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Travelers Diarrhea: Get Prescribed Medicine while Abroad

Traveler's diarrhea can ruin your trip - make sure you know how to get a prescription for traveler's diarrhea even while you're abroad.

Traveling can be an exhilarating experience, but amid the excitement, an unwelcome companion often lurks – travelers’ diarrhea. A common ailment that can quickly turn a dream vacation into a nightmare, leaving you confined to your hotel room instead of exploring the wonders of a foreign land. Fortunately, you can get a prescription for travelers’ diarrhea medication while abroad (and save your travel experience).

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of seeking professional medical advice and how you can get prescription medication for travelers’ diarrhea while abroad. By taking proactive measures, you can safeguard your health and ensure an enjoyable travel experience.

prescription medication for traveler's diarrhea

What is Traveler’s Diarrhea?

Traveler’s diarrhea, as the name suggests, is a gastrointestinal condition that commonly affects people traveling to foreign countries or regions. It’s characterized by loose stools, frequent bowel movements, and abdominal discomfort.

What Are the Symptoms of Traveler’s Diarrhea?

The symptoms of traveler’s diarrhea can include:

  • Frequent bowel movements with loose or watery stools
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating
  • Urgency to use the restroom
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • General feeling of malaise
  • Fever (in some cases)
  • Blood in the stools (indicating a more severe infection)

These symptoms typically manifest within a few days of exposure to the infectious agent and can last for a few days to a week. Recognizing these symptoms early on is important for taking appropriate measures to manage the condition effectively.

How Do You Get Traveler’s Diarrhea?

Traveler’s diarrhea is typically contracted by consuming contaminated food or water.

When traveling – especially to developing countries – the local food and water sources may not meet the same sanitation standards as those you are accustomed to. Consuming food that has been improperly cooked, handled, or washed, or drinking untreated water, increases the risk of ingesting the pathogens responsible for traveler’s diarrhea.

Additionally, poor hygiene practices, such as inadequate handwashing, can also contribute to the transmission of these disease-causing organisms. It is essential to be cautious about what you eat and drink while traveling to minimize the chances of acquiring this condition.

What Types of Infections Cause Traveler’s Diarrhea?

Traveler’s diarrhea can be caused by various infectious agents.
The most common culprits include bacteria such as:

  • Escherichia coli (E. coli),
  • Salmonella,
  • Shigella,
  • and Campylobacter, as well as viruses like norovirus, rotavirus, and certain strains of the herpes virus.
what prescription can help with traveler's diarrhea

Additionally, parasites such as Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium can also be responsible for traveler’s diarrhea.

These organisms can contaminate food, water, or even surfaces that come into contact with food, leading to infection when ingested. Understanding the potential sources of infection is crucial for taking appropriate preventive measures, seeking timely medical assistance, and getting travelers’ diarrhea prescription medication if needed.

How Do Healthcare Providers Treat Traveler’s Diarrhea?

Healthcare providers typically treat traveler’s diarrhea by focusing on symptomatic relief and managing dehydration. But it’s also not uncommon for a doctor to write a prescription for travelers’ diarrhea.

Here are some common approaches:

  • Fluid replacement: Rehydration is crucial to counteract the fluid loss caused by diarrhea. Healthcare providers may recommend oral rehydration solutions or, in severe cases, administer intravenous fluids.
  • Antidiarrheal medications: Over-the-counter medications like loperamide can help reduce the frequency of bowel movements and relieve symptoms. However, these medications should be used with caution and under medical guidance, as they may prolong the infection in certain cases.
  • Antibiotics: In some instances, healthcare providers may provide a prescription for travelers’ diarrhea with antibiotics to treat diarrhea caused by specific bacterial pathogens. A prescription anti-diarrheal for travel should help shorten the duration and severity of the illness. However, it’s not always necessary, and should only be used when medically indicated.

It is important to consult with a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate prescription medication for travelers’ diarrhea tailored to your specific condition.

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What is The Best Medicine for Traveler’s Diarrhea?

If you’re looking for a prescription for travelers’ diarrhea, you should know that the best medicine for travelers’ diarrhea depends on the individual case and the specific pathogen causing the infection.

