Fish Antibiotics For Preparedness


Among the many articles that I’ve read regarding ‘fish antibiotics’ being the same thing as antibiotics prescribed for humans, I recall a few articles over on Rawles website. One of them, written by a doctor (who is apparently into prepping), ordered a variety of ‘fish antibiotics’ for his preps – to discover that these antibiotics were the same that he would otherwise prescribe to his patients.

When the bottles arrived, I dug out my photographic drug reference and found that these are indeed the same pills that are given to humans, right down to the tablet color and markings.

It makes business sense. It costs less for drug manufacturers to have one production line for each drug, rather than to build a separate process exclusively for veterinary medicines.

These are the same generic antibiotics that can be found on many pharmacy formularies.

Here’s a list of some of the ‘fish antibiotics’:


Disclaimer: Nothing in this article constitutes medical advice. It is for information purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any disease. Never take any medication that was not prescribed specifically for you by your physician. Hopefully, this information can help you be a more informed and involved patient. Short of a true post-SHTF scenario, I strongly advise you not to self-diagnose and treat.

Penicillin (Fish-Pen)
Today, penicillin is only used as first choice for one infection– strep throat. That’s it.

Ampicillin (Fish-Cillin)
A good choice for strep throat, sinus infections, ear infections, some urinary tract infections, pneumonia, meningitis.

Amoxicillin (Fish-Mox)
Amoxicillin is used for basically the same infections as ampicillin with the addition of being effective against lyme disease and stomach ulcers. A probable first choice to have this one of the three penicillin’s.

Cephalexin (Fish-Flex)
Also known as Keflex. Effective against streps and the staphs. Important: Staph aureus (Staph – the #1 cause of wound infections worldwide).

Ciprofloxicin (Fish-Flox)
Broad-spectrum. First line agent for complicated UTI’s and kidney infections, bone and joint infections, typhoid, prostatitis, abdominal infections, gonorrhea, plague, and anthrax.
Note: Cipro carries a Black Box warning because it is associated with tendonitis and tendon rupture (most often the Achilles tendon… 1 out of a 1,000 chance).

Doxycycline (Fish-Doxy)
Broad-spectrum. The preferred agent in treating Chlamydia, Typhus and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Cholera. Doxy will also work against Anthrax, Plague, Tularemia, and Legionnaires disease. While not FDA approved for this, it will also treat Lyme disease.
Note: Doxy should be taken on an empty stomach. Should not be taken by children under age 8 or by pregnant women.

Metronidazole (Fish-Zole)
Known under its trade name, Flagyl. Broad-spectrum. Used for STD’s. Used for Clostridium difficile (or C. diff, as it is often abbreviated). It can kill some parasites – often used to treat Giardia lamblia (via contaminated water). Used for infections suspected to be caused by dental abscesses, aspiration pneumonia, intra-abdominal infections, lung abscesses, stomach ulcers caused by the bacteria Heliobacter pylori, and tetanus.

Clindamycin (Fish-Cin)
Very broad-spectrum. Able to kill a wide variety of both aerobic gram positive (streps and staphs) and anaerobic gram negative bacteria, but gram negative aerobes (like C. diff) are resistant. Most strains of CA-MRSA are killed by Clinda. A first line agent for skin and soft tissue infections (streps and staphs), pelvic infections, intra-abdominal infections (like peritonitis and diverticulitis), lung infections caused by Strep pneumo (lung abscesses, pneumonia, and empyema), bacterial vaginosis, and CA-MRSA.

Related: The Survival Medicine Handbook

Note: Do your due-diligence. This is not medical advice.


  1. Thanks for this info; including some trade names helps.
    IMHO Clindamycin is good to have, esp. for puncture wounds in a no-Tetanus-booster available situation.

    Reminder to self: get that booster shot!

    1. You can get the Tetanus booster at many pharmacies without a prescription. Tetanus is a truly horrible way to die a slow and agonizing death!

