Medical Essentials For Travel

Written by eHealth Navigator

If you are on vacation at a foreign destination  where there might not be a 24-hour pharmacy close by, or if you are on a plane or train for many hours, and have no access to what you may need, bringing over-the-counter (OTC) medications is smart and can save you a lot of pain and discomfort.  Basic meds help relieve simple problems that can be very annoying and make your life quite miserable if you don’t have them.

Here are some suggestions from travel medicine professionals.

For pain.  Acetaminophen often is recommended for aches and pains.  Although many individuals take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen and aspirin, for pain experts caution if you are traveling in areas where mosquitoes are carrying dengue, Zika, and filariasis viruses, and you might have contracted any of them don’t use NSAIDS.  They can cause dangerous bleeding if you have these conditions.

For constipation.  Experts recommend a stool softener such as docusate.  For diarrhea, an anti-diarrhea such as bismuth subsalicylate can help.

For itch and insect bites.  Keep hydrocortisone cream (0.5 to 1 percent) at hand.  For cuts and scrapes, use an antibiotic cream or ointment to prevent infections.  Adhesive bandages with an antibiotic cream already embedded in the pad also are a good choice.

For mosquitoes and ticks.  In addition to wearing long sleeves and socks, use DEET, the active ingredient in insect repellent.  Products with DEET strengths of 20% or greater are recommended.  Depending where you are staying, DEET is highly recommended to be on your body 24 hours a day, even after showering at night.

Motion sickness.  Although most people taking a cruise will include motion sickness tablets such as dimenhydrinate or meclizine or bands in their bags, you should also bring them along if you are flying or traveling on bumpy roads by bus.

Allergies.  Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine can be helpful if you have allergy symptoms.  It is important that adults and children who have severe allergies keep their prescription EpiPens (epinephrine injections) with them at all times, even when they are on a plane, train or bus.  Even cautious travelers can find themselves eating food that has ingredients that may be mislabeled.  What you pack has a lot to do with where you are going and how you will be getting there.  Consult yo8ur health-care provider about your trip and possible interactions with your prescription medications and OTC drugs.

Preventing vacation disruption also read about minimizing jet lag by clicking here.

Last Updated on Monday, 6 June 2016 9:21PM