When we talk about survival, it’s the marquee dangers that carry the conversation: snakebite, gunshot, bear attack. Nobody mentions the microscopic bug in your intestines that causes such severe diarrhea that you die from dehydration, or the plaque that dislodges from an arterial wall to stop your heart. Not a word of the bee sting that induces anaphylactic shock, asphyxiating you as mercilessly as the coils of a python. Such little things can kill you, but other little things can save your life. In a wilderness emergency, these five pharmaceuticals can be very big medicine. Use the list as a guide, and consult with your doctor.
For – Chest pain, aches, and to reduce fever.
Dosage – Chew and swallow four 81mg chewable tablets at the onset of chest pain. For aches and fever, follow label directions.
Warning – If you’re allergic to aspirin, other over-the-counter pain relievers can reduce fever, but they don’t thin blood.
Anti-Diarrheal (Imodium A-D)
For – Relief from severe diarrhea that causes dehydration.
Dosage – Swallow two tablets initially, followed by one tablet after each loose bowel movement, not to exceed four tablets daily.
Warning – Consult a doctor before using other antidiarrheals containing bismuth salicylate (Pepto-Bismol).
For – Severe nausea and vomiting, leading to dehydration.
Dosage – Place one to two 4mg oral dissolving tablets on the tongue every 4 to 6 hours as needed.
Warning – Phenergan suppositories are cheaper, but side effects include twitchy muscles and restlessness; relieve them with Benadryl.
AntiAllergy (Epinephrine supplemented by Benadryl)
For – Allergic reactions to stings or foods, resulting in anaphylactic shock.
Dosage – Inject medicine using an EpiPen. Supplement with Benadryl at the onset of allergy symptoms, 50mg every four to six hours.
Warning – The effects of epinephrine are temporary. Seek medical assistance as quickly as possible.
For – Pneumonia; bronchitis; and skin, soft-tissue, sinus, or urinary infections.
Dosage – Take 750mg once per day.
Warning – Levaquin is not recommended for children or teenagers. Check with your doctor for alternatives.