Dying for a summer holiday? Don't forget vital medication

Share Article

Medical Specialists® Pharmacy explore the health risks of going on holiday and provide information on important treatments to pack before going.

Online Doctor and Pharmacy

Online Doctor and Pharmacy

The fact remains that each year thousands of Brits are returning from their holidays with some kind of illness. Only two weeks ago around 100 British tourists were struck down by a sickness bug that swept through an Egyptian holiday resort.

As the end of August approaches, the ‘summer’ season is officially almost over in the United Kingdom according to the calendar. However, Brits will undoubtedly still be enjoying warm weather from holidays abroad during the next few months, mainly to escape the depressingly decreasing temperatures here!

With that in mind, health and wellbeing whilst on holiday is still definitely worth taking into account, especially when considering that around 80% of us are not prepared to deal with minor medical problems in the home, let alone when venturing to a completely different country.

The fact remains that each year thousands of Brits are returning from their holidays with some kind of illness. Only two weeks ago around 100 British tourists were struck down by a sickness bug that swept through an Egyptian holiday resort.

Moreover, summer getaways can often lead to a laidback and carefree attitude when it comes to sexual health. A failure to pack and use condoms for those having unprotected sex on holiday – or indeed back home – can put women at risk of an unwanted pregnancy, and everybody at risk of contracting a wide range of sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes and HIV.

In addition, if you are visiting a tropical region such as Brazil, where thousands of Brits flocked to recently for England’s disappointing World Cup campaign, there are a number of prescription and over-the-counter products to consider which can fight against the vast number of potential fatal tropical diseases. The NHS fit for travel website can provide more information about the risks in particular countries, but in terms of tropical regions, malaria is the obvious risk and is a massive killer.

According to the World Health Organization, in 2010, there were approximately 219 million malaria cases (with an uncertainty range of 154 million to 289 million) and an estimated 660,000 malaria deaths (with an uncertainty range of 490,000 to 836,000).


Therefore, an antimalarial is a must, with Doxycycline, Malarone and Paludrine all different medications for malaria prevention – and all available today from Medical Specialists® Pharmacy. Malarone can also be used for the treatment of malaria, should anybody contract the disease. All three are prescription-only medicines but travellers can also boost their protection with Jungle Formula Maximum pump spray, which effectively repels mosquitoes, midges and other biting insects for up to 10 hours per application. It is essential to order medication prescriptions well in advance of trips to hazardous areas.


Antihistamines such as Loratadine are commonly taken to ease the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Loratadine is useful for insect bites, easing the itching associated with them, and avoiding bites in tropical places is absolutely imperative due to the risk of malaria.

Asthma Inhalers

The last thing asthma sufferers want is to suffer an attack on holiday and find themselves without their asthma inhalers. Order repeat prescriptions well in advance and make sure to have a good supply of blue reliever and brown preventer inhalers. Also, the weather and climate might impact certain people’s asthma. Check the weather of the location before travelling. For instance, is it hot and humid, cold and windy, or does that region have poor quality air? It is important to see how far the nearest hospital is to the holiday destination and if there could be any language barriers.


For women who have been prescribed a daily contraceptive pill such as Dianette or Yasmin, it is important they have a sufficient supply of their prescribed medication to last before, during and after the holiday, at which point they can obtain more. Contraceptive pills alone will not provide protection against sexually transmitted infection and with a tendency for many Brits to loosen their inhibitions whilst on holiday, condoms are essential to pack for any getaway.

Travel sickness

If any of a travelling group suffer from travel sickness, make sure to have necessary treatment to hand. Travel sickness is caused by repeated unusual movements, usually when travelling by boat, car, plane or train, and is especially common in young children and women. Kwells and Avomine tablets are widely used for the prevention and relief of travel sickness.

Other items

Sunblock cream with a high sun protection factor (SPF) is a must to minimise the risk of sunburn whilst still enjoying the sunshine. Inbuprofen, Paracetamol, or other pain killers, are also handy should they be required during the holiday. It is also worth considering packing a first aid kit armed with assorted plasters, dressings, latex gloves, tape, scissors and other essentials.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

David Bailey

Mark Riley
Medical Specialists Pharmacy
Like >
Visit website