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Author Topic: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage  (Read 14980 times)

Offline Vashti

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Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« on: February 18, 2010, 03:17:50 PM »
I've been reading this article on antibiotic medications to have on hand in TEOTWAWKI: http://www.survivalblog.com/2009/12/antibiotic_use_in_teotwawki_by.html and some friends from the Homesteading Today forum recommended easy purchase through All Day Chemist, and it looks pretty inexpensive, so I'm thinking of stocking up on a few different varieties.

However, I'm not exactly sure how to store it, and since I'm looking at prepping for a rather large family, I'd like to get a quantity of antibiotics that may not be practical to store in the bottom drawer of my refrigerator!

Does anyone know if antibiotics in pill form (not liquid) can be stored in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers and/or desiccant packs? I have a rather cool underground room/ root cellar that should keep them at a good cool temp.

Offline phargolf

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2010, 08:18:54 PM »
I can't comment on where you are buying them, but i do have some experience storing medicines. Cool temperatures, lack of light, low humidity will extend the shelf life of most modern medicines. Packing them by vacuum sealing probably will not help. Oxygen absorbers also will not help. P.S. if it is an overseas site for the medicines "let the buyer beware", most have been proven to be fakes or contain so little active ingredient to be ineffective,(just something to ponder on)

Offline Nadir_E

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2010, 08:55:45 PM »
No expertise of which to speak, but here are some articles I found on the subject:

http://www.terrierman.com/antibiotics-WSJ.htm
A Wall-Street Journal article from 2000 about the US Army testing for potency after expiration dates (in order to save money by not having to dump stockpiled medicines).

http://www.tetrahedron.org/articles/apocalypse/bio_chem_guide.html
One geared towards "survivalists"

http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=133242
(this is a forum discussion on the subject - one of the posters ("red") is evidently a practicing pharmacist

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?p=1300218
One of the posters in this one says he's in pharma quality control

The general gist of what I read was 3-5 years, in some cases longer, if stored properly (cool / dry).  That said, it would *seem* that vacuum sealing and desiccants would help, but I have no specific knowledge to support that.

Interested to hear what others have to say.

-N
Region 8, SoCal

Offline Bubafat

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2010, 09:05:44 PM »
I can't comment directly to any specific pharmaceutical as I'm not a doctor or pharmacist,  I am a chemist...just so you know my background and where I'm coming from.  I'll try to keep this simple, but if you'd like more detail just ask.

The most common ways chemicals degrade either by oxidation or reaction with water (either from the air or sometimes the drug itself is sold as a hydrated form).  The rate of degradation is directly related to the concentration of the oxygen/water and the temperature.  Thus just like food, keep it dry, O2 free, and cold (as cold as you can).

The problem with keeping drugs in the freezer is that if you don't create a completely sealed environment, you will get MORE water in there than if you kept it at room temp. 

One thing I should mention though is plastic is NOT a good barrier to keeping things totally oxygen and water free.  It's an OK barrier, but O2 (and water to some extent) can and WILL slowly diffuse through plastic.  Glass is good as is metal.  A  stainless steel (or aluminum) threaded tube with threaded metal caps and some teflon tape (very important!) is probably one of the best containers the lay-man could make.  Put your drugs in there along with a water absorber and an oxygen absorber, screw the cap on and you're in business!

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Offline RacinRob

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2010, 09:08:10 PM »
I would like to know how your order goes, if you do order let us know.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2010, 02:27:18 PM »
you need plastic between your pills and the aluminum.

I'd go with plastic baggies, vac'd and O2'd, in a jar, and since I have argon for my TIG welder, I'd pipe a little of that in to purge out thea ir before sealing the jar and taping around the lid with electrical tape.
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Offline Nadir_E

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2010, 02:41:58 PM »
....sealing the jar and taping around the lid with electrical tape.

Would wax or silicone be a better seal than electrical tape?

