Are you packing your suitcase for your coveted summer holidays? Surely you will ask what are the drugs to take on vacation, because your drawer is too full of medicines that you use little or nothing but that... maybe they could be useful on vacation! Let's just say that bringing a kit of medicines on vacation is undoubtedly advisable, so the problem is not ‘if’ bring drugs, but ‘which’, not to risk cluttering the suitcase with stuff that you will never use, and maybe leaving home something that could be useful. Canadian Health&Care Mall pharmacists will assist you in taking an informed decision about which packs and bottles should better make it into your suitcase – as well as how to prepare best while still at your port of berth.
What to know about vaccines
For the right choice of a vaccine, you have to take into consideration the place where you will go on vacation. If this area is at risk, it is advisable to inform the competent authorities about the specific precautions to be taken: this applies in particular to the African continent and the Asian continent. In these cases it may be necessary to adopt an adequate prophylaxis that may include vaccinations and / or the administration of specific drugs if, in situ, a series of symptoms are felt. Beyond these specific aspects, there are some medicines that can be very useful when you are away from home even if not in an exotic or at risk country. If only for practicality ... since a trivial cold could cost you a day of the desired vacation before finding the right drug!
Canadian Health&Care Mall pharmacists tip on packing your drugs
Insomnia, sunburn, bruises, dermatitis, colds, sore throat, headache or toothache: there are many health problems that can ruin the holidays, especially if we are hundreds of miles away from home or in isolated places and we do not know how to solve them. At the time of packing, therefore, it is advisable (even just for superstition) to bring a kit of useful medicines, naturally taking into account the type of holiday you chose to do.
Obviously, before leaving, check if there are any particular health problems in the middle of our journey or if specific vaccinations are mandatory or recommended. For vaccinations you can go to the international vaccination center of the local health authority. On the other hand, the studies on the subject show that almost all Americans, at least 80% of them, do not start out without having a kit of essential medicines, which is good news.
But which drugs should not be missing in the holiday suitcase? An analgesic, useful for headaches, toothaches, back pains, an antipyretic (tachipirine or its equivalent based on paracetamol), an anti-inflammatory, an antinausea, a drug against stomach acid, an antidiarrheal, ferments (better if stable at room temperature) to prevent dysentery, but also a mild laxative and a broad-spectrum antibiotic. And again, an antihistamine in tablets and ointment, a cream for infections, cough medicine, a decongestant eye drops, as well as melatonin to promote sleep, often disturbed by the different time zone. Before using them, however, it is necessary to read carefully the package insert, use the drug for a few days and, in the absence of improvements, contact your doctor.
Here, in short, what we should never forget, although we must remember that every type of holiday has its ideal drug kit.
1. Disinfectant and patches
An accidental fall or a cut can happen on holiday, so it is good to bring in a suitcase a disinfectant, sterile gauze and patches. Disinfectants should be applied directly to the wound, after having cleaned the surrounding skin with water and removing any traces of dirt.
2. Colluctors, pads and throat sprays
Pastilles to be dissolved in the mouth, sprays and mouthwashes help to disinfect the throat and to fight the mildest forms of sore throat, which is felt in summer due to frequent temperature changes, entering and exiting air-conditioned rooms.
3. Antihistamines for allergies, erythema or dermatitis
Excessive sun exposure or contact with certain substances can cause allergic reactions. Antihistamines are drugs that block the action of histamine, the substance that triggers inflammation and that causes the typical symptoms of an allergic reaction (pruritus, urticaria, erythema, gastrointestinal problems). Antihistamines should only be used to block the allergic reaction and for limited periods of time, they may also cause drowsiness or interfere with other medications, so ask your doctor for advice before leaving.
4. Anti-constipation laxatives
The change of rhythms and eating habits can cause constipation problems and to overcome there are different types of laxatives, the choice of which must be made according to your needs. All laxatives must be used for short periods (a few days at most), otherwise you risk becoming addicted. Sometimes it is enough to include fruits, vegetables and liquids in the diet.
