Pharmacy Corner
Resort Travel – What Patients Should Know What is Travellers’ Diarrhea?
  • Travellers’ diarrhea is one of the most common travel-related illnesses. As little up to 7 out of 10 people will get diarrhea when travelling.  Your risk of travellers’ diarrhea depends on where you travel and what you eat and drink. Young children and older adults, and those with health conditions have a higher risk of having severe diarrhea or having problems from the diarrhea.2
  • Common vacation destinations like Mexico and the Caribbean have a higher risk of travellers’ diarrhea.
How do I get it?
  • Travellers’ Diarrhea is spread by eating food or having a drink contaminated with a bug that can cause diarrhea.2

How do I know if I have it?2
  • People with travellers’ diarrhea will have diarrhea and will commonly have:
    • Cramps
    • Stomach pain
    • Fever
    • Vomiting
  • If you have bloody diarrhea or if it doesn’t get better in 3 days, you should seek medical attention.

How do I prevent it?1
  • The best way to prevent travellers’ diarrhea is watching what you eat and drink. See the food and beverage tab for recommendations.
  • Antibiotics and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol®) are occasionally used to prevent travellers’ diarrhea. Before taking any of these, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • There is a vaccine called Dukoral® that can help to prevent the most common cause of travellers’ diarrhea. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are interested in learning if this is a good option for your next trip.

What do I do if I have it?1,2
  • Traveller’s Diarrhea normally goes away on its own in a few days.
  • Preventing dehydration is the most important thing to do if you have travellers’ diarrhea. You should drink plenty of fluids to replace what is lost during diarrhea. Your pharmacy has packets that can be used to make oral rehydration solutions (ORS).
  • Loperamide (Imodium®) may help with your travellers’ diarrhea. You should never take them if you have bloody diarrhea or a fever.
  • Antibiotics are sometimes used if you have moderate or severe diarrhea. Before travelling, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to determine the best options to take with you to treat your diarrhea when you are planning your next trip.