How To Save Extra Prescription Meds For Preparedness

extra-prescription-meds

One concern for the preparedness-minded among us is that of their prescription medications, and whether or not there are ways to accumulate extra for ‘just in case’. This is a legitimate concern for many people who rely on medications for their health, and who would like a stash of meds stored away – just like they store extra food…

Here’s how to do it:

 
This method may depend on the drug itself, and your insurance company, but it works… so long as you take proactive measures to make it work.

You can save up extra prescription meds by refilling as early as they will let you. They all let you refill before you literally have one pill left.

How do you find out the earliest day that you can refill your prescription?
Ask your pharmacist (they deal directly with the insurance company).
Ask (call) your insurance company. They will tell you.

Here’s an example:
Lets say you take a blood pressure medication, and you get them filled for a 90-day supply. You may discover that you can refill your prescription after 68 days – which will effectively get you 22 extra pills. See how that works?

The key is to refill on that earliest possible day rather than waiting until you’re almost out.

 
Lets hear your examples or ways that you’ve discovered to acquire extra prescription medications so as to build up a bit of a ‘stash’ for preparedness ‘just in case’…

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80 Comments

  1. My dear wife is one of those poor people who works in a pharmacy and has to be between the doctors and insurance companies and the patients. She just told me she’s finding a few insurance companies who are wanting patients to wait until they only have one pill left to refill a script. That system is getting as “brittle” as our government and our economy.

    1. This method works for medications unless you are in pain.
      Then a different rule applies, It must be 30 days BETween the prescriptions..to receive a 30 day supply…. a Rx filled on 3/1, can’t get same drug until 4/2, next 5/3. Most of the time you will have to skip a dose somewhere or delay doses two or three times to get coverage for the extra day, and don’t let that day fall on a sunday when the only pharmacy that you are allowed to use is closed ..You have to Keep your pain contract don’t you know… but they don’t have to write you a script, nor do they fill it if someone decides you are getting too many pills, even if they don’t reduce it but 3 hours… tough molasses!. If you are in pain you are just trash. just a “seeker” …even if you got that pain from exposure to chemicals during war. If you seek other remedies for pain, and get caught, you will spend time in jail/prison, with NO medication. o’ care has placed the insurance companies between the patient and the Dr. I hope and pray each of those who voted for this travesty of a bill are in acute pain and NO relief for it for a sustained time. I am Fed up!

      1. i know someone who has to use pain meds. the trick is to ask doc for as many as they will prescribe and just take what you need to get by and stay mostly pain free. before long you got a few months worth stuck back. your way works for blood pressure meds, without the hassle of being narcotics its easier to do. just watch the use by dates

  2. Order direct from a Internet pharmacy in New Delhi? Why not, most of the commodity type drugs sold in the US are made there anyway.

    The whole go-to-the-doctor… who sits there and types your every word into the O-care terminal, make your co-pay, waste a couple hours…. go to a pharmacy, wait in line…come back in 30 minutes…. wait in line… sign 5 different legally mandated forms…. make another co-pay,… present your ID. Collect bag with fancy plastic bottles covered in a dozen labels with four more pages of paper that need to be shredded…..

    ~OR~

    ‘click’, ‘click’, ‘clack’ $20 for 500, factory sealed, delivered to your door by a dude named ‘Raj’.

    I’m just not digging the 3-ring circus of American medicine anymore.

    1. McGyver68~

      You always post interesting comments, so thanks!
      This one was exceptionally witty! :)

      1. Internet. Mac is right about most (prescription) drugs being manufactured in India. Surprised the door hasn’t been slammed on this route. Big pharma hates it, and tries to scare people away with BS “lab analysis” reports on “counterfeit” drugs.

        1. There are counterfeit drugs out there, but I doubt it’s all that prevalent. Even an idiot knows that dead customers aren’t repeat customers.

    2. Pay attention to the details of the prescription. Someone counterfeiting a prescription drug probably won’t bother to print the right letters and make the shell just the right color and have the silly cut-me-in-half indentation. If you order an oblong yellow pill with T4 printed on it, be wary if you receive a round blue pill with no letters.

    3. Do you have a favored web site/ company you have used with success? That would really help. for heart and diuretics.. inxurance has stopped covering them, guess they don’t consider the heart important any more.

