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Vaccinations and Medications

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes guidelines for immunizations and other health precautions for travelers.  It is also recommended that you visit a travel clinic or specialist to get an individualized assessment. Usually a family physician does not have the necessary background to provide travel information, since travel medicine is a unique specialty. A travel specialist is trained to consider your health history, current medications, drug allergies, and travel plans when recommending shots and other medications.

Choosing a travel clinic is a personal choice, some local options include:   
Here are some points to consider carefully about medication before traveling abroad.

Over-the-Counter Medicine
  • Some over-the-counter medications in the United States are prescription medications abroad, and vice versa, so it is best for you to bring along anything you use regularly, even if seasonally (Ibuprofen, Tylenol, antihistamines, etc.).
Prescription Medication
  • Take an ample, complete supply of all your prescription medications that will last for your entire time abroad (plus a few days). 
  • Some medications used in the United States are not available abroad. Consult with your physician prior to departure if you have any concerns. 
  • Take a written copy of your prescriptions with you in your carry-on bag.
  • Consider taking a written prescription of any medication your doctor thinks you might need, even if you don't currently take it.
  • Make sure the prescriptions are written in generic terms, specifying all ingredients. Leave in original labeled bottles