Treatments for Travellers’ Diarrhoea

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The most crucial thing to remember if you are suffering from travellers’ diarrhoea is to stay hydrated. A way to increase hydration is to drink something which has sugar and electrolyte in it such as Dioralyte (as well as drinking plenty of water). This is especially necessary for children, the elderly and the infirm. Rehydration products work by replacing salts and water which the diarrhoea has removed from your body, through stimulating their absorption in the stomach. To treat the symptoms of travellers’ diarrhoea you should take a form of prochlorperazine (Buccastem for example) with an anti-motility agent such as Imodium. However, it is advisable that you see a doctor or pharmacist in the area where you are travelling in order to seek advice on what medication to take. If you cannot wait the three to four days it would normally take for your symptoms to recede, you should consider a combination treatment of an antibiotic along with an anti-motility agent (as offered in the Travellers’ Diarrhoea Pack). It is important to note that anti-diarrhoeal medicine should not be taken by children.

The most common treatment regimens are:

  • 500 milligrams of ciprofloxacin, taken twice per day and normally for three to five days.
  • 400 milligrams of norfloxacin, taken twice per day, again usually for three to five days.
  • Two 262 milligram tablets or 1 fluid ounce of bismuth subsalicylate, taken up to eight times per 24 hours, repeated every second day.

Any medication which you are given should come with a leaflet detailing how much you should take, when and for how long. The above points are only a general guideline.

Herbal remedies for diarrhoea

Many websites recommend herbal remedies, which they claim to be very effective at either preventing or treating travellers’ diarrhoea. These remedies include:

  • Grapefruit seed extract, which is claimed to fight microbes (microorganisms, including bacteria).
  • Agrimony, a flowering herb which can draw together or constrict tissues, and claimed to be especially effective in relieving the symptoms of diarrhoea in children.
  • It is suggested that apple cider vinegar should be drunk half an hour before meals each day before the trip, and during your travels. This is supposedly able to prevent travellers’ diarrhoea.
  • Lemon juice, when drank three to five times per day, can supposedly prevent infection by the viruses which cause diarrhoea.
  • Red raspberry leaf has a similar astringent effect as Agrimony.

It is important to remember that herbal remedies do not guarantee a cure or effective prevention of illness. The above list contains only examples of some of the suggestions which are given online.

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