  3. Most people aren’t aware that a prescription drug can be refilled ‘out of schedule’ if there is an accident. Typical scenario, an older person goes to open a newly refilled bottle and due to the difficulty in opening the lid, the bottle flies out of the person’s hands, the contents spill out, become contaminated (or wet, therefore destroyed).

    Set the scenario up, fill your prescription, wait a day, then contact the pharmacy and inform them of the accident….you will get a new refill to replace the one you just ‘lost’. These new replacement refills are usually still covered with your insurance. Depending upon the insurance, this is permitted one time per year. (Sorry but I don’t have a clue about Obamacare exchanges or Medicaid/Medicare methodologies.) You will pay your co-pay and your total refill count will drop by ‘1’, but you will have obtained an extra 30-day Rx. Of course, this will NOT work with any narcotics….

    Another method to obtain extra prescription medication(s) — just talk to your doctor and tell them that you would like to have a 3-month ‘extra’ supply of your drug at home. A 3-month prescription can be filled outside of your insurance coverage (at a different pharmacy, too). Of course, you are then responsible for the full amount of that Rx. Also, the prescription can be mailed/faxed into Canada for a greatly reduced price on many of the typical prescription drugs. The Canadian firm may or may not verify w/ your physician. If you are up-front with your doctor about wanting an extra supply of your drug, there is no problem.

    1. All of your medical records are online now. So even if you go to a different doctor or a different pharmacy, they will still know you have extra meds.

      1. It doesn’t matter “who” knows. What you want to avoid is a mix-up between you and your insurance company via Rx coverage.

    2. “this will NOT work with any narcotics”

      Natureally. “Pain never killed anyone” they’ll tell you – ignoring the strokes, heart problems etc. that untreated Chronic Intractable Pain causes. The withdrawals from high-dose opiates aren’t all that fun either, but they’re NOTHING compared to uncontrolled pain. My Dx is “Massive nerve damage, Chronic Intractable Pain”. I’ve never had trouble with losing scripts, going thru them too fast – perfect record. Nonetheless like ALL CPPs now I’m being titrated (for bogus reasons) down to a useless dose, which I see NO reason to pay for. Oh, they want me on gabapentin, SSRIs and other psych meds: yep! We’re back to “The pain is ll in your head!” again.

      They always let us get to where we almost have a life back, then it’s all taken away again, and they HAVE NO OTHER solutions. I haven’t decided whether I want to survive this yet again. I’m getting old, and I’m older than I should be. Damn them anyway.

    3. I like your great Idea. This is my missing pice to my preparedness.
      Your Doctor will do Heart meds for 90 days if you ask.You will have to pay for them.Maybe.

    4. Modern Throwback

      or if say, there is some sort of
      mass evacuation
      natural disaster
      total house flooding
      house fire
      etc

      I believe all can usually be refilled/covered..

      Just heard advertisement, for the Mass Evacuation due to Forest Fires, in Alberta, one of the prescription insurers advertise they would be happy to cover re filling prescriptions left behind in mass evacuation. Many had only minutes to prepare / leave. Some even left without shoes, etc..and of course without prescriptions…

  4. I’m not a big fan of prescription medications, nor do I take any at this time. Just lucky so far.

    Also I’m not really big into Herbal Medicines, or Alternatives.

    BUT, I have been doing a LOT more research on going El-Natural meds when the time comes, and I’m sure it will.

    So to the point of “How To Save Extra Prescription Meds For Preparedness” I have been told by people a LOT smarter than I am 95%, or more, of all meds originally are derived from the Plant side of the world.

    Would it not make sense to find the origination of the Meds you are now taking and find out if there is a viable Herbal substitute? Now I’m no doctor by any means, but I do know for FACT there is a LOT of push to “take a pill for this, take a pill for that” including billions of mood altering drugs being dispensed.

    Also find out if the 10 pills a day are really necessary, or if a Doc somewhere “forgot” to take you off one or 5 by mistake. I do know that happened to my Mom, she dropped 3 pills just by the simple question.

    I’m thinking that Prescription Drugs are very, very hard to “stock-pile” so finding an alternate route may be the way to go??? Heck, the Vet won’t even let me stock-pile Heart Worm Meds for Blue, how friggen STUPID is that? Just food for thought.

