Medicines to take or buy (before and on travelling)

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#1 Nov 19th, 2016, 20:53
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#1
In about 3 weeks i will travel North-India for 4 weeks. Looking forward to it. I read many threats on Mike India.

The main question i have is: what are the "best" / common medicine to buy for travelling (before) and in case of diarrhoea, fever or/and flu?

I did buy :
- Probiotic (before)
- Pepto bismol
- Flagyl
- ORS
- Immodium (in case of travelling with diarrhoea)

But maybe there are better medicines in India?
I did read also about: Diarex (Himalaya) for 45 rupees.

What do you recommend or do when get sick?

Buying someting in a India Pharmacy or visit a dokter / privat clinic hospital?

Thanks for any recommendations.
Last edited by Anindia; Nov 19th, 2016 at 22:34..
#2 Nov 20th, 2016, 00:07
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I recommend that when you get diarrhoea, you just stay hydrated and don't visit a doctor take real medicine for the first two days. It usually resolves itself without needing medicine, but a doctor in India will NEVER let you leave without medicine. The more I've been reading about recent research on the biology of our guts (stomach and intestines etc), the more I think we should avoid antibiotics unless really necessary. They are not necessary for most cases of traveller's diarrhoea.

Drink plenty of water and ORS (and tea or whatever else you feel like), get a hotel room with an attached bathroom, either don't eat solid food or stick to bland simple foods like rice or toast, and just wait it out. It almost always gets better after 2 or 3 days.

If you cannot drink liquids due to vomiting, you should go to a hospital, not just a doctor's clinic, because they'll have to send you to a hospital for IV fluids.

If, on the third day of diarrhoea, you feel it is not starting to get better at all, and you feel really very sick and weak, that might be the time to go to a doctor. Or on the fourth day.

You asked for our recommendations, and this is mine. You may disagree. I'm a foreigner who has lived in India for about 20 years. In the early years I got diarrhoea several times a year, and almost never took medicine for it. I had amoebas twice and took something like Flagyl those two times, but never took anything for the regular diarrhoea except oral rehydration salts (ORS), and it always cured itself after 3 or 4 days.

In recent years, travellers seem to get sick much less often than back in the 1990s, and less heavily.
#3 Nov 20th, 2016, 00:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NonIndianResident View Post I recommend that when you get diarrhoea, you just stay hydrated and don't visit a doctor take real medicine for the first two days. It usually resolves itself without needing medicine, but a doctor in India will NEVER let you leave without medicine. The more I've been reading about recent research on the biology of our guts (stomach and intestines etc), the more I think we should avoid antibiotics unless really necessary. They are not necessary for most cases of traveller's diarrhoea.

Drink plenty of water and ORS (and tea or whatever else you feel like), get a hotel room with an attached bathroom, either don't eat solid food or stick to bland simple foods like rice or toast, and just wait it out. It almost always gets better after 2 or 3 days.

If you cannot drink liquids due to vomiting, you should go to a hospital, not just a doctor's clinic, because they'll have to send you to a hospital for IV fluids.

If, on the third day of diarrhoea, you feel it is not starting to get better at all, and you feel really very sick and weak, that might be the time to go to a doctor. Or on the fourth day.

You asked for our recommendations, and this is mine. You may disagree. I'm a foreigner who has lived in India for about 20 years. In the early years I got diarrhoea several times a year, and almost never took medicine for it. I had amoebas twice and took something like Flagyl those two times, but never took anything for the regular diarrhoea except oral rehydration salts (ORS), and it always cured itself after 3 or 4 days.

In recent years, travellers seem to get sick much less often than back in the 1990s, and less heavily.

