The previous installment of this mini-series discussed Vaccines for Travel: The 3 Rs.
This segment will discuss other risks to which travelers are susceptible and for which drugs may be needed for prevention or treatment. As with the previous article on vaccines, this is intended to be a brief overview only--- if you’re planning extensive travel, especially internationally, it’s highly recommended that you consult a specialist in travel medicine/travel health for comprehensive information on how to keep safe on your trip. The Resources section of this article offers tips on how to find travel-related information and a provider.
Routine drugs for travel can be considered those already being taken for preexisting medical conditions. Usually routine drugs require that, a supply must go on the trip.
There are many drugs that are recommended for travel. And as with vaccines, several things need to be considered before the decision is made about which drugs are needed. These are similar to the ones for vaccines and include:
Regions of travel --- travel occurs throughout prety much every region of the world 24/7, so where is the travel occurring?
Reasons for travel --- major reasons for travel include:
o Tourism/adventure travel
o Visiting Friends and Relatives
o Migrant Worker
o Mass gathering
o Medical Tourism
o International Adoption
Adapted from: Harvey K, Esposito DH, Han P, Kozarsky P, Freedman DO, Plier DA, Sotir MJ; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Surveillance for travel-related disease —GeoSentinel Surveillance System, United States, 1997–2011. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2013 Jul 19; 62:1–23.
Considering the regions and reasons for travel, the risks of that travel can be assessed, taking into account the activity being undertaken and possible exposures with that activity. The table below lists risks and drugs that are recommended for prophylaxis or self-treatment. This list includes only those diseases for which a drug is available by prescription (written ideally by a travel medicine provider after a pre-travel consultation), or if available, bought over-the-counter (OTC) before the trip and carried in a personal medical kit (ie, BYO). These are for the routine traveler. For an extended expedition or medical/humanitarian aid work for example, a comprehensive medical kit will be carried, and medical consultation is necessary.
See: WMS Magazine, Medication Transport