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What medicines should you take on holidays

Read time 2 mins

You’ve been waiting all year for it – and the date is fast approaching. So long grey skies and cold Irish weather. You’re off on holidays to an exotic destination with blue skies, pristine beaches and most importantly – sun – and you simply can’t wait.

But before you get overly excited, it’s worth thinking about what you’ll do if you get ill or injured on holidays.And while travel insurance will cover your basic medical expenses, it’s also important to take some medicine with you.

Think about it, do you really want to waste precious beach-time looking for a GP who may not speak English and then have to find a pharmacy with suitable opening hours to fill a prescription?

Sand Castle on Beach

Our advice, bring the basics with you – if nothing else, it will give you peace of mind.

But what to bring? Firstly, take into account how long you will be travelling for and where exactly you are going.

If you’re travelling to a high-altitude area for example you will need medication for altitude sickness. Similarly, in the Tropics you may need anti-malaria medication and mosquito repellent.

Also consider what activities you will be doing. On a walking holiday, there’s a high chance of getting blisters on your feet. 

Packing Suitcase

Of course, anyone with an existing medical condition will need to pack the appropriate medication.

In general, we recommend the following basic medical supplies:

For fever or to control pain

If you have a high temperature or want to reduce pain, take pain killers such as Paracetamol or Solpadene. 

To reduce inflammation

Inflammation caused by a headache, a toothache, back pain, arthritis, menstrual cramps or minor injuries can be treated with Ibuprofen. 

To treat an allergy

Benadryl or antihistamine tablets can be used to treat allergies or heat rash. 

Tablets in beach bag

For cuts and grazes

To avoid infection, take some antiseptic ointment for small cuts or grazes. An assortment of different sized Band-Aid plasters are another essential for your trip, as well as some gauze, which can be cut into strips. 

To treat a stomach bug

There’s nothing like a stomach bug to ruin a holiday so some anti diarrhea medicine such as Imodium is a good thing to bring. As are anti-nausea tablets like Motilium. 

To stay hydrated

Dehydration is common in a hot country – due to sweating and especially if you are consuming alcohol. We recommend some rehydration salts such as Dioralyte for your fist aid kit. 

But no matter how much medication you bring on holiday, there are times when you will still need a doctor. 

Irish Life Health’s Digital Doctor service gives members round-the clock access to an online GP. Speak to a doctor on the phone or by video-link whatever your medical query. 

Women on phone call on holidays

It doesn’t matter where you are, Digital Doctor can also arrange to have a prescription sent to the pharmacy nearest you following the consultation.

It really is a no-brainer if you’re going on holidays. So, when you’re lying on the beach this year, at least you will have peace of mind that you have access to a  doctor whenever you need one.