5. Antacids against stomach ache
The stress of travel, the change in eating habits and fatigue can cause digestive difficulties, burning, acidity. Stomach acid is fought with antacids that neutralize it, or with H2 antisecretors that reduce the production of acidic substances.
A sudden headache, an abscess in the teeth, menstrual pain, fever and flu are somewhat unwelcome travel companions. This is why it is always advisable to bring medicines that alleviate pain, but which are also able to lower fever. The painkillers can also be used in the form of creams or patches that release the active ingredient in case of localized pains, while those by mouth must always be taken with a full stomach.
7. Melatonin and valerian for jet lag and insomnia
When you take a trip that involves a noticeable change in time zone, the difficulties in sleeping are not long in coming. The first few days are hard to get to sleep, you wake up often at night, you have a headache, you feel irritable. To mitigate these discomforts, melatonin is useful because it regulates the rhythm of sleep-wake. Even valerian, which has a relaxing action and helps you sleep, is used to beat insomnia over time: it must only be taken for a few days, every night before going to sleep.
- Cortisone in tablets: it quickly resolves many problems of pain, allergies and more. Also to be carried only by emergency, as it should be used under close medical advice. When in doubt, use it in small quantities and remember that after the first assumptions, it must be stopped gradually, decreasing the doses for a few days.
- A product for motion sickness (car, air or sea sickness): the classic ones like Valontan cause a lot of drowsiness, alternatively, if the symptoms are not very strong, we also suggest you to try the bracelets for cars: they are not drugs and they exploit the principles of acu-pressure, for many individuals they are the solution! In extreme cases, Transcop patches are very effective, but they are not well tolerated by all, with secondary effects such as drowsiness, dryness and difficulty in vision.
- Insect repellent: it's amazing how many flies and mosquitoes are far from your city!
- An ointment to use in case of bruises or sores: very useful if you plan to do physical activity, for example if you go to the mountains to walk.
- Blister patches: a blister in one foot can ruin your hiking holiday! Modern hydrocolloidal patches help a lot in these cases and are difficult to find except in the mountains and in large centers. The ideal would be to have various types, as they are shaped for the different areas of the foot. A thermometer: especially useful if you have children.
- Cocoa butter: exposure to the sun causes burning of the lips, both at sea and in the mountains; if you are sensitive, bring one with sunscreen too.
- Disinfectant gel: even if its effectiveness is not the best, it can be useful to use it before touching food, if you do not have a bathroom available. Those come in handy in the city and in areas that are not clean.
A small first-aid kit that includes patches, gauze, a disinfectant and a small scissor.
- An aluminum chloride gel: for those who go to a place of the sea, it is important to take appropriate countermeasures to poisonous bites in water: the sea urchin, the scorpion or the tracina can sting and cause a dense pain while jellyfish can be even more dangerous. The solution in these cases is to immediately apply on the affected body parts an astringent gel of this type, sold as a cosmetic.
- Sunscreens: at the seaside or in the mountains, but also in the city, in the summer it is good to take precautions against insolations. The ideal would be to have at least two levels of protection, one for the body and one more protective for the face. The after-sun is nice to use, if you like, but contrary to protection is not essential, unless you suffer from very dry skin.
- Ointment for burns: if the sun you have taken is too much, a burns ointment resolves quickly. Those of the Foille type also contain a mild local anesthetic and are also useful against bites and other irritations.
- For women, if the menstrual cycle is scheduled: bring a good supply of absorbents, you will not always find your brand abroad.
- Your usual drugs: last but most important of all... do not be fooled by the force of habit and check that you have sufficient medicines of which you are dependent on, and keep them in your hand baggage, to minimize the risk of loss.
Medical insurance and tourist insurance
Although it may seem obvious, we remind you that it is always important to consult a doctor and minimize the cases of DIY medications, especially with prescription drugs such as antibiotics and cortisones. Abroad, remember that the service must be paid and the cost is very high - this is true in cruises, so it would be very advisable to take out medical insurance. In any case, before requesting the intervention of a doctor evaluated on a case by case basis, since we do not think, for example, you would want to be admitted to a hospital in an under-developed country.More healthy tips: