Should your med bag have a medications reference book?

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by pgvoutdoors, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. pgvoutdoors

    pgvoutdoors (FMR) Wilderness Guide Supporter

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    A major concern for many people during a possible extended crisis is the topic of how to maintain one's medication needs. "???" Have you ever noticed when watching a good apocalyptic movie, with zombies of course, that there are always people looking for meds for one reason or another. How do you know your getting the correct medications, generic names are different than brand names? How do you know what can be substituted, or how do different meds interact? If you need antibiotics, which one's will work for the type of infection you have? Is having a medication reference book a good idea?
     
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  2. caoutdoorsman

    caoutdoorsman Scout

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    My grandfather was a chem. engineer for Merck, so he had lots of different reference books laying around. They're fun to read and very informative.

    I think in the event of some sort of natural or industrial disaster, you'd probably be better of trying to get to the nearest location with good infrastructure. Another good method might be getting an Rx filled in 3 month sizes instead of month to month if possible. Many meds can cause deleterious effects if use is discontinued abruptly so having extra on hand is probably the best solution.

    Side note: These types of threads (practical/everyday-needs) seem to me to be some of the most useful. We should have more discussion topics related to these sorts of things! :dblthumb:
     
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  3. Kerri

    Kerri úlfheðnar Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

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    I think it depends on what you are doing. A weekend trip or day trip probably not. You need to bring a kit that can take care of trauma and be able to package the patient for medevac while at the same time you need to be very familiar with every item in your kit. The time of a crisis is not the time to research on how to deal with it.

    For extended trips you still need to know what is in the kit youre bringing but a quick reference guide is not a terrible idea to deal with minor injuries to prevent infections or other clinical needs.

    But still I would not bring anything I don't already know how to use or someone with me that has been trained.

    Bottom line is be comfortable with your kit and consider the pros and cons of bringing what ever it is you're bringing. For me personally I don't do extended trips without having a trained Medic and I bring only items I know how to use to treat myself and if an issue were to arrise I'm going to do what I can to get out of there as soon as possible and seek professional help.
     
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  4. pgvoutdoors

    pgvoutdoors (FMR) Wilderness Guide Supporter

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    I'm picturing a point in time after a major collapse of the government and society; where medications have become very hard to find. After the stores and pharmacies have been cleaned out, all that might be left is what is found in abandoned homes, or possibly traded between people. (I don't relish that thought!) A pill book might help in determining whether the medications you've found can help with the medical problems you are facing. In a situation like the one I've described there really isn't a perfect solution, and the risks would have to be considered high.
     
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  5. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    Having a pill book can't hurt. I'm not sure that I would carry it around.

    Learn some natural cures. Once those meds are gone, they won't be coming back any time soon.
     
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  6. pgvoutdoors

    pgvoutdoors (FMR) Wilderness Guide Supporter

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    If on the go the weight of the book would be a consideration. Maybe I would keep certain parts of it only. I do have one at home to start with though.
     
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  7. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    .

    While checking out the medicine cabinets of abandoned houses, don't forget to check out the cupboards.
     
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  8. pgvoutdoors

    pgvoutdoors (FMR) Wilderness Guide Supporter

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    Good point Harper. Also bed stands, living room cabinets, and women's purses too.
     
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  9. Harper

    Harper Guide

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  10. pgvoutdoors

    pgvoutdoors (FMR) Wilderness Guide Supporter

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    They do say cinnamon is good for you!
     
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  11. Jean

    Jean Guide

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    Pool shock!
     
  12. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    While you have a valid point I'm not arguing.
    but ,
    In the time frame of reacquiring meds, and no power to maintain refrigeration ,it's likely that most critical meds will be void in a month or so .
    1. best solution do every thing you can do to get well , no cheating and do it yesterday.
    2. any one that has them is using them up. most your going to find is the empties .
    3. other option is, to if you must continue using meds, is finding alternatives . the internet is full of alternatives,, trying them now, is better then waiting till the last minuet.
    Growing your own herbs puts you ahead of the game especially if you know how to process the needed ingredients .
    So far as antibiotics, I trust colloidal silver, and I make my own .
     
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  13. pgvoutdoors

    pgvoutdoors (FMR) Wilderness Guide Supporter

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    Arleigh - Some good points, we all hope to be a healthier in the future, and it would be great if it would happen before such an event as we are talking about. If times get really bad it will be tough or impossible to meet your medication needs. Alternative medicine is a feasible alternative for somethings, and as you said it's best to know what you need before you need it. Medications needing refrigeration I wouldn't believe will not be available for long. All your points are well taken, no argument here. Thanks!
     