That means there isn’t really a prescription to prevent traveler’s diarrhea, but antibiotics are often prescribed by healthcare providers for severe or persistent cases caused by certain bacteria.

Commonly used antibiotics include:

  • ciprofloxacin,
  • azithromycin,
  • and rifaximin.

However, before you get a prescription for travelers’ diarrhea, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable medication based on factors such as the traveler’s destination, the severity of symptoms, and any potential drug allergies or interactions.

Self-medication should be avoided, and obtaining a proper diagnosis and prescription from a healthcare provider is essential for effective treatment.

prescriptions for traveler's diarrhea

How Should I Take Care of Myself or My Child While Suffering Through Traveler’s Diarrhea?

Taking care of yourself or your child while suffering from traveler’s diarrhea involves several important steps:

  • Stay hydrated: It is crucial to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes due to diarrhea. Encourage frequent sips of oral rehydration solutions, clear broths, or diluted fruit juices. Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks as they can worsen dehydration.
  • Rest: Allow yourself or your child sufficient rest to aid in recovery. Avoid strenuous activities that can further weaken the body.
  • Maintain proper hygiene: Practice good hand hygiene by washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling food or after using the restroom. This helps prevent the spread of infection to others.
  • Follow a bland diet: Stick to a bland diet consisting of easily digestible foods such as plain rice, toast, bananas, and boiled vegetables. Avoid spicy, greasy, or fatty foods that can aggravate symptoms.
  • Avoid certain medications: It is generally recommended to avoid over-the-counter antidiarrheal medications, as they can prolong the infection. However, consult a healthcare provider for specific guidance and ask them if they can give you a prescription for travelers’ diarrhea.
  • Seek medical advice if necessary: If symptoms worsen, persist for more than a few days, or if there are signs of severe dehydration, such as dizziness, rapid heartbeat, or decreased urination, seek medical attention promptly.

By following these self-care measures, you can support the healing process and manage the symptoms of traveler’s diarrhea more effectively.

How Can I Prevent or Reduce My Risk of Getting Traveler’s Diarrhea?

To prevent travelers’ diarrhea, it is essential to follow simple yet effective preventive measures:

  • Drink only bottled water or water that has been properly treated, avoiding tap water, ice cubes, and fountain drinks.
  • Use bottled water for brushing your teeth.
  • Avoid consuming raw or undercooked foods, including fruits and vegetables that may have been washed with contaminated water.
  • Stick to freshly prepared hot foods that are served steaming hot.
  • Opt for peeled fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of contamination.
  • Ensure proper hand hygiene by washing your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating or handling food.
  • If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid consuming food or beverages from street vendors, as their hygiene practices may not meet the required standards.
  • Be cautious when swimming in pools, lakes, or rivers, as they can be sources of contamination. Avoid swallowing the water.
  • Consider getting vaccinated against certain pathogens that can cause traveler’s diarrhea, such as cholera or typhoid fever, depending on your travel destination.

By adhering to these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of contracting travelers’ diarrhea (and the need to get a travelers’ diarrhea prescription) and enjoy a healthier and more enjoyable travel experience.

prescription for travelers diarrhea

How Air Doctor Can Help You

When it comes to filling prescriptions abroad – there’s often a lot of red tape and healthcare regulations. This information might be hard to come by. And if you don’t speak the local language, it can just add additional stress to you while you figure out how to fill prescriptions abroad.

This is why you might want to consider using Air Doctor instead.

Air Doctor is an easy-to-use app that connects travelers to trusted, local doctors abroad to get treated anywhere, anytime.

On top of that, Air Doctor can provide valid, local prescriptions for travelers’ diarrhea, so that you can get the antibiotics you need!

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Jenny Cohen Drefler

Jenny Cohen Derfler

Air Dr CEO & Co-Founder

Jenny is the CEO and one of the Co-Founders at Air Doctor. She spent more than 20 years at Intel, most recently as general manager of its manufacturing facility in Israel and before that in various engineering and manufacturing roles in Silicon Valley. Air Doctor is her second startup having previously founded electric vehicle company ElectRoad.