How to put together a travel pharmacy kit

Published
12.7.2015 - 06:00
Whatever the destination, the basic equipment should include antihistamines, cortisone cream, and some medicines for pain and fever.

A nasal spray and anti-diarrhoea drugs are also advisable, as are, of course, hand sanitizers and sunscreen products.

I would recommend paracetamol as the analgesic because ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs may predispose to bleeding that can be induced by some mosquito-born viruses.

When travelling to the more exotic destinations, it is a good idea to create your travel pharmacy kit with your doctor. They can prescribe antibiotics you may need if you get diarhorrea or a skin infection. Medicinal carbon is another good staple to carry with you.

Cleaning agents are also a must as it is important to keep any wounds clean to avoid infections, particularly in warm conditions.

If you use any regular medication, bring a double amount with you to ensure you won't be left without in case you miss the return flight, for example.

Carry all medicines in your hand baggage. Liquid medicines are allowed, provided you also have the prescription with them.

Don't wait long to visit the doctor

If you develop a fever during your trip or soon after, you should visit a doctor right away and not wait for two-three days as usually at home.

Tourist diarrhoea is a very common ailment especially in Southeast Asia. If there are no pharmacies nearby, you can make a fluid replacement solution by mixing 6 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a litre of water as advised by WHO.

Diarrhoea usually improves quickly but you can still lose many precious holiday days. Meticulous food hygiene is a good method for preventing this unpleasant nuisance.

I am always vary of street food, so popular in Asia, and at least try to take a closer look to find out how the food has been cooked.

Probiotics can help you recover from diarrhoea. I always recommend them to those travelling to the tropics, and lactic acid bacteria can't harm you either.

Flying can be an unpleasant experience when you are feeling ill; it is a little like mountaineering in the thin air, and personally I wouldn't fly with a pulmonary infection. Luckily many over-the-counter drugs can relieve a common cold rather well.

A health check is sometimes necessary after a long stay abroad, particularly after spending time in the tropics.

Find out about pharmacy services at Helsinki Airport, Kuopio Airport, and Oulu Airport