As you begin planning your summer vacation and making lists of things to bring, in addition to the bike, hiking boots, flip−flops, cooler and other items, it is a good idea to consider adding a few key medicines and health products as well.
Depending on where you are headed and your medical history, think about asking your doctor if you should bring antimalarial drugs or an antibiotic to treat severe diarrhea.
Harvard Medical School has come out with a new report to help you do just that. It is called Healthy Travel: A 10−Minute Consult from Harvard Medical School, and it suggests the following list of important health−related items to take along on vacation:
- Prescription medications. Make sure to take at least a week's supply in your carry−on bag, in case the airline loses your luggage. The rest can go in your checked luggage.
- A small first−aid kit, including adhesive bandages, gauze, an elastic bandage, antiseptic, tweezers, scissors, cotton−tipped applicators, and a first−aid book.
- Gastrointestinal medications, such as antidiarrheal medication, a laxative and an antacid.
- Allergy medications, such as antihistamine and 1% hydrocortisone cream. If you have a history of severe allergic reaction to things like bee stings or nuts, bring an epinephrine auto−injector. Note that this is a prescription item, so if you think you might need one, talk with your doctor.
- Cold medications, such as a decongestant and throat lozenges.
- Motion sickness medication.
- Over−the−counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen; these might not be readily available where you are going.
- Antifungal and antibacterial ointments.
- Eye drops.
- Depending on where you are headed and your medical history, think about asking your doctor if you should bring antimalarial drugs or an antibiotic to treat severe diarrhea.