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  14. Jason10mm

    Jason10mm Supporter Supporter

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    Unfortunately the comprehensive drug reference, the "Physicians Desk Reference" (PDR) is a MASSIVE tome, far too large to carry around. But there are digital versions and numerous drug apps. A pocket drug guide is a good option, as the desktop full guides usually assume a certain level of knowledge from the reader so they may not be easy to decipher if you don't have a background in medicine already while the condensed pocket guides are simplified. Fortunately in todays "patient centered" medical environment there are also lots of patient oriented medical books that simplify things, so read some reviews/sample pages to see if the book is understandable for you. Certainly if you require specific meds then you could (and should) print out some data sheets (even just the wiki page) for each of them so you will know about alternative strategies, substitutes, etc. At the very least keep a copy of those info sheets the pharmacist should give you with each prescription, those usually have quite a bit of useful info if you actually read them :)

    The wilderness/survival medicine books I've read usually have some pharmacy info in them but usually rely on natural remedies or just basic drug usage. I'm not familiar with a book that covers much off-label usage or substitutions for a wide range of drugs, probably because there isn't really much research into such things and it would open you up to significant liability if you advocated for it.

    Antibiotic use is a complex subject that would be difficult to condense into a simple "one sheet". But fortunately there are some pretty good broad spectrum ones that kinda cover everything (the ubiquitous "z-pack" is probably the most common example) and fortunately infections occurring "in the wild" are usually not multi-drug resistant (though this is slowly changing) so the basic drugs should still be effective. Plus good field hygiene and basic wound care can reduce the need for oral antibiotics.
     
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  15. Odinborn

    Odinborn Scout

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    The problem with antibiotics is that some lose their effectiveness and some become outright toxic. If you are unable to keep the pills cool, dry, and in a dark place then they will not last long at all. Azithromycin, or a Z-Pack, is a good antibiotic but it retains a short shelf life compared to a well taken care of bottle of Ciprofloxacin.

    A pill book is a good idea for the first couple months, but after that I wouldn't trust it anymore. The book can't tell you if the medication is 2 months old and still good or if it's 2 years old and is gut rot. I'd rather get a book about herbal remedies.
     
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  16. pgvoutdoors

    pgvoutdoors (FMR) Wilderness Guide Supporter

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    It seems this thread has brought up many great points. A reference book may help in certain circumstances but will be limited in many ways; to be able to use it to its best use you need to have medical training. The full desk top version is a large and heavy book, but smaller abridged paperback versions are available as well as digital versions for your cell phone or computer.

    This discussion has again pointed out the major problem that people will have if their medications are no longer available. When we take medications that are absolutely needed we must have a plan of action for the potential cut off of those meds. Many good ideas have been mentioned here and in other threads. It's our responsibility to do all we can to be prepared.
     
  17. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    PDR is overkill. NDR is way to go.

    (Nursing Drug Reference)

    If you have some medical knowledge I found Tarascon Pocket References helpful.

    Still prefer references in print.
    Simple and Reliable.

    If you have electronic resources, you still have access to the internet which is a endless resource of info.
     
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  18. DKR

    DKR Scout

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    This is related to Bush-crafting how?

    This reads like planning to break into homes and steal stuff - disaster not withstanding, if it isn't yours- it is theft....

    Sorry, I just think these kinds of fantasy / over the top "survivalist" justification threads really detract form the overall tone of the board.

    Of course, if the mods have let this go on.... I will merely note my observation.
     
  19. pgvoutdoors

    pgvoutdoors (FMR) Wilderness Guide Supporter

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    There are few thing you can do if this thread bothers you;
    1. Realize this thread is posted under preparedness not bushcraft skills!
    2. If you don't like the thread don't post in it. In other-words find something you like in the hundreds of threads that are available. Showing your interest in bushcraft you may want to start there.
    3. If it really, really bothers you can contact the forum staff directly and complain to them, but be sure to leave a positive suggestion as well.
    4. And last but not least, Quick Being A Troll!
     
  20. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    @DKR
    I hear your concern, however its a broad enough question that can have some merit in a disaster situation.

    During Katrina and other major disasters folks were running out of routine medications.

    While I do not condone theft, there are times where abandoned resources could be beneficial.

    Given certain circumstances their acquisition could be a morally sound decision.
    In which event it could be helpful to have a cross reference resource in such a case.

    One particular perish that I was in...
    The local law enforcement broke into a pharmacy that was in the flood zone (prior to the flooding) and took all of the inventory. They relocated and secured it on higher ground to be used if needed for the ones staying behind.

    Did they have property owners permission to do such?
    No, the owner moved out and to higher ground and was unable to be contacted.

    The entire area where the pharmacy was located became decimated.
    What good would it have been if the supplies went with it?

    It was a decision that was made for the good of the community.
     
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  21. DKR

    DKR Scout

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    I can see where Parish (county) officials might do that under 'color of law' but even this thought process has side issues.

    Verison (the cell phone co) sent fuel trucks to the area to refuel generators running the cell phone networks.
    They stopped doing that when the "local authorities' kept taking the fuel, at gunpoint is several instances, for needs they saw as 'more important'. I think you can see where this could quickly turn into a shoot out if the same folks decide to 'commandeer' someone's fuel who saw that fuel as necessary for them....

