In remote settings where modern medical help is not an option, there will be a number of deaths that occur from injuries and infections incurred in the performance of activities related to survival. Many wounds will become infected, leading to what would otherwise be avoidable fatalities. In this companion article to our YouTube video series on antbiotics and their application in survival settings, we discuss the popular drug Ciprofloxacin.
There are many antibiotics, but what antibiotics accessible to the average person would be good additions to your medical storage? When do you use a particular drug? The wrong antibiotic at the wrong time can be as bad as doing nothing at all.
Before I start, let me make it clear that posts on this website pertain to situations where modern medical care is not available and you have become the highest medical resource that your family has. In normal times, seek qualified professionals wherever and whenever you need help.
A useful option to deal with many infections is Ciprofloxacin (veterinary equivalent: FISH-FLOX), otherwise known as the popular drug Cipro. Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic in the fluoroquinolone family. It kills bacteria by inhibiting their reproduction of DNA and proteins. This drug usually comes in 250mg and 500mg doses.
Ciprofloxacin can be used for the following conditions:
rash seen in typhoid fever
• Bladder or other urinary infections, especially in females
• In males, Prostate infections
• some types of lower respiratory infections, such as pneumonia
• Acute sinusitis
• Skin infections (such as cellulitis)
• Bone and joint infections
• Certain types of Infectious diarrhea
• Typhoid fever caused by Salmonella
• Respiratory-based, as opposed as skin-based, Anthrax
In most cases, you should give 500mg twice a day for 7-14 days, with the exception of bone and joint infections (4-6 weeks) and Anthrax (60 days). You can get away with 250mg doses for 3 days for most mild urinary infections. Generally, you would want to continue the medication for 2 days after improvement is noted.
Many antibiotics may not be safe for use in certain situations. For example, Ciprofoxacin has not been approved for use during pregnancy or in breast-feeding mothers. Among its side effects, Cipro has been reported to occasionally cause weakness in muscles and tendons leading to rupture, so those with disorders in muscles or joints should avoid it if possible, as should people with kidney and liver disease, as well as seizure disorders. It may also cause joint and muscle complications in children, so it is restricted in pediatric use to the following conditions only:
• Urinary tract infections (bladder and kidney) due to E. coli (luckily, the most common type)
• Respiratory-based anthrax
In children, the dosage is measured by multiplying 10mg by the weight in kilograms (1 kg = 2.2 lbs.). The maximum dose should not exceed 400mg total twice a day, even if the child weighs more than 100 pounds. Ciprofloxacin should be taken with 8 ounces of water.
People should not take the medication if they have an allergy to drugs in the flouroquinolone family, such as Levaquin.
Indications for use, dosages, side effects, and warnings for specific drugs can be found in the Physician’s Desk Reference, an excellent resource that is now in its 69th edition.
It’s important to avoid giving antibiotics unless you know what you’re treating. Learn to identify medical issues by studying their signs and symptoms. You won’t have lab tests in a true survival scenario, so you’ll have to depend on your knowledge to use these drugs effectively.
Joe Alton, MD
Learn about Cipro and other antibiotics that may save a life in an austere setting by getting a copy of the 3 category #1 Amazon bestseller “The Survival Medicine Handbook“, now in its second expanded edition.