Dr Clare Morrison

Article by Dr Clare Morrison

Medical Travel Essentials For Your Holiday

Let’s face it: ‘travelling light’ is a big ask. Not least because there are so many items that can make your holiday infinitely more relaxing – and of course having different outfits to choose from is crucial.

However, it’s not all about what or what not to wear. When it comes to health, it’s important to be prepared. And it’s not always possible to get hold of the medications you need when you’re in a foreign country.

Here’s our list of the ultimate travel essentials you need to pack this summer…

Acid Reflux – Omeprazole

Acid reflux can bother some people more during a holiday because of the changes in routine. Sufferers from acid reflux experience a burning pain that moves from their stomach to their abdomen – or even to the throat as the acidic stomach contents go back up into the oesophagus. However, with proper care, acid reflux during your holiday can be managed well. There are several steps you can take to avoid acid reflux while away from home:

⦁ Don’t consume large meals
⦁ Try to go to bed at a regular time
⦁ Don’t eat too close to bedtime
⦁ Avoid consuming food products that make acid reflux worse, like citrus or spicy foods

And don’t forget Omeprazole – a generic drug used to treat conditions when there is too much acid in the stomach.

Period Delay – Norethisterone

There are times when it can be very inconvenient to have your period – and going on holiday is one of them. Suffering from the ‘time of the month’ when you’re wanting to enjoy yourself in the sun, sea and surf is something most women would rather avoid.

This is where Norethisterone comes in – simply take one tablet three times daily three days before your period is due. Tablets can be used to delay a period for a maximum of 17 days. After you stop taking it your period will return in two to three days.

Migraines – Imigran

Getting constant migraine attacks on the first day of a holiday isn’t just a myth – this actually happens pretty regularly. Some doctors say that this is due to changes in stress levels, which is why it’s key to wind down your stress before the holiday starts.

Other factors contributing to holiday migraines include:

⦁ Not drinking enough water
⦁ Irregular sleeping patterns
⦁ Eating foods you’re not used to

This is where Imigran can come in handy. Imigran contains the active ingredient sumatriptan and is a popular migraine treatment. It belongs to a class of medication called triptans. Pack Imigran as one of your holiday essentials if you suffer from migraines to ensure you have a headache-free holiday.

Hayfever tablets – Telfast

Every summer thousands suffer from the effects of hayfever, including sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose. If you are planning a trip abroad and suffer from hayfever, you may want to find out which destinations have lower pollen counts. Coastal areas tend to be the best places to travel – as there are fewer plants.

However, don’t let your hayfever stop you from going to your dream destination. Telfast is a prescription medication for fast, non-drowsy relief of the symptoms of hayfever.

Asthma – Ventolin Asthma Inhaler

You can still enjoy trips and holidays when you have severe asthma, despite belief to the contrary. If you suffer from asthma it’s important to remember that you can experience a worsening of symptoms while away due to:

⦁ Changes in your  everyday routine
⦁ Higher stress levels
⦁ Weather changes
⦁ Exposure to pollution or pollen

In order to relieve your asthma, make sure you’re fully prepared with your Ventolin inhaler. This contains the active drug salbutamol and helps to relieve symptoms of an asthma attack or problems breathing.

It goes without saying that it’s vital you check up on country restrictions on any medications before you travel abroad. Happy holidays!

If you have any further questions about any of these products, please contact one of our team.

Dr Clare Morrison
Dr Clare Morrison
Experienced General Practitioner in Hampshire since 1995, with particular interest in Nutrition, Obesity and Smoking Cessation.
Originally published July 17 2018, updated October 06 2018