Traveller's Diarrhoea

Antibiotics treat infections that have been caused by bacteria and are very effective when used to treat traveller’s diarrhoea. 

If you are going abroad, you might like to order azithromycin to take with you, in case you fall ill and need treatment whilst you are away.

Please note traveller’s diarrhoea is an ‘off-label’ use of azithromycin. All medications we offer are fully licensed within the UK. Some medications, such as this, we prescribe for conditions, or circumstances that are outside of the licence also known as ‘off-label’. Prescribing ‘off-label’ is common practice by healthcare professionals to ensure a medication can safely benefit as many patients as possible. This is always based on updated information and evidence since the product first became available.


Preventing Diarrhoea

Bacterial or viral infections are normally the cause of severe diarrhoea. 

Viral diarrhoea normally lasts between three days and one week. You catch viral diarrhoea by direct contact. You can prevent viral diarrhoea by washing your hands regularly with soap and water (especially after going to the bathroom, sneezing or coughing, before eating, after any contact with animals, or any contact with other people who have fallen ill with diarrhoea themselves). If it is not possible to wash your hands with soap and water, you should use hand sanitiser. 

Bacterial diarrhoea, sometimes also known as traveller’s diarrhoea, normally comes from ingesting food or drink that has been contaminated. It can be more serious than viral diarrhoea sometimes causing symptoms such as cramps, very frequent bowel movements, and often this comes with a fever and vomiting.

You can prevent it by sticking to bottled or sterilised water (even for things like cleaning your teeth, making ice cubes or rinsing fruit before you eat it.) 

You can also prevent it by being careful about what you eat. Avoid salads (they might have been washed in contaminated water). Be careful when eating dairy products (they could be unpasteurised). Only eat food that is very hot and hasn’t been left out at room temperature. Be particular when eating food from street vendors and markets – hot food should have been kept hot and cold food should have been in a fridge. 

Finally, you can also reduce your chances of getting traveller’s diarrhoea by cooking carefully. Always rinse fruit and vegetables with bottled water before cooking or eating them. Don’t eat raw egg. Keep cooked and uncooked food separate. Clean the worktops and utensils thoroughly and don’t prepare food if you already have diarrhoea.  


Other Travel Precautions

Most people manage to go abroad without anything going wrong with their health, but there are a few precautions you can take to look after yourself.

  1. Get travel insurance. If you fall ill abroad, it could cost you tens of thousands of pounds in emergency medical treatment. Travel insurance is very inexpensive in comparison (but do read the exclusions to check how you are covered).
  2. Speak to your doctor six weeks before you go. They’ll advise on vaccinations and malaria medication, should you need either.
  3. Read up on where you are going, to make sure you understand local laws and customs. The Foreign Office website will help with this:
  4. Copy all important documents (e.g. health insurance details) twice. Take one copy with you and put it in a separate bag to the original. Leave the other copy with someone at home in the UK.
Treatment Price
Traveller’s Diarrhoea Medication £39 including VAT Book a consultation

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