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Old 07-04-2020, 10:10 AM   #1
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Default [AtE] Wasteland Medicines

Assuming a relatively realistic "society has fallen but it isn't all Mad Max/Fallout everyone is murdering everyone forever with no good reason" situation, does anyone know what medicines might be produced in useful amounts (and to relatively safe standards) by post-fall cottage industry?
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: [AtE] Wasteland Medicines

Penicillin, although getting it purified and refined will be a (necessary) major pain.

Nitroglycerin and Digitoxin


Oral rehydration drinks (very important ! diarrhea is a big killer)

And the whole herbal remedies catalog :
-Opium and derivates
-Willow bark tea (aspirin)

Last edited by Celjabba; 07-04-2020 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: [AtE] Wasteland Medicines

In the 1632 series they used Chloramphenicol because it is easy to synthesize. We don't use it much because it has side effects fairly often but worth using if you don't have other things.
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: [AtE] Wasteland Medicines

Sterile IV saline is probably easily produced and very useful in the absence of extensive transfusion facilities. It's not exactly a medicine, but it will prove useful once the bleeding starts.
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: [AtE] Wasteland Medicines

Sulfonamides have well-established production lines that an industrial chemist could build from scratch with very little trouble. They form the 'emergency fallback' drugs for a lot of conditions (no modern antibiotics or a penicillin allergy? try a sulfa. No insulin? Give the diabetic a sulfonylurea). The treatments for HIV and hepatitis C are technically sulfa drugs, but still pretty proprietary and complicated; I would not expect any ordinary chemist to be able to make those two, but if you already have a stable production line for the simpler ones, time to try and upgrade...

Surgery is probably back to chloroform and ether, both of which are very easy. Ironically, morphine isn't that hard but most developed countries have been VERY THOROUGH about preventing the relevant poppy from getting a foothold in the local biome. Nitrous oxide is another easy one, when that's enough.
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: [AtE] Wasteland Medicines

Silver- and mercury-based antibiotic compounds.

Rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, bleach.

Possibly simple mineral-based radiation treatment drugs, like iodine.
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: [AtE] Wasteland Medicines

Soap. Boiled water.

Ether as a general anaesthetic. It's fairly easy to make and has a fairly wide space between therapeutic and lethal doses. Just don't use open flames for heating or illumination in your operating theatres. [EDIT - ninja'd]
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Old 07-05-2020, 08:27 AM   #8
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Default Re: [AtE] Wasteland Medicines

As Rupert pointed out, just simple hygiene would have a major effect.

Cholera antidote - boiled water, salt, sugar. Easy to make and life-saving. Of course, just keeping your poop out of your drinking water would prevent most cholera outbreaks.

You may be able to make sulfa, which is an early antibiotic.

Isn't there a rule that even if you don't have access to modern medicines, modern doctors operate at at least TL 6 if they access to clean water and a way to sterilize their instruments due to their superior training?
"Someone despises me? That is his concern. But I will see to it that I am not guilty of any word or action deserving contempt, Will he hate me? That is his concern. But I will be kind and well-intentioned to all, and ready to show this very person what he is failing to see - not with any criticism or display of tolerance, but with genuine good will..." Marcus Aurelius
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: [AtE] Wasteland Medicines

Knowing all the things that won't work puts modern rustic doctors leagues ahead of pre-TL 6 medical professionals.
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: [AtE] Wasteland Medicines

Great thread question RyanW! In many AtE settings, you tend to see water, food, fuel, and bullets as story-motivating resources; but I was thinking medicine/antibiotics maybe should be as important.
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