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Old 09-11-2013, 13:11   #16
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

Stumble, I'm not sure what brand of EpiPen you are using but the EpiPens that I am aware of specifically say do NOT refrigerate and to store at 68-77 degrees F, keep away from light and to discard if discolored but otherwise they have a year or more shelf-life. Above being not medical advise but just my own personal observation...

Definitely 2nd the point about legal differences between simply pleasure yachts and commercial ships along with simply reemphasizing that working with a doctor familiar with offshore medicine is a great option for a personal ship medicine chest but if going into the situation planning to dispense to 3rd parties even as captain of pleasure yacht without any formal medical training that would be a pretty big red flag for any responsible doctor vs having a doctor give a clean bill of health to yoru crew and write any recommended prescriptions for the individuate crew members you have onhoard...

With MPIC and working under (either remotely or with previously documented protocols) a licensed doctor gives you a TON of latitude, even to the point that if the doctor you work under is confident in your skills to go so far as remotely guiding you through removing an appendix in a remote setting if there were no other options available...

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Old 09-11-2013, 16:02   #17
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

Sunny,

Thanks for that catch, I always thought they were supposed to be refrigerated. Glad I never need to use one!

The expiration date is 18 months from manufacturing, but most of them by the time I get them only have 6months to a year left. It depends on the pharmacy.
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Old 09-11-2013, 16:16   #18
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

Hiya Everyone! The expiration date on a drug is valid IF storage requirements were met AND if the package was NOT opened. Once the packaging has been opened, that expiration date is no longer valid.

While prescriptions are relatively cheap in third world countries, QC is sub-class. When purchasing a drug, it is not unusual to find pills that are broken, or powdery fragments in the bottom of the bottle. You may also get a "sharp smell" due to a lesser filtration during prep; lower/cheaper QC. On the bright side, the active ingredients are the same, albeit not equal in every pill.

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Old 10-11-2013, 03:23   #19
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

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With all due respect for the magnificence CF Members vessels, I doubt that any of them are "ships". The traditional definition of a boat is" a vessel that can be carried on another vessel.

Legally, ships fall into a different legal category than boats, particularly non-commercial pleasure boats. It is well to keep the legal differences in these vessels in mind. They have different requirements and different privileges.

It is certainly wise to exceed the basic first aid kit for extended cruises, particularly to sparsely inhabited regions. But in inhabited areas, many modern drugs and medical supplies are available. often much cheaper than in the US.

For example, the identical pairs of eyeglasses cost $265 in San Diego, $45 in Mexico, and $12 in India. same lenses by same manufacturer.

In Dakar, Senegal,for example, I have had a clerk in a pharmacy hand me the inventory list, and have me list what I want. A doctor was available if I wanted a prescription. The Meds were incredibly cheap.

In Ecuador I bought in date, sealed, tetracycline off a blanket in the market from a 10 year old kid, whose Mom was selling vegetables on another blanket. Again they cost a fraction of US prices.

I suggest you contact cruisers in the first few countries you will enter and find out what is available for how much $. Then build an adequate medicine chest for the trip, and fill out your wish list in the first place with better prices. Prescriptions are usually easily available.

This may not be so in Europe, but in Latin America, Africa, and much of Aisia I have found it to be so.

I don't know I heard that in Mexico the pharmcies won't sell you any medicine you want anymore. Antibiotics and strong painkillers like morphine are almost impossible to get. I have also heard of people buying bunk pills.
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Old 10-11-2013, 03:31   #20
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

There are 3 PDF documents that covers the medical/first-aid knowledge needed when away from immediate professional health services, I link to them at Safety, Health and first aid aboard

I've found that most analgesics and many other medicines are available OTC (over-the-counter) outside of what is still referred to as the 1st world countries and at a fraction of the price. While there is some amount of counterfeit medicine out there, cheap doesn't usually equate to "fake".
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:30   #21
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

Dude, no one anywhere is going to sell you morphine.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:40   #22
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Once out of the US many countries will sell you what is reasonably needed. Interestingly Mexico had such a problem with everyone taking antibiotics that they will sell you an epi-pen but not antibiotic.
I've never seen an epi-pen down here in a year and no pharmacists know what they are. Antibiotics however you can buy like candy.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:12   #23
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

I've bought Epipens for my on-board kit in the BVI, St. Martin (5 Euros!) and Dominica and nobody asked for a presecription and they immediately knew what they were. One pharmacist told me that they were going to make oral epiphedrine applications similar to the oral asthma medicine, that would be awesome compared to that rather scary big needle.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:38   #24
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I've bought Epipens for my on-board kit in the BVI, St. Martin (5 Euros!) and Dominica and nobody asked for a presecription and they immediately knew what they were. One pharmacist told me that they were going to make oral epiphedrine applications similar to the oral asthma medicine, that would be awesome compared to that rather scary big needle.
But for acute anaphylactic shock I think I would want the fast-acting needle, rather than waiting for the oral medicine to get into the bloodstream.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:57   #25
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

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But for acute anaphylactic shock I think I would want the fast-acting needle, rather than waiting for the oral medicine to get into the bloodstream.
Oh, I was thinking of a pill, not an inhaler. Even so, with some types of allergic reaction the victim has difficulty breathing so even an inhaler might be problematic.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:32   #26
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

specific inhalers are excellent in respiratory distress. they are fast acting.
oral pills are an hour to begin to take effect.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:32   #27
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

In the US (don't know where the OP is) the captain of a documented vessel is allowed to order prescription drugs for the ship's medical stores without any rx from a physician. And yes, it is considered a "ship" even if it is a boat.

A local pharmacy will not have any idea what this is about and I believe the correct term is a "dispensary pharmacy" for the ones that can and will fill these requests. I only knew of one in California but if you have any doings with a local pharmacy, the pharmacist should be able to get you connected.

Or, they'll give you a baffled look and take a pass on it.

Either way, US federal law expressly allows for this.
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Old 10-11-2013, 18:34   #28
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

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In the US (don't know where the OP is) the captain of a documented vessel is allowed to order prescription drugs for the ship's medical stores without any rx from a physician. And yes, it is considered a "ship" even if it is a boat.

A local pharmacy will not have any idea what this is about and I believe the correct term is a "dispensary pharmacy" for the ones that can and will fill these requests. I only knew of one in California but if you have any doings with a local pharmacy, the pharmacist should be able to get you connected.

Or, they'll give you a baffled look and take a pass on it.

Either way, US federal law expressly allows for this.

Can you order any medication you want, even painkillers?
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Old 10-11-2013, 19:57   #29
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

AFAIK, yes, although I'd bet the feds would take a look at any Schedule 1 narcotics, etc. going out this way. Or any large or regular shipments of them.
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Old 10-11-2013, 21:02   #30
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Re: Where to get medicine for ships medicine chest?

Medical regulations vary quite a bit from country to country. As one small example, in Canada, you can buy 222s over the counter. I think that they are basically Tylenol III or Tylenol with codeine or something like that. Having them in the US without a prescription is illegal possession of drugs & can land you jail time.
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