Over the counter medications in some foreign countries can be costly, and it’s not just because of the exchange rate. In some locals of South America, Africa, and India, pharmaceutical treatments may not be common practice. The locals often use herbal treatments, thus there is less demand for pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceuticals can also be very expensive. I remember once, buying an ointment in Peru that usually goes for $10 in the US, and it cost $40! Living in the US, we take for granted the easy access and availability of over the counter medications. Traveling abroad, you may find that it is not easy to locate a Pharmacy. This being said, foreign countries also have different manufacture standards for medications, and what you buy in Peru may not be what you are used to using in your home country. You can understand how it becomes practical to carry an Emergency Medication Kit for International travel. When you’re ill, you will not want to have to travel far, in unfamiliar places, and not knowing the language. You are much better off having an Emergency Medication Kit available. It will save you money, time, and unnecessary pain. And you will have a much more enjoyable vacation.
Here is what I recommend:
• Obtain some Travel information prior to departure.
• You can get books, brochures, and maps on your travel destination from the local library. This information will give you some idea of what the weather will be during the month you plan to travel.
• Know where Medical Care Resources are located
• Traveling with Medications that you take every day:
- Bring enough supply to last during your trip. Keep your medications in your carry-on. If medications are liquids or sharp objects i.e. insulin syringes, and have these items in your checked luggage. Follow airline security guidelines for your country of origin. Traveling from the USA view security guidelines at tsa.gov.
- All medications should be in its original containers.
- For Controlled Medications and Insulin Syringes: it is advisable to get a letter from your prescribing physician that you need to take the controlled medications and to use insulin syringes for medical reasons. Make sure the physician writes a letter on office stationary. For more information, read about medication restrictions on the US Department of State website pertaining to travel.
• Bring your favorite Vitamins: Vitamin C, B-complex, Multivitamins, Herbal and/or Homeopathy remedies
• Bring Epinephrine auto injector (EpiPen) if allergic to bees or have a history of severe allergic reactions. Again, follow airline security guidelines.
• Bring Sunscreen lotions that are 15 SPF or greater, Hat, and Sunglasses, especially at high altitudes i.e. Trip to Machu Picchu where there is a risk of sunburn. Some medications and herbal products are likely to cause photosensitivity. If you are not aware which medications can cause photosensitivity, please talk to your Physician and Pharmacist.
• First-Aid Kit is a must!! Some of the medications Tylenol, Aspirin, Antacid, Hydrocortisone, Bacitracin ointment are in a First-Aid Kit. Suggest adding Vitamin E in case you get sun-burned. We bought our lightweight and compact first aid kit at REI store of outdoor gear, equipment of hiking and clothing.
NOTE: All Herbal and Natural Medicine Supplements will have some kind of drug interaction with Prescription Medications. If you are taking Prescription Medications and plan to take any herbal remedies or supplements, please speak to your physician or pharmacist to check if there are any drug interactions. Gingko Extract has been found to have Drug Interactions with some of the Prescription Medications.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information in this article for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.