I don't have any argon, but I do have CO2 - does that oxidize, or would it count as inert?
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Offline Bubafat

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2010, 07:18:09 PM »
Wax will be far superior to electrical tape, but actually wrapping the threads of the jar several times with teflon tape (PTFE tape used in plumbing) before screwing in the top would be better. 

CO2 isn't an oxidant but it does have the pesky problem of reacting with any residual water to make a weak acid (carbonic acid) that could decompose any acid-sensitive drugs (remember, some drugs are hydrates and no mater how many silicon dessicants you put in there you'll never get that water out).

Nitrogen would work as would helium.  You're better off purging the container with an inert gas (argon, nitrogen, helium, xenon, etc) than storing it under vacuum. 
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Offline Nadir_E

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2010, 12:18:56 PM »
...Nitrogen would work as would helium.  You're better off purging the container with an inert gas (argon, nitrogen, helium, xenon, etc) than storing it under vacuum. 

Thanks for the info, Bubafat!  So where would Joe Average get his hands on such gases and the equipment to fill a bottle with them?

-N
Region 8, SoCal

Offline m6996j23

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2010, 05:14:11 AM »
thanks,  this is a very good link.  everyone should read this. 

Offline Orionblade

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2010, 11:32:31 AM »
The advantage of argon at low temp is the density. Very low diffusion rates. Good call on the Teflon, I use new lids that seal weLl to start. Another option is a beer bottle capper... Then dip the top in wax.
You can't run away on a world that's round.
You're only comin' back to where you'll be found.

Based on thorough experiments involving kissing in the rain, exposing shoulders to direct sunlight, and dancing by the light of a silvery moon,  I have found that, within the bounds of frostbite and decency, hapiness is inversely proportional to the amount of clothing worn.

Offline Swampwood

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2010, 08:53:04 PM »
Farm supply stores have some ATB in powder form, to mix with drinking water, that store well;)

Offline Bubafat

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2011, 02:50:14 PM »
Although it's old, to answer Nadir...try your local gas or welding gas supply store.  Companies like Airgas, Praxair, and then welding supply stores can usually supply you with nitrogen.  Another option is to check out brewing supply stores as nitrogen and argon are often used as cover gases for keg beer and keg wine. A final and possibly the best option for nitrogen at least is paintball (the game) stores.  The high end paintball guns use nitrogen instead of CO2 and you can often times buy a smaller nitrogen tank then you could from a gas or brewing supply store.  Either way, you're probably looking to spend at minimum $200 for the tank and regulator.

A more economic option would be to befriend a university chemistry professor (organic chemistry best) as they often use argon as a cover gas for air sensitive chemical reactions.  They won't let you take the tank, but if you brought in your air tight box, they may let you flush it out.  If you can't bring in the box/container, you could ask to fill up a few balloons with argon and take them with you.  You can then use those filled balloons to flush your box.

Hope this helps.

I really like the idea of the bottle capper + wax.  If you could add the pills to a clean/dry beer bottle then either flush it out with an inert gas or drop in a few O2/H2O absorbers, then cap it and wax it I think you would have an EXCELLENT method for long term storage.  Just remember to tape the prescriptions to the outside of the bottle so no laws are broken.  One could also use nail polish to write on the bottle as a permanent way to label whats inside.
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Offline Tactical Hippie

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2011, 03:49:09 PM »
Does anybody have a line on where to purchase antibiotics? 
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
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The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.
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Offline Citizen Zero

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2011, 06:15:18 PM »
Quote
There is an interesting post-TEOTWAWKI series by History Channel called “After Armageddon” which can be viewed on YouTube. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t appear on History Channel’s list of shows). In it, a family seeks refuge in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event. The father of the family, who is a trained EMT, falls sick and dies from a simply cut on his hand because the antibiotics ran out. It shows that the lack of accumulated stores of antibiotics could mean a shortened life span for even the most prepared individual.

