Travel Medicine (cont.)
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Why should travelers see a physician before they leave on a trip?
- What diseases occur in travelers, and how can disease be prevented?
- Traveler's diarrhea
- Meningococcal meningitis
- Yellow fever
- Hepatitis A
- Typhoid fever
- What about diseases for which there is no vaccine or preventive medication?
- What is safe to eat and drink while traveling?
- What can I do to avoid insect bites?
- What should be in my travel first aid kit?
- What are the medical concerns with jet lag?
- What if I have a medical condition or chronic disease?
- What if I'm pregnant?
- What about traveling with children?
- Where can I find additional information?
- Find a local Family Physician in your town
What should be in my travel first aid kit?
- Prescription medications that you take at home
- Medications that your doctor recommended to prevent travel-related illness, including malaria medications, if indicated
- Over-the-counter medicines to treat minor illnesses (heartburn, headache, head cold, mild diarrhea, motion sickness)
- Sunscreen, lotion to use to treat sunburn
- Insect repellents
- Bandages, tape, thermometer, and tweezers
- Adventure travelers who are far from medical help will need to consider additional items
- Women who get vaginal yeast infections should consider carrying along a
treatment course (pills or vaginal products)
- Other items according to your itinerary
What are the medical concerns with jet lag?
Jet lag happens when travelers cross several time zones and disrupt their normal sleep-wake cycle.
To reduce the duration and the symptoms of jet lag, try to be outside when the sun is up. It may make for a very long (or short) first day, but it will help you adjust more quickly. Some travelers also try to change their sleep-wake habits before they leave.
Medicines are available that can promote sleep, but there are few studies on how well they work with jet lag. Zolpidem (Ambien) is a prescription sedative that promotes sleep. Another group of prescription drugs known as benzodiazepines also promotes sleep, but they may have more side effects, including temporary amnesia. Melatonin is a natural hormone available as an herbal preparation in the United States. Doses of approximately 5 mg have been shown to induce sleep. Melatonin is available over the counter.
Learn more about: Ambien
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