    NRP

    FYI, Those mood altering drugs…. A shot of shine and a good Homebrew works GREAT for me and is non-prescriptive. AND very very easy to replace.

    1. Home made wine…inexpensive and easy to do. A $40 dollar investment can yield a good profit(27-30 bottles) if you got the time. Barter for meds or services!!!

  5. My hubbie takes a few prescriptions and I only take two. We just came back from being “snow birds” for the winter. We were down south and went across the border into Mexico and bought a years worth of meds for storage. We will still continue to refill them as usual but have the others just in case. We also bought some antibiotics.

    1. Good plan..my husband has cut his 2 day seizure tablet to 1 a day…1/2 morning, 1/2 night!!! We will continue to get refills from VA. Just in case something goes wrong–returns to night seizures,???? etc–we will have extras.

      When we will half the half is another quandary.

      Just trying to wean him from what started when he discontinued gabapentin for leg pain after only one month–some dangerous medicine there.

      1. JJ
        As a spouse of a vet, make sure the medication you are receiving from the VA is what the doctor ordered.

        DH was to receive Vitamin K, they gave him a medication for relaxing him. I wondered why our family doctor looked at me strangely one day when I told him I needed a refill for his K vitamin. Our local VA clinic was on reduced days and doctors so while at the family doctor asked if he could order the vitamin. Was asked “Are you sure this is the correct med?

        When we returned home I went to the on line PDR, to see what the VA was sending him…not what the doctor ordered!!

        After that, any medication he receives gets a review by me and a medical book.

        1. Oh, I’m alert–Leveteracitam from Walmart for emergencies was yellow–I called instantly when opening the back up prescription for emergencies
          (like if Husband drops in sink, well it could happen!!!;-))
          Pharmacist said it was Levetiracetam–they are made in different shapes and colors.

  6. A lot of meds are available at very affordable prices. Walmart and Costco come to mind but shop around as the prices can differ. A quick look online seems to show better prices at Walmart.

    As far as ordering overseas, buyer beware. Some meds are counterfeit. Many are completely legitimate and you are getting them from the same manufacturer that Walmart (or the VA for example) is buying them.

    Beware the designer pharmacies. Don’t pay for the name of the pharmacy as the medication will be the same as far as generics go. A friend was fortunate enough to get a raise at work. Unfortunately when he did he no longer qualified for his state sponsored health insurance and his heart medication was no longer affordable. Remember in One Second After where the doc tells the colonel that all of his heart patients died when they ran out of betablockers?

    Big name pharmacy wanted big name price to fill my friends betablocker and they actually put him at risk of dying in the hope of making an extra $60.00. They told him to come back when he had the money. He told me about it and I saw red. Sorry but this was a case of big pharma profit directly against my friend. What they should have done was transferred his prescription to a more affordable pharmacy. But he didn’t know to ask them to do it. After we talked they did and his $60.00 medication cost him $4.00 at Walmart.

    Anyway the point of this is shop around. You may be able to find your medications at a more affordable price. Trying to get them filled from overseas is probably a good option. If you dropped your 90 day supply of blood pressure or diabetic medication in the toilet there is a good chance that you can talk your pharmacy into a refill. Your insurance probably will refuse to pay for it but you might be able to afford it. Don’t try this with narcotic pain medication, IT WILL NOT WORK! Every excuse you can think of has already been tried by drug seekers trying to get extra narcotics. There is a big market on the street for them.

    Basically the insurance companies pay for the medications and if they allow you to fill it early you might die and they will have paid for an extra $50.00 bucks or so for pills that you didn’t need. Reality is hundreds of thousands of people die every month leaving many unused pills in their medicine cabinets.

    You might try going into a drop-in-clinic as a low income patient. Homeless guy with no insurance or ID. Need a refill for non-narcotic medications and can I get extra refills on that? Some places have free clinics. Others have low fees to pay to see a physicians assistant or a nurse practitioner. If your needs appear to be legitimate you can probably get away with it.

    For those traveling overseas you might be able to get medications while traveling. Mexico is a great place to shop for medication as many of the prescription medication in the states are over the counter in Mexico. Coming back through customs with a 1000 non narcotic blood pressure pills is not likely to be a problem as it is not an abused medication.

