We are talking about a pain protocol for preppers. However, the editor’s have an important message before we get started.
Editor’s Introductory Proviso: I’m not a doctor, and I don’t give medical advice. Mentions of any medicine or medical treatment is for informational purposes only and are in no way endorsed or accredited by SurvivalBlog.com, or its principals. SurvivalBlog.com is not responsible for the use or misuse of any product advertised or mentioned on the SurvivalBlog site. – JWR
What Do We Do?
What do we do when someone has been shot, survived a grizzly mauling, has been significantly burned, or has been crushed by a falling tree or rock or vehicle accident? We do our best to get them to advanced medical care, calling for help on our cellphone or using our satellite messaging service to send rescuers our exact location. But what if none of that is available, or what if there’s going to be a long delay getting the victim to help? Is there something more we can do?
“Pain Pack” With or Without Prescription
If you’re like most preppers, you don’t have a prescription bottle of Morphine on hand. And you don’t think dosing your friend or child with a big swig of whiskey (or two) is all that good of an idea. Well, one option is the non-narcotic, over-the-counter “Pain Pack™” concept and promoted by Next Generation Combat Medic as “just as good for moderate pain as oxycodone, hydrocodone and even codeine.”
Please read all their original information. What follows is but a small tweak of the “Pain Pack™” plan that I’d like to call the “Prepper’s Pain Protocol.” I’m not a “medical” anything, much less an “expert” in anything. But I know a good thing when I see it. The days/months/years ahead, whenever our national crisis finally kicks off, are going to have an abundance of pain, ours and others. And we need a better strategy for pain control.
Pain Pack Initial Insight
The basic insight of the “Pain Pack™” is that a normal person in good health can safely take a full dose of Tylenol (acetaminophen, 1,000 mg) and a full therapeutic dose of ibuprofen (800 mg) simultaneously, because their mode of action is different. This combination should suffice for all moderate pain. The Tylenol is taken first, and then one hour later the ibuprofen. These meds should take full effect then in about an hour and 20 minutes or so.
After that, if the victim is still experiencing severe pain, the “Pain Pack™” website provides for a small amount of oxycodone that acts in addition to the Tylenol and ibuprofen to provide maximum analgesia with a minimum amount of opioid painkiller.
Don’t Have Pain Pack with Oxy?
But what if you have not been prescribed the “Pain Pack™” with oxy? What then? Well, for starters the Tylenol and ibuprofen combination is quite effective. (Just don’t expect it to take away all of the pain. Most narcotic analgesics don’t even do that!) But, there is more that you can do. Let’s look at several startegies.
Strategy #1 is to add a bit of caffeine, once it’s clear that the Tylenol and ibuprofen aren’t quite enough. This would be the “Preppers Pain Protocol” (PPP). Why caffeine? Well, medications like Excedrin Extra Strength and Tylenol Ultra Relief include caffeine, because it’s a synergist
It amplifies the effect of the Acetaminophen. And it amplifies the effect of the ibuprofen. For example, the maximum dose– two tablets– of Excedrin Extra Strength contains 130 mg of caffeine (along with Tylenol and Aspirin). Another example is Tylenol Ultra Relief. Two tablets (the maximum dose) contain 130 mg of caffeine.
Caffeine in Coffee
One 8 oz cup of coffee typically contains up to 150 mg of caffeine. I don’t know anyone who only drinks one cup! And no one would blink an eye at having a couple of cups of coffee with their Tylenol and nasty headache. We’re not talking about a lot of caffeine here.
(Yes, there is a study that says that taking megadoses of Tylenol and caffeine, as in energy drinks, is a bad idea. More is not always better! Clearly the combination seems safe as long as you don’t go crazy with the caffeine, the Tylenol, or the ibuprofen.
How to Add Caffeine
So, how do you add caffeine to your Tylenol + ibuprofen dose? You could sip one or two cups of coffee, but if you’re in that much pain maybe that’s not such a good idea. A better idea is probably just to take one 100 mg tablet of caffeine.