        1. Click on the ad to the right. They have a page with the expiration dates of their current supply.

        2. On page 506 of the Survival Medicine Handbook says:
          FEMA tested their stockpiled medications, mostly antibiotics.

          And found that almost all medication in pill or capsule form were 2 to 10 years after their expiration dates.
          (I am not a Doctor,so this is not medical advice, just something I read in a book!!) LOL?

        3. If it’s liquid med or life-or-death med it pretty much expires on the date listed. If it’s a pill, 2-10 years after expiration date med retains approx 75% efficacy.

    2. Funny, I just said to DH 3 days ago that we were due for a 10 year booster….ranching and all. So, yesterday he slips and punctures himself and I had to give him 5 stitches! Tomorrow we both go to health dept for tetanus boosters! Health dept gives them to locals for $10.00 each!
      DH is a big baby….but keeping lidocaine in the fridge and stitches and tools handy, I am able to keep him going! LOL

      1. @ pioneer woman

        I’m thinking a #16 fishing hook with a 20 pound test line coated in Clindamycin ??? OUCHHHHH
        He’s one tough hombre…


  2. Fish Sulfa Forte also know as Sulfamethoxazole Trimethoprim is the same as Bactrim DS or Septra DS. The DS stands for double strength. IMHO it is my first choice for staph infections. It is also used for urinary tract infections, ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia. Cephlosporins don’t work on MRSA which is an increasingly found strain of Staph. Sulfa is still a good choice for most strains of MRSA.

    One of the problems with antibiotics is that they kill the good bacteria along with the bad. A frequent problem with treating urinary tract infections is a fungal infection that follows. This happens when the good bacteria that “eat” the fungus are knocked down. Thomas Labs also carries Ketoconazole which is an antifungal.

    Diarrhea also frequently occurs when good bacteria in the gut are knocked down. Pro-biotics to jump start the good ones are also a good plan.

    The article on Rawles website was posted 11/10/15. It was a great one and I printed it for my binder.

  3. I have found all of them on eBay. I try to order from American sellers to make sure I am getting the same product. Foreign sellers are probably OK but I like to be extra sure. I can find these at usually cheaper price on eBay. I love the antibiotic and have taken several of them in the past. Great alternative than paying for a doctor visit and then high priced antibiotics. Another great idea is the PDR book. Physicians Desk Reference for Medications. It tells the dosage, how often to use, and which antibiotic to use for each problem plus all other medicines.

  4. Good info, but hard/impossible to find in Canada.

    Have looked at pet/fish/livestock stores, and cannot find them. What I might find are very small quantities of some, at huge prices. Also, any farm/livestock stores, now take full I.D. info for any purchase. (any purchase…weird)

    Any one know of any business in Canada where one can walk in and purchase these?

    1. I don’t know in Canada but you can find them all on on the internet.

    2. Canagagal
      If you referring to animal biotic, will ask my niece, this is of her expertise. When I have an answer will let you know, she travels into Canada on business trips.

  5. Does Tom at camping survival have any more information about over the counter fish biotics being more regulated after the first of the year? I heard that locally and would suggest we all top off our supply if this is the case.

    1. @Texas boy

      They don’t deliver to Canada. If we want meds we have to provide an American address.


  6. I use Thomas Labs and have wondered if they were a reputable site for these drugs.
    Glad to see their name used here and another site.

    1. I’ve had no complaints with them. You can never tell where the medication is coming from but then a lot of the medications coming from overseas are good quality. Could be counterfeit but there is really no way for the layperson to check. EBay ratings on buyers might be helpful. Thomas Labs is on Amazon.

  7. Wow I just investigated the Doxy that I’m proscribed and the fish is 1/5 that cost! But what happened, IIRC maybe 15years ago I could get a 30day supply at Wal-Mart or Walgreens for FREE.
    Thanks for idea Ken.

