Travel Forum

Our Travel Forum was created to provide you with the opportunity to connect with other travelers who share your passion for travel. Sign into "My Account" and you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. Not yet registered? It’s simple to create an account, membership is free, and it only takes a moment to join. Once you do, you’ll be able to write reviews, share your travel experiences, and post questions for other travelers. If you have a specific customer service or quality assurance question, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814. We value the contributions of our travelers. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines for participation before you begin.

Author: rosewards

Joined: 5/15/2011
Posts: 16
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Countries Visited:

Italy, Sicily, Hawaii, UK, France, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Switz, Austria, Bahamas, China, Russia, Estonia, Finland, Mexico, Canada, Ireland

Traveler Since: 2011

September 01, 2011

I just received a welcome message from my PD for China trip.  He advised us to bring antibiotics.  Have any previous travelers to China needed antibiotics?  I understand about bringing Immodium (due to exposure to different bacteria), but antibiotics? 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 977
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 01, 2011

He might mean an antiseptic ointment.  I'm allergic to Neosporin, so I always travel with Bacitracin.  As well as the immodium.  And Sudafed.  Antibiotics are usually for specific illnesses and by prescription, not something you just carry around with you.

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

September 02, 2011

I ALWAYS carry a prescription for Cipro when I go on any trip. It is a fairly wide-spectrum antibiotic, for basically bladder infections to stomach/intestinal illnesses (if one has fever with the diarrhea), or a sinus infection, that type of thing.

My doctor and travel dept. at the clinic always suggest taking Cipro with me. Better to have it than have to go through the hassle of going to a doctor in a foreign country to get something, esp. China. There were people on my China trip that had gotten various ailments, diarrhea or cold-type symptoms, who had to go to the "pharmacy" and get drugs that were "sorta" like ours. I would rather have my own meds and know what they were and the dosage and so forth, prescribed ahead of time by my own doctor. Plus you won't have to worry about unexpected drug interactions or allergies. Your home pharmacy would have that information.

I suggest you call your doctor and ask him/her to prescribe you something BEFORE you leave.....and get it filled, of course! :)

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

September 02, 2011

BTW, Rosewards, who is your PD? Ours was Albert Ruan, and he was wonderful!! Great! Super!!

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 977
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 02, 2011

Nancy, have you ever taken Cipro?  I have for a specific pulmonary infection called bronchiectasis which is chronic, incurable and, fortunately, not contagious.  It's mostly prescribed for urinary tract infections.  The side effects I get are mild nausea, but some people suffer horribly.  And with some, the effects are long-lasting or permanent. 

You are also restricted in what other medications you can take and what you can eat.  No yogurt or other dairy foods, no calcium supplements or food enhanced with calcium.  That's within two hours after taking it or six hours before; or, maybe, it's the other way around.  I just avoid calcium in any form for the 10 days at a time that I have to take it.

It's an extremely strong broad-spectrum antibiotic, and the package insert (which makes for frightening reading) says something about "your medical provider has determined that the benfits derived from this medication outweight the risks."

 

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

September 02, 2011

Yes, Pauline, I have taken Cipro before, and fortunately without any ill effects. I know several people who have also, without any effects, but I do know one person who had a bad reaction, not really allergic, but bad reaction to Cipro with some kind of intestinal problems, that took a while to sort out. So, I see what you are saying.

If you read the info on most any medicine, especially prescriptions, it will scare the dickens out of you.....this could happen, that could happen, etc. I think they have to put all of the "might happens" and warnings on there for legal reasons. A good friend of mine who is a pharmicist said that even if one person has been documented as having a certain kind of reaction from a med, they are required to list that on the "warnings and risks".

Perhaps a person going on a trip should take with them a prescription for an antibiotic that they have taken before, and that having discussed it with their doctor. There are some other wide-spectrum antibiotics out there other than Cipro.

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 977
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 02, 2011

Nancy, I agree with your last paragraph.  Something that has been taken before, something that's a known medication would be a much better choice.  Especially, when you're in another country.