    For some medications you might be able to skip an occasional dose to build up an extra supply. DO NOT TRY THIS WITH MEDICATIONS THAT REQUIRE A THERAPUTIC LEVEL TO BE EFFECTIVE! YOU COULD DIE! Certain heart medications and seizure medications come to mind. Do the research, if you are reading this you can look up the medications you take on the internet.
    Just my thoughts. Good luck

    1. Mexico will let you bring 90 days worth back through. Although they don’t keep track of how many times you go over and back again.

      1. Its been a while since I’ve crossed the border, but I think they do keep track of how often you cross. We use our passports as I.D. and the U.S. border guard (none on Mexican side) did note our last visit vs. now.

        Used to be very easy crossing anti-biotics, but they are cracking down on the various medications that can be crossed. The ones that can’t are confiscated. Go ahead and ask ahead of time, the guards know we are just trying to save a buck.

    2. I probably should add that some prescription medications are available without a prescription but at a reduced dose. Typically half of the milligrams. Solution is take two half dose pills to equal the prescription strength.

      Ibuprofen is a good example. You need a prescription to buy 400mg tablets, 600 mg tablets or 800 mg tablets. Over the counter tablets are 200 mg and if you can’t do the math on that you shouldn’t be passing on your genes.

      Benadryl can be sold as an antihistamine up to 25 mg. It needs a prescription for 50 mg. Except if you are buying it as a sleep aid, then you can buy it at 50 mg without a prescription.

      Frequently you can buy large bottles of non prescription medications from behind the pharmacists counter at a significant savings.

      Generic medications are generally the way to go. The active ingredient is the same but what it is mixed with maybe different. Some of these pills would be so small they would be difficult to pick up if they were not mixed with something to bulk them out. Digoxin comes to mind. It is available as 0.125 mg or a 0.25mg tablet. Think of how small that pill would be. A standard aspirin is 325 mg. Which means a digoxin 0.125mg would be 1/2600 the size of the aspirin! And that assumes the aspirin is not mixed with something either.

      1. generic Omeprazole (prilosec) can be doubled in place of a script. I have done that on occasion.

    3. me says:”For some medications you might be able to skip an occasional dose to build up an extra supply.”

      this is exactly what I have done for two of my meds. I just rotate out the old to use first and hold the new in reserve. I now have an extra 90 day supply and am working on my next 90 supply.

      me says: “DO NOT TRY THIS WITH MEDICATIONS THAT REQUIRE A THERAPUTIC LEVEL TO BE EFFECTIVE! YOU COULD DIE!”

      This is absolutely correct. My hubby changes diabetic meds on a regular basis to try to stay off insulin, so my method doesn’t work for him. My sister as to take a thyroid med and it’s very difficult for her to save back/build up a supply.

      1. Some meds are still good for years; some start losing their potency after expiration; some become toxic. Be careful.

        I don’t take any meds except a multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement. But my 14-year-old dog gets prednisone for his back. When I took him into the vet today for grooming, I asked for an extra two-month’s of his prednisone. No problem. Note that this is the same prednisone that they give to humans. Lots of animal meds are the same as human and easier to get. Plus there is no Obamacare computer record as there is if you go to a people doctor or people pharmacist.

        1. DaisyK

          wondering maybe if folks there go to a farm supply store, these can be purchased off the shelf?

          used to be the case in Canada.

          now, not so sure.

          plus, any farm supply stores I have purchased anything from in past couple yrs, one MUST give one’s name/address/phone etc (verified by I.D./picture I/D etc)…even if purchased twine or bird seed, never mind something like that.

          1. depends on location nd age of purchaser on some items. injectable penicillin can be bought for swine, last time i checked and needles and syringes, drawing salve is cheaper in large jar there too…12$ for 24 oz, beats price of 5$ for 1.5 oz.

      2. I take 4 different meds – 2 blood pressure, 1 cholesterol, 1 diuretic. Once a week I skip taking them and put them away. Over a period of months and years I have built up a pretty good stash. Once in awhile I replace the older ones with newer ones. Works for me!

  7. DH receives his meds through an on line service, it is shipped every 90 days except for his pain meds. Which I have to pick up his script take it to the pharmacy to have it filled every 30 days. It is regulated due to to the “new health care system”. He is a man who has never abused his meds, and true be told if he could do without them he would.