  8. Since we have animals, the above items have been on the storage list. We have power outages so the liquids will breakdown quicker than powder or capsules form.

    We try stocking the list above at least 5 units per med and different mg’s for the unknown infection.

    They can be climate controlled by a wine cooler for the humidity and temperature, along with no light. I personally store mine in a fgb in a dark room with the lid off, the room is cooled in the summer. Yes, I have a wine cooler for them, but we have been burned out before, so I want these to be a grab and go during the fire season.

    As some mentioned, we have heard the rumor of a clamp down on getting meds for the animals making it more difficult.

    Next question I have come across, we have used them when we had to but…here is the kicker. If you over use these after a time your body builds up an immunity to the meds and you end up biotic resistant. Hence a word of caution before using them for a cold or ??. Where did I hear this from, our family doctor of course. Who is being trained to be self reliant, when we have time for him. He is a work in progress.

  9. For anyone living near the border or willing to take a trip SOUTH…..You can buy any/all of these antibiotics without a prescription in Mexico at a REALLY good cost. And EPI PENS too. Forget American doctors and their desire/demand for a visit and a script!!!

  10. I’m just wondering how do you know how much to take and for how long? What about the dosing for kids? And how do you find out about contra-indications? We have grand kids of different ages and sizes and both of us have pre existing conditions. Does anyone here know of a reliable source for this info?

    1. Vickie
      You will need to locate a used PDR book, PDR=Physicians Desk Reference. It will be pricy even a old used version but it will assist you with the questions you were asking.
      Readers Digest put out a paperback version on medications, mine is in storage. The coverage page shows different medications, I found mine in a used book store.

    2. Just go online and order an updated Nurse Drug Reference guide. They are inexpensive and will tell you everything you need to know.

  11. Just remember side effects, contraindications etc. They are all listed in the ndr. Like cipro has now been found to cause peripheral neuropathy. Not good. It is definatelt risk vs benefit with that one. Also don’t forget allergies.
    Retired rn

  12. Fish antibiotics are all I have taken for infections and wounds for many years and I am over seventy. I can’t say they are right for anyone else, only that they work very well for me. I have dogs that get inflamed snake bites and cuts and the fish antibiotics work very well for them too. I am careful not to take any antibiotic that I might be allegoric to and look up the required dosage for myself. Antibiotics are good for the large stuff you might develop but by being sanitary and always having a bottle of iodine for the small everyday cuts you can avoid complications leading to larger treatment. Be careful and only drink water that you know is drinkable. Wear rubber gloves when dressing game like feral hogs and deer if you possibly can. Fresh deer hides can have a load of dangerous ticks on then so be careful with them.
    There is many common sense things you can to stay healthy says this old swamp rat.

  13. What about using essential oils as antibiotics? I have found that Lemongrass essential oil – EO – is great for cuts and scrapes. It being a ‘hot’ oil you would mix it with another oil such as olive oil or coconut oil before applying. Apply around an open cut not in. Also apply to the bottoms of the feet. Oregano essential oil is also good. EO’s can be kept for life. Keep in a cool dark place if possible; out of sunlight and away from heat.

    1. OOH, Yeah! Good tip, thanks! I’ve used various herbal formulas, like Dr Christopher’s & I swear by cinnamon, garlic & tumeric for their various anti-inflammatory, antibiotic & antimicrobial properties but haven’t delved into EOs

  14. I’m adding this comment onto an article from 2016 about Antibiotics for SHTF. I had purchased a number of these many years ago to keep my ‘fish’ healthy, just in case..

    New question for 2023.. For those of you who have purchased antibiotics for ‘just in case’.. Which did you choose?

    Not long ago I purchased Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Disease book. I trust his guidance, given he’s a MD, and into prepping. However his list is long (naturally, since he’s a doctor). Great reference book by the way..

    One wonders if you could only choose four, which choices would be the best four antibiotics (or thereabouts) to cover the majority of the more likely use-case needs that may arise..

Comments are closed.