I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis a few years ago after going through all kinds of tests.  The symptoms include uncontrollable heavy coughing.  Very unpleasant for me and all around me.  I was taking Cipro twice a day for ten days every other month.  Since I have not had this cough for almost a year, the doctors changed it to every three months.  The last dosage started the end of June after my return from Ireland.  I should start it again the end of September, but I will be starting with different pulmonary people in October and will wait until I've seen them (unless, of course, I start coughing again).

As for familiarity with pharmaceutical procedures  -  for 20 years, I managed the information services department of a large pharmaceutical company and one of our obligations was to track any adverse reactions to our products to report them to the FDA.  Those, in addition to clinical trials, are what goes into the Physicians Desk Reference and is repeated in the package insert.  It's the wide range of types of adverse reactions that can be worrysome.  Something that strong should be taken with great care.

Author: uofmich77

Joined: 8/20/2010
Posts: 43
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2005

September 02, 2011

 My husband and I both take Cipro with us in case of bloody diarrhea and I take a specially prescribed antibiotic in case of sinus infection which my colds often turn into. My husband also takes a different antibiotic for upper respiratory infections. Our primary MD knows us and our bodies well and has decided upon this combination. We rarely have to use them but wouldn't think of traveling without them, particularly to a third world country. I agree that all antibiotics have very concerning warnings that accompany them. It's a cost benefit analysis and knowing how your body responds. We think the risk of not being able to obtain timely treatment is a bigger risk. We don't take them for ordinary travelers diarrhea or colds. The only time I've ever actually taken Cipro though I always travelwith it was in Egypt when I got really sick. The Egyptologist from Johns Hopkins we were traveling with it strongly advised starting it and said that first time visitors to Egypt when you're visiting out of the way places often have to take it.

Author: rosewards

Joined: 5/15/2011
Posts: 16
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Countries Visited:

Italy, Sicily, Hawaii, UK, France, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Switz, Austria, Bahamas, China, Russia, Estonia, Finland, Mexico, Canada, Ireland

Traveler Since: 2011

September 03, 2011

Thanks for all of your input.  I just received a reply from our PD, Frank Guo Wei, and he explained that the antibiotic was suggested because some travellers get ill from exposure to germs during the long, crowded flight.  After reading your replies, maybe it is a good idea to bring some.

Author: spicymarge

Joined: 8/22/2011
Posts: 3
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2011

September 04, 2011

I check the CDC website before I travel anywhere. Odd recommendations come up on that site. For instance China requires proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination if you've traveled to a country where that is prevelant. Maybe they require you to show it, maybe not, but I wouldn't want to get to China and find out the hard way.

 Malaria warnings vary greatly from country to country and even areas within countries.

Large medical facilities have a travel specialist that can check things we think are really basic here in the US; polio, MMR, etc. Better safe than ill from something your doctor may not recognize (at least immediately) because it's so uncommon (or doesn't exist) here in the US.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 558
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

September 04, 2011

This has been interesting reading for me. I don't like taking meds unless I have to but Cipro was prescribed before I went to Morocco. Luckily, I didn't need it there nor in Egypt, a few days on Pepto Bismal was enough, but when I took my trip to Turkey the Cipro was old so I got rid of it. And I got sick in Turkey with no Cipro and the pepto wasn't effective.

It's a cheap drug and I have filled the prescription and will take it to Ireland although I hope I won't need it. The side effects listed are scarier than most.

I'm pretty healthy but have learned from my trips to travel with antibiotics and pain killers -- you just don't know what will happen. I ran out of Tylenol in France and they had never heard of it. I fell on one trip and fortunately, had brought a pain killer that had been prescribed for a tooth extraction and it made a big difference in reducing the inflammation. 

I do have a question for those who know about Cipro: The PD for the China trip is recommending something for "germs" caught on the flight -- is Cipro appropriate for that?

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 977
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 04, 2011

He may mean infections when he says germs.  Cipro is a broad spectrum antibiotic, which means it's effective for a lot of infections not just for a specific one.  My concern about bringing it on a trip when you've never used it before is that the side effects can be severe and you don't want that when you're traveling out of the country.  Of course, some people take it for years without any trouble and then can get hit with a reaction.  It's not an allergic reaction, by the way, or it would happen every time.  It's not cheap.  I pay $150 for a 10-day supply before the deductible kicks in.