    Realizing what was coming our way years ago we realized that the .govs would be controlling every aspect of our lives, and his meds were one we learned to count set aside, and rotate as the new supply came in, should a disaster occur.

    They are kept in a cool dark closet, or you can use a wine cooler for the correct temperature and humidity. We purchased one after a family member who works in the drug industry recommended it. FYI

  8. That Big place on the internet named after a river in South America has Very Good prices on OTC meds. The ones sold there by non-Big Pharma are like the generic versions. Read the Reviews to know which generic is the best and leads the rest—like, oh, I don’t know…maybe ones that start with the big letter K.” :>)

  9. Remember to rotate supplies too folks… first in, first out so the effectiveness will stay at its peak.

  10. Even 2 pills every thirty days is two more in reserve. So if the pharmacy won’t let you refill until you’re down to the wire, keep that one or two pills as a fallback. Make darn sure you fill that prescription at the earliest possible moment!

    Another option with some medications would be to find herbal alternatives and phase out the pharmaceuticals but continue to refill the prescription.

  11. I’ll Tell how I get my meds for just my co pay and have 6 month supply or more. I’ve been with my PCP for years and have a good rapport with him. One day I came out and asked him if he could double my meds, and give me a 90 script. All the while I told him I would still take the original 1 pill per day.

    Now the other dishonest part. I called my PCP and told the office nurse I went away for a week end trip and left all my meds at a hotel. I told the nurse the hotel could not locate my meds. U guessed it another 3 months supply..

  12. In the past I’ve been able to get samples of my thyroid meds. However, the last time I tried they had a limited amount. They said the pharmaceutical companies are cutting back on giving samples out. I have also researched how it was done prior to big pharma ;-)

    1. Google ‘porcine thyroid hormones’. You can find thyroid hormone replacements there with no prescription.

  13. Don’t forget fish antibiotics and many of the things you can buy at farm supply stores for horses, cattle, sheep etc.

  14. Oh Boy, the BEARS are up and around. We will be standing vigil tonight aided by our oldest Mama cow Iris who HATES the bears. She caught wind of them earlier today and went on a rampage. It is almost hilarious to watch. They are now realizing there is new fencing, a new hen house (fully stocked) and geese screaming at the gates, so we shall see how well we all fare over the next few days (and nights).

  15. Asked my Dr. about getting a B.P. Rx for extended travel, etc. He said that as it was a generic anyway and not expensive, no problem. I just took it to a pharmacy that I don’t usually use and told them that it was on a cash basis (from $2-$10 for 90 days,) they refill the Rx thru his office. I now have approx 2 years of BP meds stored/rotated. I use the regular ins co. mail-in pharmacy for my normal Rx. Works like a charm. But even as Ken writes above, get them filled as soon as they let you, and you can store up the others too.

    1. Also, as it pertains to my BP, I know from weight loss in the past, that as I become thinner and lose weight in a SHTF scenario I will most likely have to reduce my meds which will stretch them even longer. There are also naturals (Jamaican and Thai Roselle) that I am cultivating for the 1st time this year to add to the medicine box.

        1. Thanks JJ; I’ll check up on Hawthorn berries. I have heard of them mentioned here before, but didn’t pursue them. With Kens article, it seems the opportune time to do so.

    2. Actually, I do to. I use my regular insurance for my BP med and fill another prescription at my expense for backup medication. Eventually the different pharmacies will catch on but in the meantime I’ll just keep stockpiling them.

  16. It amazes me how so many are dependent on government meds. I know the hole point of this sight (pun intended) is to help the prepared, but if you depend on government made meds, you are already a loss and a cost to human survival.

    The worst thing I have come to find about survival, is that the weak, still want to survive, instead of sacrificing, sometimes their own life to save those that are “sustainable”. I can say that I may not be the savior to lead everyone to plentiful crops and resources, but I will not be a drag on the group. Hate to say it, but if you are already weak in the beginning, you will be even more so during stress, and that’s without people shooting at you.

    1. Your looking at it all wrong Joe. Yes there are a lot of people that are dependent on meds to keep them alive and functioning, but even those folks have something to contribute to a group. It could be their knowledge, or if unable to do any physical activities they can still be sentries. Maybe just a babysitter to the very young so the parents can work the garden or haul the firewood.

