Every week Edwin de Vaal (47), general practitioner in Nijmegen, answers a frequently asked or striking question from his practice. This week is that: Which self-care medicines should not be missed in your travel pharmacy?

De Vaal: "When you go on holiday, it is useful to put together your own travel pharmacy in advance. It prevents you from having to look for a local pharmacy or drugstore first in case of acute illness. Always keep this mini pharmacy in your hand luggage, together with any other medication so that you can save yourself at least 24 hours. "

1. Paracetamol

"Paracetamol is punctually at number one. If you need this painkiller immediately because, for example, you have fallen, it is nice if you do not miss. It prevents you from first encountering a possible language barrier or having to look for a problem at night. beauty shop."

2. A small first aid box

"In addition, make sure you bring a small first aid kit from the pharmacy or drugstore. It does not have to be a huge one, but make sure it contains patches, bandages, scissors and disinfectant. This is enough to wipe a wound take care of."

Plasters, bandages, scissors and disinfectant are handy to have with you. (Photo: 123RF)

3. Diarrhea inhibitors

"It is also useful to take diarrhea inhibitors in case of an emergency. If you have diarrhea, stay in your hotel room. This way you can easily go to the toilet if you feel the urge, because the infection has to get out of the body."

"If you really have to travel (further), a diarrhea inhibitor such as loperamide may be a temporary solution. Please note: do not use this if there is blood in your stools or if you have a fever. In addition, immediately stop using it when you are back on a place with a toilet, because diarrhea really has to get out. "

Be careful with medication and sun

  • Keep in mind that with some medicines, such as antibiotics, you are more sensitive to sunlight
  • In addition, the effect of medicines in the sun may not be as good. Ask the pharmacy before leaving if this also applies to your medication
  • The following applies to all medicines: keep them in a dark, cool place

4. Extra resources for the flight

"When traveling by plane, I recommend that you also take a saltwater nasal spray with you. If you have a cold while flying, there is a greater chance that your ears or your cavities will be clogged by pressure differences."

"To prevent this from ending in ear pain or even an ear or cavity inflammation, it is best to spray with saltwater nasal spray. This way you soften the snot and block the passages to the cavities or your ear less quickly."

Medical certificate for medicines

  • Do you use medication? Then it is useful to take a printout of this with you on a trip. You can request this from the pharmacy
  • In some countries, certain drugs are covered by the Opium Act, such as sleeping pills and ritalin. In that case you must apply for a Schengen declaration
  • For more information about traveling with medication, visit the website of the National Government or consult your pharmacy

"If you really have an extreme cold and still have to fly, it is nice if you use xylometazoline. It swells your nasal mucosa, so that the snot can easily get away from the cavities. You can also buy this remedy at the drugstore. Please note: use it only three times a day and a maximum of one week. "

Call your own doctor from your holiday address where necessary for advice

"In principle, you now have the most important self-care medicines in your mini-pharmacy. If you have an acute problem, you can move forward. If you have forgotten something or if you still need something else, then in many cases you can use the rest buy your holiday destination. "

"And one last tip: if you have a medical problem on holiday, you can always call or e-mail your own doctor or general practitioner's post for advice. Perhaps you are advised to go to a local doctor or your doctor from the Netherlands writes a prescription for medicines. This can be sent to you by mail or by fax to a local pharmacy. "