It may sound fairly obvious but when we go on holidays it doesn’t mean we have a holiday from taking our regular medications.
One of the things to think about when you are going on holidays is, “what do I do with my regular tablets?” Now, this could be a very short video because the straight answer is to take them as you would normally do.
A couple of other things to think about though: If you’re travelling within Australiayou don’t need to think very much about it, we don’t have any customs issues to consider at all. Prescription medications are not an issue or a problem anywhere in the world. If you’re on tablets for blood pressure or diabetes or things to do with your heart, then no matter where you are travelling you can take these medications. You may want to consider getting a letter from your doctor detailing the medications you are on and you can bring that out if you are questioned about the tablets in your suitcase.
For people who are on any type of prescribed narcotic they may need to have a chat with their doctor regarding specific requirements as laws in different countries vary. Most of the time, for all routine medications that people are likely to be on, there is no problem travelling with them. One of the other questions people generally ask is, ‘I normally take my tablets in the morning, if I go to the other side of the world does it turn it all upside down?’ Yes of course it does. If you travel from Australia to the UK or North America suddenly morning becomes evening. The best thing to do wherever you are, is to act like the locals do. If you usually take your tablets in the morning at home, take your tablets in the morning wherever you are. Yes, that will change it compared to what you do at home but after the first day you’re back on track. So keep it fairly simple for yourself, don’t try to second guess what time you would take it if you were at home.
The other thing people think about is, is there anything you should pack in advance? Should you pack your suitcase with some first aid type tablets in case of emergency? What you need to take will vary a little bit according to your circumstances and depending on whether you are travelling with children. A simple pain killer like paracetamol and ibuprofen is something reasonable to take with you and maybe some anti-diarrhoea type medication. The other thing people consider taking is an antihistamine, so for example if you get a bite or a sting and it’s a bit itchy, you can use those. A general purpose soothant or anti-itch cream can be worthwhile as can some antiseptic. That’s about as much as you probably need to take.
Now I do stress; depending upon your circumstances there may be some other things you want to take along so have a chat to your doctor about that. But don’t fill up your suitcase with tablets. If you try to second guess every eventuality, really it’s not going to get you very far. And the other thing is, no matter where you are in the world if you really are sick enough that you would consider seeing the doctor at home, then you probably do need to see a doctor. Sometimes people say, “should I take an antibiotic just in case?” Opinions vary on this, I don’t generally think it’s a very good idea because if you are ill enough it’s better that you see somebody and most places in the world these day have access to western type medicine. Particularly with travel insurance, they will have a toll-free number you ring and they can direct you to places they recommend.
Take all your normal tablets, take them as normal at the same time of day as you would normally take them, after the first day’s adjustment you’ll be fine. Take a few simple things that you might need and have at home so if you do get a headache you can take something. If you’ve got a bit of a scratch then you can deal with that but don’t try to second guess every eventuality and fill your suitcase with a whole lot of medicines.