      I think the wisdom of some of the older generation is very important in a groups survival. My husband has some serious health issues and knows that after some of his medications run out he is likely not long for this world, but he plans on being as much help until the very end.

    2. Joe, I don’t think you are really thinking this through. Darn close to 100% of Americans over 65 are on Medicare which is in part a government sponsored health plan that pays a lot of the cost of medication. Add to that hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans on medications due to their service connected disabilities. Literally millions and millions of school age children who depend on the government for help when they are ill. I’m kind of guessing here but I think you probably have a job and pay your own way. Once again, millions and millions of Americans used to have jobs but have lost them, frequently through no fault of their own. Now let me give you a scenario, all of a sudden you’re thirsty all of the time, your vision has changed and you’re so weak you can hardly get out of bed. Congratulations! Welcome to the world of type 2 diabetes. Now your health care costs have just gone through the roof and without medications you are going to die in the very near future. Oh and you just lost your job. No money for health care but the medication you are going to need is available through the government. Tell me you are to proud to take it. Granted, with diabetes you’re probably going to die fairly soon after the system breaks down but if you’d rather die you might as well do it now and save resources for others.

      1. Sorry, that may have been a bit on the harsh side. I hope you have a long and fruitful life. I also hope you wish the same for the rest of humanity. You did sound kind of like Ebenezer Scrooge there with his comments about the surplus population.

        1. I think it’s intriguing that those who scream about “excess population” always seem to exclude themselves from that category. “:)

    3. @ Joe
      I would tend to agree with Peanut Gallery.

      I happen to be one of those Old Fat Guys that would probably slow down a group running across 400 miles to a BOL, or doing security in a 5 mile perimeter from base camp…. In the same breath, I’m betting that with my knowledge and expresses I won’t need to be doing that “run” or Security Detail. That’s what the young uniformed are for.

      Ever see a General in the Military out for that 4:00AM 15 mile run? Ever see a Ship Captain of a “Flat-Top” doing a rebuild of the on-deck catapult?
      It takes a LOT more then grunts to make a “group”, Those people you call the “weak” may just be the people that can show you how to find food/water in the middle of the Desert , or keep you from doing that hike into the gates of hell.

      But this is an open discussion Blog, and I, as all do, welcome different points of view, Right, Wrong or Indifferent we all have our thinking.

      NRP

    4. Joe, why would you be surprized? have you been asleep?. They spray poison from airplanes that goes on the crops, in the air and in the water. then they put by products from the production of aluminum in the water to add to the toxic effects. If you live long enough you too whill have diabetes and heart failure so you require a water pill to help clear fluid from your vital organs. The only cure for living to be old is dying young, and I have already passed that marker. Wake up and be nice. No one requires you post, if you find the topic odd.

  17. I keep my emergency backup meds sealed in foodsaver bags. Add oxygen absorbers and store in cool dark place. I got Cillins from Mehico online pharmacies. Shipping and handling seemed high though. Luckily my PCP is willing to write scripts for my needs and I can get CVS to fill them.

  18. I think I’ve mentioned a couple times that I am using hibiscus tea to keep blood pressure in what is currently considered the normal range. The doctor gave me a prescription and thought that I would try this first and for 3 months now have filled the script but not used it.

      1. At first I purchased it at the health food store but it’s a lot cheaper to buy a pound of it off of amazon. The one in bags is made by Traditional Medicinals and is also available online.

    1. Hawthorn has several actions it is available to grow and make own tincture. Might want to investigate it for B/p cardiac function / CHF etc..

  19. Thanks to all for their informational comments. I am on no prescription meds, husband takes a couple. He has accumulated extras. I am much more interested in natural alternatives, both for myself & family & our animals.

    When I first chose to adventure into herbal & alternative medicines, I was fortunate enough to find a small Health food store whose owners were willing & gracious enough to share her knowledge with me. I have maintained that relationship with this owner since 1991. She has allowed me to do my research using her in store reference books, pick her brain for suggestions of what might work for the latest health issue I’m concerned about. I do my best to buy what I can from her, but have to tell you I usually find more affordable alternatives online. Being on a limited budget means being creative!

    For those wondering if God put things here in nature to help us with every health issue known: Yes! Most have few if any side effects. That was one of the driving forces behind my journey: the side effects from the prescriptions I was given for various sinus infections, UTI’s, bronchitis & kidney issues was worse than being ill… I was tired of being sick & tired all the time.. FYI, I’ve gone from chronic sinus infections & UTI’s & kidney stones requiring weekly visits to the doctor to 2-3 visits a year.