    Theft is still theft. Pi$$ poor planning or no planning isn't an excuse to steal anothers property. It does happen, and oft times the consequences can be fatal.


    This is my last post here, if there something else, please PM. thx.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  22. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    I guess I'm confused......
    I carry the meds I know I need as well as DW carries hers.....with a week's worth of cross overs, each.

    As mine are cardiac related and hers cardio/diabetic meds.....I don't see a lot of alternatives as replacements?
    We do carry normal over the counter stuff...pain cold, stomach, tooth ache, salves etc...a d dressings.

    Our main goal to have a 3-6 months supply on hand.

    I guess I don't see a situation where a book other than general first aid would help me any?
    If foraging for meds...the idea of using the book as a reference doesn't make much since to me.
    You either use find or not...and should know what those would be.

    If you are planning on use alternative remedies.....start doing this now as trials....now.
    Just my opinion and our plan.
     
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  23. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Great question!

    NDRs are a reference on drug names, classifications, dosages, side effects, and interactions.

    Lets say you take Motrin for pain.

    With a cross reference like a NDR you will also find out its also called Advil and Ibuprofen.
    Motrin, Advil, and Ibuprofen are all the same medication. (Brand vs. Generic Names)
    It can advise you on how much you can take (including RX levels).
    For example Motrin is OTC at 400mg, however 800mg is RX strength but still the same medication.
    It also informs you of its potential side effects - IE higher doses it may upset your stomach, cause a blood pressure increase, or increase your chances of bleeding.

    You will note the classification of Motrin is a NSAID. The drug classification tells you how the drug works. With this you may be able to find a substitute when your primary is no longer available.
    If you know it is a NSAID another similar medicine in the same NSAID classification is Aleve
    Aleve is also called Naproxen and Midol that could at times could be used in place of Motrin so fourth and so on.

    This can be done with a vast majority of drugs on the market.
     
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  24. Togus

    Togus Supporter Supporter

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    For books I'd choose the Nursing drug reference over PDR. Micromedix is a great app for your phone. OR...Know more and carry less. Drugs are not all that complicated. Many have prefixes, roots, and suffixes they share. Metoprolol, lebatolol (B/P & HR). Ibuprofen, ketaprofen (nsaids). Tadalafil, avanafil (ed). Lisinopril, captopril (B/P & HR). The "floxa" meds, "cillins" (antibiotics), and "corts and cortisones" (steroidal antinflammatories) . "Sulfa, mab, olones, oprazole", etc. Don't forget the "caines".
     
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  25. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Thanks......
    You realize that you are address a med illiterate civilian.....that refers to meds as:
    Little football one,.... bigger round one with line in it, ....bigger football, kinda pink one....little blue one for special occasions.....
     
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  26. Jason10mm

    Jason10mm Supporter Supporter

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    There is a "legit" need for this knowledge. For example, say you are on a blood pressure med like Coreg. You lost it/ran out/whatever. But your buddy is ALSO on a blood pressure med, Lotensin. Are these actually the same med, just under different names? (answer=no). Do they work the same way, so you could swap them out? (answer=no) Would it still control your blood pressure? (answer=maybe). But your OTHER buddy is also on a blood pressure med, labetalol. That IS pretty similar to Coreg and would be a better choice. Then your last buddy, the one with the low cost health care plan, is on a generic blood pressure med, carvedilol. That IS Coreg, just the generic form, so it would be an exact match for you! Huzzah! Hopefully this last buddy is willing to share and knows his dosage.....:)

    But it would take someone with some knowledge of these meds to figure this out, or a decent drug reference guide. Alas, I know of no layman's "drug substitution" manual, probably because no one really knows how many of these drugs could be substituted. Even brand name and generic versions of the same drug are not necessarily a 1:1 match (I think the quality of the filler makes a big difference), much less different drugs that have the same mechanism of action but are otherwise different (different enough to avoid patent infringement anyway!). What veterinary meds could work? That's a whole 'nuther topic.

    Ultimately, the real solution for most of us is to get off chronic meds entirely. So lose weight, get into shape, eat well...
     
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  27. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    If you have any questions please feel free to PM me.
    Ill try to get you the answers you are looking for or at least point you in the right direction.
    If I don't know it, Ill be up front with you.
    M17
     
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  28. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Thanks I'm good.....
     
  29. Odinborn

    Odinborn Scout

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    I wish I could remember the name of the book, something like "a few seconds after" or something to that affect. It was a fiction novel written about a father's experiences with his family after an EMP was detonated and a war was started on US soil. It gave a good look as to how most of America would act after something like that.

    This thread reminded me of it because his one daughter is an insulin dependant diabetic and after a short while he begins losing his mind trying to find a way to keep her alive. Pills are one thing, but if yourself or a member of your family needs a medication with a ridiculously short shelf life or refrigeration required, forget about it. I don't even know how you would remedy that.
     
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  30. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    "One Second After" by William R. Forstchen. Also, "One Year After."
     
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