Home Medicines Medication when traveling: tips for the chronically ill

Medication when traveling: tips for the chronically ill

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 183 views

The little white one for breakfast, one of the red ones for lunch and the round violet one in the evening – swallowing pills is part of the daily routine for countless people. Chronically ill people in particular often depend on a daily dose of medicine. This also applies when travelling. Even when people take a break, high blood pressure, cardiac insufficiency, diabetes, asthma and the like do not go on vacation.

climate and language

As long as you are traveling in Germany, there are usually no problems. In an emergency, you will find a doctor almost everywhere and a pharmacy on duty around the clock, which will provide you with the medication you need. But even in neighboring countries there can be difficulties, for example if you need to refill a medicine and the pharmacist does not know the German trade name.

In exotic countries, medical care is often worse than in Germany. There are also language difficulties and extreme climatic conditions. The latter can affect the physical condition and shelf life of medication.

Well prepared

Anyone who has to take medication regularly should therefore plan their trips well. It is also important to talk to the doctor treating you, who will help you with the planning. Talking to your pharmacist can also be helpful.

Before you leave, write down exactly when you take how much of which medication. Also make a note of the active ingredient, because medicines often have different trade names abroad. You should always have this list of medications to hand when you are on holiday.

Ask your family doctor to compile your illness diagnoses. Almost every doctor in the world understands the Latin technical terms. A list in the local language of your destination is even better.

Well equipped

Take enough of all medicines with you. You have to reckon with the fact that you will not get your preparations at the holiday destination. Also think about emergency funds. If possible, your supply should last longer than the planned vacation time if you want or have to stay longer.

Also pack the package inserts (“laundry notes”) for your medication. In an emergency, this information can be very useful.

All important medical items should be ready to hand in hand luggage, because suitcases sometimes go their own way. A current certificate from your family doctor can prevent misunderstandings at the airport, at customs or with the police in the holiday country. The declaration should be multilingual if possible and list all medicines and medical items (e.g. syringes) that you are carrying with you.

Extreme temperature fluctuations, UV radiation and humidity can render medicines unusable. Insulin , for example, does not tolerate heat, but it must not freeze either. Such sensitive medicines should be transported in well-insulated containers. At your holiday destination, it is best to store tablets, ampoules, ointments etc. in a cool, dark and dry place.

Well supplied

Always take all medications regularly, even during a trip. This is how you prevent complications.

Hygiene can be a problem, especially in distant countries. It is therefore better not to take tablets with tap water. A sip from the sealed mineral water bottle is safer.

If you take your medicine at home according to a certain rhythm, you should also stick to it when you are on holiday. Before you travel, discuss with your doctor how best to adjust the times of administration to a possible time difference.

Extreme climatic conditions, but also sporting activities on vacation can change your medication needs. The dose of active ingredient may need to be adjusted. Before leaving, consult your doctor.

Useful downloads

  • Checklist for preparing for a trip From a foreign health insurance certificate to a toothbrush: everything you need to know before you travel.
  • Checklist first-aid kit A first-aid kit belongs in every luggage. What should be in it depends on the destination, the duration of the trip and the type of trip.
  • Medical certificate for carrying medicines and supplies Some medicines and medical supplies can cause problems in hand luggage or at customs. This includes liquids such as insulin, injections or certain painkillers. Have your doctor fill out and sign the following certificate for you to take with you.

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