due to making sure the meds don't go bad.

  3. Some other countries have looser regulations on medicines and drugs. You should of course do enough looking into your potential source to make sure you're comfortable with the quality you'd be getting, but various overseas companies sell their products online.

  4. When it comes to pain killers, anti-anxiety and antibiotics, look into pet medications. Many are exactly the same as human medications and you can get them from pet medication supply companies online without a prescription. *Use Caution and Research Them Thoroughly To Ensure It Is The Same*. For example, I get frequent sinus infections but lost my insurance, and doc would not prescribe without me coming in. So after research, I found fish amoxicillin to be the exact same pill as human amoxicillin...bought some (100 pills for $24.95) and within the week all better. Doesn't expire until 2013, so I am well stocked.

  5. Sad news.
    After posting the prior message, I thought I would go and compile a list for everyone of the websites I would purchase my medications from, and what meds were available for different ailments that were actually human medications. Unfortunately, the sites are all now non-existent. It's been several months since I last visited these sites, and wrongly assumed they were still in existence.
    After some intense searching, I could not locate a single site that would sell these pet(human) meds without an actual prescription from a veternarian. I apologize for the now false information. If anyone else comes across a site that sells animal scrip meds without an actual prescription, please let us know.
    By the way, amoxicillin is still available without a prescription. Look for Aquatic Amoxicillin, with a drug stamp of WC 731 (look it up on to double verify my info). It typically comes in 500 mg form, which you take twice a day for 10 days.

    David, PA

    1. Here is a link to a source for fish antibiotics. You want to be ready for any emergency your fish might have....