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medical emergency in slovenia

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Jun 13th, 2008, 01:13 PM
  #1
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medical emergency in slovenia

Hi, fodorites,
I'm hoping someone can help me out with some good information. My daughter arrived in Slovenia yesterday and the rash that she left the country with has gotten much worse. She had a biopsy done on it before she left and they have ruled out all sorts of life threatening diseases. But the doctor here would like her to start on prednisone and some treatment for Rocky Mountain fever. I've just learned that I can't fed ex her the medication because Slovenia won't let it in without a medical license to import.

Does anyone know about the availability of good quality medications in Slovenia? Are the pharmacies likely to give her this stuff over the counter, or would faxing a prescription to her hotel help?

Thanks so much for whatever help you can give.

Does anyone have experience with pharmacies in Ljubljana?
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Jun 13th, 2008, 01:21 PM
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I have only small knowledge of pahrmacies in Slovenia....but generally in the EU, countries will not accept prescriptions from other EU countries, so they are unlikely to accept an american one.

Of course there are good quality medicines in Slovenia.

It is unlikely that a pharmacy will give your daughter something needing a prescription "over the counter".

I would suggest that you get a mediacl report from your doctor, faxit to your daughter and get her to go to a doctor in Slovenia.
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Jun 13th, 2008, 01:38 PM
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Thanks a lot Lawchick. The fax idea is a good one, I will ask the doctor to do that.

In my experience in western Europe, it's not hard to find a pharmacy that will sell prescription medication without a prescription -- this has been my experience in both Spain and Portugal. My experience has always been that if you know what you need, the proper dosage and the pharmacist believes you, you can buy the medication. Most recently, in Lisbon, I had to go to two or three pharmacies, but I found one that would sell me the prescription medication. It's not that I do this just for fun, but we've been in pinches before and I've always gotten what I needed. I was hoping that maybe if my daughter got the prescription information in an email, she could find a way to get it filled there. I guess it's worth a try.
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Jun 13th, 2008, 01:42 PM
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Slovenia is very like Austria and they are quite strict about prescriptions. You need a prescription to get immodium and motillium!
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Jun 13th, 2008, 01:45 PM
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Would say same as Lawchick.
Prednisone medication should not be available without a proper prescription.

Your daughter can also call the US embassy and ask them for English-speaking doctors at her current location.
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Jun 13th, 2008, 02:16 PM
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Check out the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers at http://www.iamat.org/

It's free, although donations are gratefully accepted. They will put
your daughter in touch with an English speaking doctor in Slovenia.

Then perhaps your daughter's doctor
at home can email or fax the Slovenian doctor. Or phone him... international rates are so inexpensive these days compared to
a decade or 2 ago.

I hope it all works out for your
daughter.

Rob
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Jun 13th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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Thank you for your help everyone. Here's an update -- my daughter was able to buy the antibiotic her doctor wanted her to take, doxycycline, but the pharmacist told her prednisolone is not sold in Slovenia. The pharmacist said she could go to Graz, as many Slovenians do, and they would likely have it there. My daughter said there was no issue about the lack of a prescription. We're now waiting to hear from our doctor whether a substitute medicine would be ok, or whether they should drive to Austria in the hopes of finding prednisolone.
Thanks again.
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Jun 18th, 2008, 06:02 AM
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Oh, I wish I had seen this earlier. We lived in Ljubljana, Slovenia and had excellent drs. Glad to hear that she is doing OK. If she has any other issues, send her to the Barsos clinic. They have excellent drs and all speak English very well. The pharmacy is right next door and also, excellent.
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Jun 18th, 2008, 07:13 AM
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Ireynold,


I presume you have discussed with your MD here the consequences of not taking one or the other.

I am not a doctor.
You mentioned antibiotics (for infection) which she got.
The one still needed, prednisone, is a steriod usually for swelling, inflamation & itching. Ask your doctor, perhaps the predisone is optional? It's a medication that you would not want to be on unless absolutely necessary. BTW w/ prednisone depending on the dosage, she is likely to become much more hungry & thirsty.

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Jun 18th, 2008, 07:45 AM
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As amsdon says prednisone is a VERY serious medication and not to be taken lightly. It MUST be taken exactly as directed. It concerns me that your daughter will be taking it while not under dr's care.

I had to take it a few years ago for a very serious respiratory condition and my Dr insisted on seeing me twice weekly until it was discontined. NOTE: when it is time to discontinue the prescription, it MUST be discontinued exactly as directed - you CANNOT just stop taking it.

Also some travel insurance companies WILL NOT cover travellers who are on prednisone. (I know mine won't.)

Good Luck. I hope your daughter stays well.
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Jun 18th, 2008, 07:50 AM
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NOTE: when it is time to discontinue the prescription, it MUST be discontinued exactly as directed - you CANNOT just stop taking it.

That's right! Very good point which I forgot to mention. I can be deadly
to go off cold turkey (depending on the dosage etc)
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Jun 18th, 2008, 04:27 PM
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I really appreciate everyone's concern. My daughter got the exact dosage (tapering down a slight amount every other day, we drilled that into her) directly from her doctor and printed out the email. She and her husband drove to Austria, and at the small town right on the border they were able to buy it in a pharmacy with this email. Some people who responded to a question I posted for Austria were kind of stunned that she was able to buy the medicine without a prescription. This has also been my experience in other European countries, even when people assured me that it would be impossible to buy medicine without a prescription. I think that being foreign is a huge part of the reason why it's been so easy.

She is doing fine and has the names of several English speaking doctors in Slovenia and Croatia, where they will be going next. It's a small world, and we are lucky there are so many people willing to help.
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