Given the new situation that we will have thrust upon us, it behooves every aware individual to begin to stockpile medications that will be needed in the future, and to become trained one way or another in basic and disaster first aid. Even if your group has a designated “medic”, you have an obligation to be able to handle medical issues in a catastrophic scenario for the sake of your group and your family. Just as the designated “medic” should be trained to handle security issues and should accumulate food and other supplies, so should you accumulate medications and medical supplies. Cross-training is essential for when the medic needs a medic!
Accumulating medications may be simple when it comes to procuring aspirin and other non-prescription drugs but may be problematic for those who cannot write their own prescriptions or don’t have a relationship with a physician who can. I would like to focus on the issue of procurement of antibiotics for the treatment of infection in this essay, as there are already a number of good essays on this site that discusses various aspects of medical care in the post-SHTF era. I heartily recommend that everyone read these in detail.

Full article here: http://daily-survival.blogspot.com/2010/08/doctors-thoughts-on-antibiotics.html

Currently the aquarium antibiotics are available without a prescription, but this may change as there are movements to restrict access to these medications because it is well documented that they are being used for human consumption due to low price and no need for a prescription.

Here is another excellent article on post SHTF medicine that is well worth saving or printing off to keep with your supplies: http://www.tetrahedron.org/articles/apocalypse/bio_chem_guide.html

Quote
Preparing for Biological and Chemical Terrorism:
A Practical Guide to Antibiotics and
Their Usage for Survival

by
Leonard G. Horowitz, D.M.D., M.A., M.P.H.
Tetrahedron, LLC
Sandpoint, Idaho



YMMV
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 06:20:32 PM by Citizen Zero »
c0

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Offline JerseyVince

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2011, 06:34:12 PM »
Thanks for the info, Bubafat!  So where would Joe Average get his hands on such gases and the equipment to fill a bottle with them?

-N

Alot of racers and now auto dealers/repair shops have Nitrogen generators and refilling compressors for Auto/truck/atv tires as alot of people are changing to nitrogen filled tires on high end and some regular auto. ask at you local speed shop or service station maye somone close by has nitrogen filling equipment

Offline Tactical Hippie

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2011, 06:49:49 PM »
Full article here: http://daily-survival.blogspot.com/2010/08/doctors-thoughts-on-antibiotics.html

Currently the aquarium antibiotics are available without a prescription, but this may change as there are movements to restrict access to these medications because it is well documented that they are being used for human consumption due to low price and no need for a prescription.

Here is another excellent article on post SHTF medicine that is well worth saving or printing off to keep with your supplies: http://www.tetrahedron.org/articles/apocalypse/bio_chem_guide.html



YMMV




Thanks Citizen Zero!!!  Great info!!
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Offline Bubafat

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2011, 08:52:45 PM »
Alot of racers and now auto dealers/repair shops have Nitrogen generators and refilling compressors for Auto/truck/atv tires as alot of people are changing to nitrogen filled tires on high end and some regular auto. ask at you local speed shop or service station maye somone close by has nitrogen filling equipment

Never thought of that, but I might be a bit hesitant about using their nitrogen as it's likely to have oil contamination.  Fine for tire filling, but not something I'd want to bath my med in.
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Offline Tactical Hippie

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Re: Long-Term Antibiotic Storage
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2011, 08:12:39 AM »
Never thought of that, but I might be a bit hesitant about using their nitrogen as it's likely to have oil contamination.  Fine for tire filling, but not something I'd want to bath my med in.

Nitrogen is cheap.  I bought a tank and regulator.  I think it was around $150 for the initial setup.  Now that I have the tank, it cost like $13 bucks to have it filled.  

I get mine filled at a welding supply shop.  The nitrogen is pure. since I own the tank I know what's been inside it.  I have it filled off of the "big" or main tank at the supply shop, so there are no  contaminants that I'm aware of!
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
- General George Patton Jr

The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.
- General Douglas MacArthur