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

September 04, 2011

Wow! Where did you buy your Cipro? I have never paid that much. Maybe about $10 for a 10-day supply, after the deductible.....Now, the malaria preventive (hopefully) med Malarone is much more expensive. Something like $5 a pill........

Author: rosewards

Joined: 5/15/2011
Posts: 16
GCT Trips Taken: 3
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Countries Visited:

Italy, Sicily, Hawaii, UK, France, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Switz, Austria, Bahamas, China, Russia, Estonia, Finland, Mexico, Canada, Ireland

Traveler Since: 2011

September 04, 2011

The CDC website was a good suggestion.  My doctor suggested a site called Passport Health, which is what I used.  I didn't see any current widespread outbreak of anything for China.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 977
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

September 04, 2011

I may be taking a stronger dosage.  And I can't take the pill.  I tried the first couple of times, but they're too big for me to swallow and they can't be split or crushed.  So I take the oral suspension which has to be put together by the pharmacist at CVS no more than 48 hours before I start.  It's 5 mL twice a day for 10 days.  At first it was every other month; now it's every three months.  It looked as though it was going to cost me even more, because it was moved to a different tier in the formulary and my co-pay would have increased.  But before I had to do anything about appealing it, they went back to what it had been.

I'm being switched to a different pulmonary team in October and since I've been free of symptoms for nearly a year, they may change the medication to something milder.  I hope.

Author: porkchop55

Joined: 2/6/2011
Posts: 78
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 5
Countries Visited:

Vietnam, Cambodia, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Spain, Turkey, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Tunisia, China, Peru, Canada, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Fiji, American Samoa, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea

Traveler Since: 2004

September 04, 2011

I took the China trip in November 2009 and no one in my group seemed to get sick during the 21 days.  We made it fine without any antibiotics. 

If you are concerned about getting germs on the 5 flights inside China go to the drug store and buy some surgical mask.  They will help prevent both bacteria and virus infections.  You don't have to feel strange about having on a make because some of the Chinese travelers will have them on also. 

Remember antibiotics do nothing for viral infections (cold and flu), which are  more common the bacterial infections.

Author: hootie

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 136
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

China, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Transylvania, Bulgaria, Chech Republic, Slavakia, Bratislava, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Crete, Greece, Turkey, Istanbul, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Tahiti & French Polynesia/Society Islands, Hawaiian Islands, Bermuda, Alaska, Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Panama Canal, Caribbean (extensively), Canada/Nova Scotia, Canary Islands, Gibralter, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Vatican City, France, Holland, Belgium, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia.

Traveler Since: 2001

September 04, 2011

China trip...

Our China trip, with ALL the problems we had during it, was still one of the best trips we've ever had.  That being said...

China is a DIRTY place.  The air quality in most places is poor.  They mine coal & there is alot of sulphur in the atmosphere.  When you are on the river boat on the Yangtze river, you can see the coal sliding in shoots down the mountain.  The coal dust flys everywhere. 

Unfortunately, I am prone to respiratory infections.  By the second week of the trip, I was really coughing-almost non-stop.   I had already tried cough drops/prescription cough syrup/tylenol that I had brought from home.  (My doctor always gives me Cipro when I travel outside the country and usually makes a doc. appt. for two days after I return from a trip because I almost always get sick.  I didn't try the Cipro because I thought it was for the gastrointestinal tract & "traveler's diareah", which I didn't know had to be bloody til I read it on this forum.)  I was concerned about seeking medical help in China but, the  first night on the river boat, I went to the doctor's office.  He said I had a high temperature, acute bronchitis, pharyngtiis(?) and possibly pneumonia.  He gave me an oral anti-biotic, two other kinds of pills, & I had to lay on a stretcher hooked up to two IV medicines for 3 hours.  My wise guy husband  took off my GC name tag and placed it on my foot...like a toe tag...and took pictures of me and the (laughing) doctor.  (I have no idea what any of the medicines really were as they were all written in Chinese!)  He advised me to NOT go on the tour the next day or to even go OUTSIDE, to come back again after dinner & and get hooked up to two more IV's for another  3 hours.  I told him I hadn't come all the way to China to stay inside & not go on tours but that I would come back for the IV treatment.  I was very sick but I went out the next day.  When I returned to the boat after the tour, the doctor was outside on the deck, smoking a cigarette, waiting for me.  He said he heard someone coughing the entire way down the mountain...and he knew it was me.  I went for the treatment after dinner, still coughing and heard another lecture.  I got slightly better...enough so the rest of the trip I wasn't totally miserable. I had to follow-up with my doctor at home, who didn't have a clue either to the medicine I was prescribed.  I was sick for slightly longer than six months.  Had I not been stubborn (not likely!)& seen a doctor sooner, I'm sure it would have been a quicker recovery. 