    A good reference book on herbal & nutritional supplements to start with is Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis Balch. It should be available online for about $20-25.00

    I also have begun learning about essential oils for healing. I am very impressed by the overall improvement in the health of myself & the animals I have treated with the oils. Herbal Supplements & Essential Oils are definitely in our medical kit!

    A good essential oil reference is the Desk Reference for Essential Oils…about 800 pages. The pocket version of this is about 400 pages & is online for about $20-25.00, the expanded hardback is closer to $70 but goes into much more detail. The Animal Desk Reference for Essential Oils is also excellent, runs closer to $70 online. It does give you over 600 pages of information…

    Non prescription antibiotics are online or in pet stores as fish antibiotics. Most will last 5-10 years past expiration dates. If purchasing online from overseas, be sure to check the feedback or comments & buy from reputable dealers. Those items packaged in blisterpacks would last the longest once they were needed as opposed to the bottle with pills.

    1. In our medical culture we isolate one chemical and say “this is what works.” But nature doesn’t work that way. There may be one chemical in the plant that lowers BP, and another that settles an upset stomach, and another that prevents the headaches created by the first. It’s a chemical symphony, not a solo. Phytochemicals work in concert with each other, not in isolation. The whole plant is necessary to get the effect we need. Instead we isolate the chemicals, slap a label on them, patent them, and sell fifteen other drugs to counteract the side effects.

      1. My 3 closest relatives are all on 6 to 8 prescriptions. None would ever think of taking something ‘natural’ – I mean geepers the doctor might not approve of that.

        1. aka

          yes…I know just what you mean…

          a couple of relatives (relative and in law), had long insisted they “took nothing”..Well, wonder what they consider “taking something”. One day at their home, they had left the inside cupboard swing open, where they stored “prescriptions”..Yikes…it seemed like there were enough prescriptions there for the entire block.

          these same ones, when complaining about some ailments/prescription side effects, were obscenely negative/ rudely negative at the very idea of “something natural suggested” as it wasn’t prescribed by Doctor..

          ah well…..

        2. Of course the medical Dr will not approve. Most have zero knowledge of herbals. If everyone should use herbals big pharma would be broke, can’t let it interfere with the money….got to keep you getting sicker and sicker so you can pay for another medication…got to get your money someway..

    2. There is only a couple of meds that would not be safe to use past date. But you can suspend most dates by packing in oxygen free packaging, and sealing well…will still be fresh when you pop the seal and need them, just label well, so don’t hve to open unnecessarily.

  20. Yes I do hear a lot of negative comments from folks unwilling to do the research & learn about alternatives to prescription drugs & treatments. Some are totally unaware of such alternatives, some just plain not interested. They are entitled to their opinion, just as I am to mine. Hopefully I plant seeds when communicating with folks like that… what they do with it is their choice.

    I choose to learn what I can do to be in charge of my own health. I choose to eat a more whole food diet instead of the processed & fast food diet of my past. I choose to find things that will help me rebuild my immune system & life from the inside out. I choose to use less toxic & more natural cleaning products in my home & job. I choose to consult my physician when necessary but have told him upfront my feelings on prescription drugs.

    I think realizing I had a choice is key to wanting to do anything. Realizing it is a process & not an overnight sensation is liberating. I am not where I want to be, but I am definitely a lot further along than I was in 1991.

    It is the same with prepping. It is my choice to prepare for emergencies, disasters & anything else I can think of. I am blessed with a husband who has chosen to not stick his head in the sand, either. Living in Florida, if nothing else we get to prep for hurricane season each year.

    1. @anglecrest
      I believe you just hit the nail on the head….

      “I choose to learn what I can do to be in charge of my own health”

      I would bet to say 90% of the people in this country do NOT even think that way. Way too easy to go to the Doc and let him/her toll you what chemical to take now.
      NRP

  21. Seems like this post should also address shelf-life issues that exist for many medications?

    1. It has been addressed as to the dates, but not date ..note above… to keep meds fresh it hhas been noted to rotate and to store properly, in oxygen free packing, it stops the breakdown of the chemicals.in most medications… no oxygen no oxadation and breakdown. there is only one or two antibiotics that are toxic when past date, those I made it a rule to NOT stock, however i have a natural product that takes the place of it…and it/they stock for 5 or more years.

