FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


May 1, 2004
2004 / May 2004

One hundred years after its discovery, aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) remains a wonder, amazing scientists with its varied uses as a remedy for pain, inflammation and swelling associated with injuries, arthritis and headache.

Recently, aspirin has been recognized as a treatment for heart attack. It is given immediately to emergency room patients who exhibit the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. I’ve even advised family members to begin chewing one 325 milligram plain aspirin if they think they are experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack.

Chewing and then swallowing the aspirin will quickly release its anticoagulant properties into the bloodstream, helping to prevent the accumulation of platelets near the blood clot in the coronary artery. Then, of course, call 911 if you’re in the United States or head straight for the nearest hospital or treatment center if you’re traveling internationally.

For the treatment of traveler’s diarrhea, pack Pepto-Bismol or Imodium. Pepto-Bismol’s active ingredient, bismuth subsalicylate, is also soothing to an upset stomach. It should not, however, be used by anyone who is pregnant, allergic to aspirin or taking anticoagulants.

Imodium is another effective over-the-counter medication. It begins to work after the first two doses. Occasionally, additional doses may be required depending upon the strength of the pathogens that have infected your gastrointestinal tract. Avoid ingesting Pepto-Bismol or Imodium if you notice blood in your stool or have both diarrhea and a high fever.

Calcium supplements or milk with a high calcium content can also be helpful for the treatment of traveler’s diarrhea. According to the results of a recent study conducted in the Netherlands, high calcium milk or calcium supplements will ease diarrhea and lessen its severity.

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine that is also helpful in preventing motion sickness. It is useful if you are experiencing a slight allergic reaction to an insect bite, sting or high pollen count and, because drowsiness is one of its common side effects, it is also a handy sleep aid.

Cortaid Topical Ointment (hydrocortisone) is an anti-inflammatory ointment for the treatment
of itches, redness, skin irritations or rashes.

Extra Strength Tylenol (acetaminophen) is an effective pain reliever for headache, body aches, backache and menstrual cramps. Just be careful not to mix Tylenol with alcohol. The combination could lead to liver damage-or even failure-because both are detoxified through the liver.

Motrin and Advil (ibuprofen) are wonderful analgesics for the treatment of pain, tenderness, inflammation and stiffness caused by arthritis, muscle and joint pain, menstrual cramps, and toothache or pain from dental work. Ibuprofen is also a fever reducer. Always take this medication with food to avoid gastrointestinal irritation. Be sure to follow dosing instructions: Taking too much can cause kidney damage.

A well-stocked first-aid kit should contain all of the above-mentioned over-the-counter medications, in addition to personal prescriptions (in their original containers) and vitamins. Include antiseptic wound cleanser, an assortment of bandages, adhesive tape, emollient eyedrops, antiseptic ointment, sunscreen, insect repellant, tweezers and safety pins. Don’t forget a note listing your medical history, blood type, allergies, medications and dosages.

With all over-the-counter medications, be sure to read and follow package directions. Avoid purchasing over-the-counter medications abroad, unless you are familiar with the product. Developing countries may not adhere to the same quality and safety standards as the United States.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


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