We've been on GC trips where people have gotten sick or hurt themselves and the PD has always acted on it quickly.  The people (and us) were impressed.  I don't think it matters if you have GC traveler insurance or not...they will see to it you get the help you need.

If you take prescriptions, make sure you take enough for your trip.  If you take advil, tylenol or whatever at home...take it with you.  BUT, don't think you can't get relief in another country.  It may not be your brand, but they do have medicines and people who can help you.

As I mentioned, the China/Yangtze River trip was one of our favorites.  REALLY!

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 558
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

September 05, 2011

This really is educational!

Pauline, I hope you get better and will be able to get off the expensive Cipro. I pay $5.00 for the pill and after reading Hootie's story, will definitely take it with me on future trips.

Hootie, Sorry you got so sick in China, but you had me laughing out loud at your description of your treatment and of your husband's joke and the smoking doctor. It sounds like you and your husband would be fun travel companions.

I hope your next trips will be healthier.

Author: hootie

Joined: 3/7/2010
Posts: 136
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

China, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Transylvania, Bulgaria, Chech Republic, Slavakia, Bratislava, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Crete, Greece, Turkey, Istanbul, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Tahiti & French Polynesia/Society Islands, Hawaiian Islands, Bermuda, Alaska, Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Panama Canal, Caribbean (extensively), Canada/Nova Scotia, Canary Islands, Gibralter, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Vatican City, France, Holland, Belgium, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia.

Traveler Since: 2001

September 05, 2011

luisa

Thank you for your "healthy" wishes.  I need all the help I can get!  It seems that if somethings going to happen or someones going to get sick...it will be me.  It's like I have a target on my back.  My husband thinks the warranty on my parts expired the day we said "I DO". 

Also, I should mention that, to my knowledge, I did not infect any other travelers.  And THEY would have told me.

I'm glad I made you laugh...our fellow travelers & everyone we've told the story too or shown the pictures, thought it was comical too.  People seem to always remember me for one reason or another. Usually it's my shopping habits.

I was afraid I might upset someone with the "telling of the toe tag" as it is not usually something to laugh about.  I meant no offense. 

From a previous post, I see you are off to Ireland and taking your Cipro.  I hope you won't need it and have a wonderful time.

We leave for GC's Russian Revealed trip with a pre-stay in Kiev in a couple of weeks.  I'm hoping I won't need Cipro...or a TOE TAG!!!

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 150
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2004

September 05, 2011

Hootie, thank you for your details about the China trip.  I had long made a decision to avoid China after having spoken to people and read about the pollution being so bad that one couple said they never saw the horizon once during the trip.

I happen to be very allergic and often develop sinus infections so I was glad to read the details of your experience.  I had to call a Doctor on one trip at the hotel (actually the PD called one on a Sunday and then went to a Pharmacy quite a ways from the hotel which was open to get me some cough medicine, etc.  The Doctor who came to the hotel on a Sunday supplied the antibiotic from her black case though.

P.S. The travel insurance with GCT reimbursed me for everything.

Also, thanks to all of you and the wonderful sharing of information on this Travel Forum.

Jayge

You cannot Post or Reply, please sign in

Rules of Use:
Be Relevant

Please stick to the topic of travel when posting in our Forum. Stay on the relevant topic and do not disrupt a discussion in progress. If you have a specific customer service question or issue, please contact our Traveler Support Team by calling 1-800-221-0814.

Be Respectful

Use of any inappropriate language, personal attacks, and hate speech are not permitted. Respect others’ opinions and suggestions.

Be Mindful of Privacy Issues

Please do not post the personal information of other members (full names, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc).

Help us help you

Please click on the ‘Report Abuse’ button if you see an inappropriate posting.