Travel medicine – What to bring?

Preparing for our trip also means packing our travel medicine. We actually don’t need much to start with, just some medications for the first days and then we can buy the rest on our destination (medications in Europe are much more expensive than in Asia). If you have some special prescriptions, you need to stock up at home.

This is a list of travel medicine your travel pharmacy kit should have. Remember – you can buy most of it on your destination for much cheaper.

Travel medicine

  • anti-motion sickness pills: ask for dramamine. Long rides on the buses while making millions of turns on the bumpy roads or long journeys on bad sea. Just take the pill 30 min in advance, get a little sleepy (which is sometimes good) and you can watch the locals throw up in the baggies while you try to nap on your seat.
  • medication to treat pain and high temperature: ask for paracetamol or naprosyn. These should cure a headache or any other mild to medium pain and lower high temperature. Remember that high temperature is good because your body is trying to kill bacteria with it and you should lower it only when it’s really bad.
  • mild medications for diarrheaactivated carbon (or charchoal, ask for carbo medicinalis) for trating mild diarrhoea without fever. This type of food poisoning should be over in a day or two. If it doesn’t, you need antibiotics. Rehydration salts will keep your electrolyte balance in place and will help you recover faster. Rehydration salts are much cheaper in Asia.
  • antibiotics for food poisoning or bladder infection: (ask for ciprofloxacin). Sometimes food poisoning is short and lasts one day. At this point you should just leave it and let it everything get out of your body. But if you have fever and you feel like it’s not getting any better start with antibiotics which will help you in half a day (take them twice a day for 3 days)
  • anti-allergy medicine: ask for desloratidine or fexofenadine. If you notice any allergy reactions to pollen, insect bites swelling too much, sun eczema that itches, you can use antiallergics to lessen the prices of inflammation.
  • medicine excess stomach acid: antacid for milder problems with acid (ask for hydrotalcitum). For more serious problems with stomach acid you need a proton pump inhibitor  (ask for pantoprazolum). This comes handy if you’re in a country where they use a lot of spices in their cuisine, especially chili. And of course, some people are more prone to stomach problems than others.
  • band aids: most pharmacies in Asia don’t have a very good variety or quality of band aids so it’s best to stock up at home. Especially if you’re going trekking.
  • mosquito repellent, sun screen and contact lens fluid: Mosquito repellent with high DEET content, sun screen (or sun block) with high SPF and contact lens fluid is often hard to find (with Thailand as the exception).
  • Personal prescriptions you should bring from home. You can get a lot of other prescription medicine like sleeping pills or antibiotics for a very good price.

Ok, so this is our list for travel medicine you should have on you while traveling. Sometimes it’s best to be prepared than search for a pharmacy abroad when you’re already sick.