This week’s blog post is written by our pharmacist Jennifer in our Williamstown Store. Stop in to say hello or head in to your nearest McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy as our pharmacists are always here to help!
Finally, the best time of the year has arrived and McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy are here to give you the best travel tips to keep emergencies to a minimum so you can enjoy your well-deserved holiday.
What should you do before leaving Ireland?
Ask your pharmacist for a copy of your monthly prescription to carry along with your medicines or download our McCauley App to access your medical history.
Carry enough or extra supplies to cover your entire holiday in your hand luggage.
Medicines should be kept in their original packs and if you are carrying a fridge item get a refrigerated bag.
Travel Vaccines and Malaria
Some countries will require vaccinations against certain diseases such as Yellow Fever. Childhood immunisations and appropriate boosters (Diptheria, Tetanus, Polio, Pneumococcal and Hepatitis B) and as well as others like Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis and also Malaria Prophylaxis may be required. Therefore, you might need to visit either your GP or a travel clinic .
Book your appointment at least 8 weeks before leaving Ireland to make sure you initiate and correctly understand your vaccine schedule.
Sun care is crucial, so your sunscreen and lipstick should have high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) with UVA protection. Community pharmacists are sun care experts, so come in or call and ask us which is more suitable, as it may vary according to skin conditions or allergies.
These are some sun care guidelines you should follow:
- Don’t be exposed directly between 10am and 4pm, try to find the shade
- Wear a t-shirt, a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses
- Apply sunscreen to your entire body and face 20 minutes before exposure, reapply every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating
- Do not burn
- After exposure use an after-sun which helps to soothe and moisturize your skin
In case of sunburn, take an analgesic, drink water and apply a topical moisturiser several times a day. Sometimes a burn dressing is very helpful.
Prevention of insect bites is key when planning a holiday. An insect repellent with high levels of DEET (N,N-diethyltoluamide) applied every 6-8 hours will keep you away from insect bites. In case of DEET allergies or being very prone to insect bites, you can also take Thiamine, commonly known as Vitamin B1. Many studies have shown that 100 mg taken daily two weeks before and during exposure are enough to impregnate the skin with B1, which releases an odour that is imperceptible by humans but unpleasant to flying insects.
In the event you are bitten, oral antihistamines relieve itchiness and an antiseptic cream prevents infection. You may also need hydrocortisone 1% cream to reduce swelling.
Over the Counter Medicines and First Aid Kits
This could be a challenge, but carrying a good short-term medicine supply and a first aid kit is a must for general emergencies:
- Oral rehydration salts – Dioralyte or Oxylent are very effective in replacing water and electrolyte losses. Also be aware that alcohol consumption in warmer weather can cause dehydration
- Anti-diarrheal – Imodium or Tasectan
- If you are going to an endemic area, I would recommend asking your G.P for an antibiotic for traveller’s diarrhea, just as a precaution
- Medicines for travel sickness – Kwells, Stugeron or Phenergan oral solution
- Analgesics/fever reducing medicine – Paracetamol and Ibuprofen
- Laxatives – Senokot or Aloe Pura Colon Cleanse
- Indigestion medicines – Chewable Rennie or Gaviscon for heartburn and Motilium for nausea and vomiting. In case of heart problems, you may ask your GP for a prescription for Metoclopramide instead of Motilium
- Lubricant eye drops – Artelac or Optrex
- First Aid Supplies – bandages, plasters, cotton swabs, hand sanitiser, cleaning wipes, antiseptic cream (Savlon or Bepantiseptic) and digital thermometer
- Water purification tablets, with chloride dioxide, as an effective way of treating tap, stored or river water
Keep your immune and digestive system boosted with healthy supplements and food. This is what will help your body fight against an infection in case you eat or drink contaminated food or water. Ask one of our McCauley Pharmacists for a suitable immune system booster and a Probiotic supplement.
Avoid high risk food – salads and sauces
Drink bottled or filtered water
Peel and/or boil your fruits and vegetables
For long distance flights get some flight socks in order to relieve leg swelling and soreness. There are different types of compression stockings available in your community pharmacy.
In case of sleeping problems or anxiety associated with flying, you might bring travel ear plugs and a sleep-promoting herbal supplement like Melissa Dream or Kalms Night tablets.
What should you do when arriving back in Ireland?
When you return, if you were taking tablets for Malaria Prophylaxis, follow the prescription timeline that was given to you, for example Malarone must be continued for 7 days and Doxycycline for four weeks.
Continue with your vaccination schedule as prescribed, for example the schedule for Hepatitis A vaccine or combined Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccine is a single dose followed by a booster at 6-12 months.
If you feel unwell in any way presenting symptoms such as fever, persistent diarrhea (more than two weeks), vomiting and skin conditions please seek pharmaceutical or medical advice.
At any stage of your busy holiday planning, if you need advice don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist.
Enjoy, Relax and Travel Well This Summer!