      1. JustSayin’

        what is the natural product which takes the place of?

        good info to know, please…?

  22. Ian you might try.. an alternative therapy Dr. K Lazer light is showing some promise with nerve pain. If you are in Witchita ks, there is a good but expensive clinic there, they use a multi-pronged approach nutrition, cleansing,detox of heavy metals..etc.If we knew it would help without a doubt, we would borrow the money to be pain free… K-Lazer is becoming wider spread for both pets and humans. Gabapentin gave DH kidney stones. be careful to drink plenty water and add lemon to your water at least daily.
    There are some herbal oils, and there is a mixture called the morphine bomb,One lady said she used for sciatica…the recipe :.Essential oils,pure..frankinsence, lemongrass and oregano 6 drops of each., put the drops in a empty veggie cap.swallow, they said some relief as early as 15 min, took closer to 30 for DH to notice a difference. Has only taken one.

  23. Turmeric is a great natural pain relive and anti-inflammatory and is easy to find in large quantities online. My wife says it works great.
    Also I read a well known prepper dr. say that acetaminophen and ibuprofen work differently and can be taken together for a oxycodone like result. I have tried it for bad headaches and it worked.

  24. My pharmacy recently changed from filling a 90 day supply of my generic bp medication to only a 30 day supply. I could still get the 90 day supply but it was for a very high price. I filled my 30 day supply.
    Soon after I saw that the new grocery store in town (Publix) was offering my medication for free. Yes free. I transferred my rx to Publix and they fill a 90 day supply the same day. So now I have the 20+ pills left from previous refills, a new 30 day supply, and now a 90 day supply. The 90 day is on a automatic refill, which gives me a ‘floating’ 50 pill extra supply.

    Just remember to FIFO your pills.

  25. As an RN, I have been dispensing meds to people for several decades. When I have questions, I contact the pharmacist. Readers of this site may be happy to find out that many pharmacists are into preparing too. One of the most pertinent questions is shelf-life of medications. For whatever you take, find out the shelf-life and ROTATE your stock. For me that means to keep medications in their original containers where the following info is on the label:

    Prescribing MD, Dosage instructions, Expiration date, Cautionary notes.

    Keeping all containers within a medicine cabinet or in a ziplock bag when traveling is something I do and it helps the paramedics should I become unresponsive. (Yes, I was also an EMT/Paramedic prior to becoming an RN.)

    Herbal medicine is gaining a foothold within the medical field in recent years. (notice that the questionaire at the Dr’s office gives you space to add things under: “OTHER”) This is wise and needed as most of our medications are extracted from plants in the first place.

    Joe: You may be right about the weak being the first to go but my years driving ambulance and treating people within hospitals have shown me that ALL OF US needs help at some time. Now that I am in my 50’s (the most popular demographic for this site) I see older people taking medications for any number of reasons. Odds are, if you reach my age, you will be taking something everyday to manage a health condition. Most of us in our 50’s realize we have made it here by blind luck/ God’s grace in addition to our hard work and fortitude. Those of us in our 50’s also know of people that did not make it to 50 or passed in some tragic way. (I tell a lot of stories to my younger coworkers and the rookies I train) Life is terminal. The best we can do is to go out on our terms.

    To Ken: Great Blog, Keep up the good work. and I have 2 books I recommend for people taking meds these days within their home: Taber’s Medical Dictionary and Davis Drug Guide for Nurses. Both books are relatively jargon free and easily readable. The Ultimate guide to drugs and pills out there is the Physician’s Desk Reference. (it is as big and heavy as the Oxford English Dictionary! Probably not suitable for your bug-out-bag)

  26. Lots of great ideas here but the reality is No matter how well you prep, at some point, you will go through the meds you have saved. When there is no natural remedy available, what can I do when shtf for my daughter’s seizures and the progressive damage caused by them? She is already on medical marijuana and cbd oil which we already know doesn’t control her seizures on it’s own.

  27. Kat
    I just came across your post.

    Not a medic, nor pretend to be one.

    Not sure what your daughters ailments are.
    Your further concerns could be answered here.,.,

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