Why tablets? You can then cut an additional tablet and add a quarter tablet of caffeine every 20 minutes, only if needed, until your victim doesn’t experience any additional analgesia. The commercial formulations contain only 130 mg of caffeine so you’re not going to go much beyond that, because it’s not going to help, and you’re only going to give your victim the jitters and jack up their heart rate, right? (A note to the caffeine junkies: too much daily caffeine might just create a tolerance for it to the point that it might not give you the benefits it could when you really need it. This is something to consider.)
The Tylenol + ibuprofen + caffeine combination obviously isn’t going to be as effective as the official prescription “Pain Pack™” that includes oxycodone, but it will be better than just straight Tylenol and ibuprofen.
Start High and Work Low
My unscientific recommendation, if you’ve got a family member or friend in excruciating pain, is to “Start high and work low.” In other words, start them at the maximum amount of analgesia with the 1,000 mg Tylenol + 100 mg of caffeine and then add the ibuprofen an hour later. If it was me in agony, I’d want to start at the max!
Then, when it comes time for the second combination dose, 6–8 hours later, cut back the caffeine or omit it entirely (again, Tylenol, then ibuprofen an hour later). If their pain level jumps, then add the caffeine back in. It’s simple enough. At each re-dosing, try to cut back the caffeine first, and then start cutting back on the Tylenol and ibuprofen too. Your goal is to quickly determine the lowest effective dose and give that.
Dose For Only Five Days
The official “Pain Pack™” website envisions giving this dosage combination for only five days. Why? Because it’s hard on your heart, your liver, your kidneys, and it can mess with blood coagulation. (And that’s why the combination does not include Aspirin, because a lot of these severe pain scenarios involves bleeding.) Hopefully by five days your victim has begun to heal from his/her injuries.
There’s a second strategy I’d like to briefly mention for preppers who happen to live near the Canadian border or who travel to Canada. Strategy #2 follows:
Commercial Med Combinations Available OTC in Canada
For decades commercial combinations of Aspirin + Caffeine + Codeine and Acetaminophen + Caffeine + Codeine have been readily available over the counter in Canada. Many Americans, especially those living along the Canadian border, are aware of these products and have legally brought small quantities back to the States after visiting. There was recently a move by the Canadian government to make all medications containing even small quantities of Codeine available by prescription only. However, I don’t know if it’s been finalized.
At the end of this article you’ll find the section from Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations that appears to cover this situation. That said, I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, I’m simply referring readers to this section. Read it.
If you’re one of those Americans who legally brought a small quantity back home with you in the past, or these Canadian over-the-counter products are still available, you can substitute two tablets of the Acetaminophen + Caffeine + Codeine formulation for most of the Tylenol and additional caffeine. And that would be the maximum analgesia you can legally reach without a doctor’s prescription.
Each maximum dose (two tablets) of these Canadian pills contains 600 mg of Acetaminophen + 30 mg of Caffeine + 16 mg of Codeine (that slowly metabolizes in your body to become an even tinier dose of Morphine).
So, you could add a tablet of plain Regular Strength Tylenol (325 mg) to these two tablets to bring the Acetaminophen total up to 925 mg (or shave off 1/5 of a 500 mg tablet to bring the total to 1,000 mg). And you could add a half tablet of Caffeine to bring the caffeine dose up to 80 mg. And add the 800 mg of ibuprofen one hour later. Voila! I’ve attached two compact summary sheets that you can print, cut down and laminate, one for the basic “Prepper’s Pain Protocol” and one for the PPP + Codeine.
Never Add Alcohol!
NOTE: Never add alcohol to these combinations of over-the-counter medications. It’s going to create more problems than it solves. Don’t do it.
Tomorrow, we will continue with what to do if the above plan is still not enough pain relief.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part one of a two part entry for Round 75 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
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Round 75 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.