I had a terrible case of I imagine was food poisoning in Central America once. Was up all night with diarrhea and vomiting. I was drinking coke and canned fruit juices to keep hydrated and to give me energy. Didn't feel like eating food. Next morning more of the same, Coke and vomit. Crossed the border into Honduras puking out the window of the bus. Met an old black guy originally from Honduras but was living in Houston and he was taking the bus all the way from Texas. He said just drink plain soda water. Well I tried it and my stomach was cured. Didn't vomit again. I guess all that sugar in Coke and Juices isn't the best remedy for you.
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#4 Nov 20th, 2016, 01:02
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Recently, a friend was mentioning that his daughter's diarrhoea had been helped by apples. Well, he is a scientist/engineer, but I was sctill sceptical. However another member or the group was a doctor and confirmed it and told me about BRAT diet: banana, rice, apple and toast.

One for the toolkit!

Anindia, I think that a small medicine kit such as you mention is fine. It will help you out when the last thing you feel like doing is going out on the street and looking for meds.

Again, I am not a doctor, but it is fairly common lore to only use something like immodium when you absolutely have to travel. Watch out for pharmacists giving you single doses or inadequate courses of anti-biotic. Even doctors may be caught doing that here.

Don't worry about minor health issues. You may not even get any! And if you do, medicines are [too] easy to buy and doctors are easy to see.

Enjoy your trip!
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#5 Nov 20th, 2016, 01:27
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Again, I am not a doctor, but it is fairly common lore to only use something like immodium when you absolutely have to travel. Watch out for pharmacists giving you single doses or inadequate courses of anti-biotic. Even doctors may be caught doing that here.

Don't worry about minor health issues. You may not even get any! And if you do, medicines are [too] easy to buy and doctors are easy to see.

Enjoy your trip!
Thanks. But what diarrhea medicines are common to buy in India , in case of 'emergency'. Don't anyone buy this in advance, to be prevent/secure if it happens?

For example - when you got diarrhea /flue in Egypt you have to buy directly medicines in a local pharmacy. Otherwise it takes long to get better and normal medicines from own county doesn't work.
#6 Nov 20th, 2016, 02:12
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It sounds like you are a touch paranoid about getting the shits,don't be. The best way of preventing diarrhea is by being careful ,eat at busy places,don't eat salads and wash your hands a lot.I always avoid western food and the food in India is delicious. If you to get ill,remember it will pass,lots of water and rehydration salts after every trip to the loo. If you are flying to Delhi I would advise taking a couple of packs of throat sweets,the pollution can give you a sore throat. Chill out,even if the shit does hit the fan ,imagine the stories for the grand kids.You have made a choice to go ,so have a ball,India is the most amazing,life affirming and wonderful place you will ever visit,,, All the best Simon.
#7 Nov 20th, 2016, 02:17
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#7
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Originally Posted by Anindia View Post Thanks. But what diarrhea medicines are common to buy in India , in case of 'emergency'. Don't anyone buy this in advance, to be prevent/secure if it happens?

For example - when you got diarrhea /flue in Egypt you have to buy directly medicines in a local pharmacy. Otherwise it takes long to get better and normal medicines from own county doesn't work.
I agree that by using meds you can cut down on the recuperation time. Pharmacies dispense diarrhea medicines without insisting on any prescription, so therefore you can ask for the meds and get them from the pharmacists just as in Egypt. Flagyl is good for loose motions from Amoebiasis. But if it is watery jet then one needs different kind of antibiotics. Also if you have vomiting then you have to use a different medication to stop the retching, which will prevent dehydration. Even now, during my trips, when I get hit with the diarrhea bug I do take tablets. In spite of the resistance I had developed from my having been born and raised there, I get the loose motions because some bugs keep mutating and churning out new strains once in a while.

Pharmacy dispenses the same medication that is popular locally. So it is kind of ok to tell them the symptoms and get the tablets. By the way they are very inexpensive in India.
#8 Nov 20th, 2016, 02:44
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Originally Posted by Anindia View Post Thanks. But what diarrhea medicines are common to buy in India , in case of 'emergency'. Don't anyone buy this in advance, to be prevent/secure if it happens?
It is a long time since I needed it, but... still immodium, I suppose.

Please be aware: it just chemically puts a cork in it. This is not the best thing for your body! But it can get you through a flight or a train trip when you need it.

Flagyl is a heavy-weight antibiotic. I would not self-prescribe it. Not even when travelling in UK, knowing that getting to see a doctor could be quite hard! If you are ill enough to need something like that, you need to see a doctor.

Please concentrate more on the crushed-banana and rice stuff! This sort of baby food works wonders --- and also keeps you fed when you need it. Please do use ORS, though, dilluted as per the instructions.
#9 Nov 20th, 2016, 03:24
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With serious diarrhea you will need to replenish your electrolytes. Gatorade is one option. It is available in India. Not sure how common it is though?
#10 Nov 20th, 2016, 03:46
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ORS more than anything else would help you, atleast initially. There are tetra packs available nowadays.
As is the general advice around, a few days of supportive treatment without antibiotics should suffice unless you have fever or severe pain in abdomen as well. If the latter, a visit to a hospital is mandatory. I wouldn't advise a visit to the pharmacy to resolve the issue in the latter scenario. But this case is rather rare.
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#11 Nov 20th, 2016, 04:25
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Thanks. So in case of fever (1-2 days) -> hospital.

In other case of diarrhea : ORS and wait for recovery and not use any specific (Indian) antibiotics directly (as advised in Egypt for example).
#12 Nov 20th, 2016, 07:11
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ananda2193 View Post He said just drink plain soda water. Well I tried it and my stomach was cured. Didn't vomit again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Recently, a friend was mentioning that his daughter's diarrhoea had been helped by apples. Well, he is a scientist/engineer, but I was still sceptical. However another member or the group was a doctor and confirmed it and told me about BRAT diet: banana, rice, apple and toast.
Isn't it fun to pretend that it is the 9th century and there are no facts, only anecdotes?

Here's the only fact you need to know: no one dies from from travelers' diarrhea. You will get better whatever you do, so it does not follow that what you did is what caused you to get better. Drink water if you are losing fluid, of course. If your symptoms are more severe (blood, fever, etc) get scientifically tested medications, don't listen to old wives' tales.
#13 Nov 20th, 2016, 07:27
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#13

Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPG View Post Isn't it fun to pretend that it is the 9th century and there are no facts, only anecdotes? Or that facts are kept in the custody of high priests (a.k.a. scientists, engineers)?

Here's the only fact you need to know: no one dies from from travelers' diarrhea. You will get better whatever you do, so it does not follow that what you did is what caused you to get better. However, if your symptoms are more severe (blood, fever, etc) get tested medications, don't listen to old wives' tales.

https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/heal...eases/diarrhea


What are the symptoms?
•Symptoms depend on the bacteria, parasite or virus that has caused the illness.
•In addition to diarrhea, they usually include fever, nausea, vomiting, bloating, abdominal cramping and an urgent need to use the bathroom.
•Generally, the symptoms go away in a few days without treatment.
In more severe and rare cases, travellers’ diarrhea can lead to dehydration and death. This is a particular concern for children, the elderly and individuals with chronic diseases or weakened immune systems.
•If you have blood in your stool, you should seek medical attention, even if your other symptoms are not very severe.
#14 Nov 20th, 2016, 08:51
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#14

Medicines to take or buy (before and on travelling)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anindia View Post Thanks. So in case of fever (1-2 days) -> hospital.

In other case of diarrhea : ORS and wait for recovery and not use any specific (Indian) antibiotics directly (as advised in Egypt for example).
Seems good.
Prevention is always better than cure.
Remember that the immune system of the local population and the tourist varies. Take your usual care, not asking one to be paranoid, just maintain basic hygiene and many of the preventable causes can be taken care of. In spite of the above if diarrhoea has to set in, we then have the solutions mentioned before.
It is not that we don't know this, just put it in words as we are discussing about it.
#15 Nov 20th, 2016, 14:41
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Yes I'll add a strong plus as per Nick on the premature use of Immodium and he like as the symptoms are the cure for Bacilary & food poisoning. However, at some point you may want to control the dehydration from vomiting. Emitic or such is very good to take along. Don't try to cure a longer lasting illness without a doctor it can seriously harm or kill you. Have come across such a case. However, the change of food & clime may give you frequent runs which I learned to ignore..
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