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Over-the Counter Antiobiotics Available in France, Germany?

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Sep 13th, 2004, 06:37 AM
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Over-the Counter Antiobiotics Available in France, Germany?

I have a rather wierd problem: everytime I go to Europe I get very sick, sicker than I ever get at home. It's always respiratory and it usually starts about a day or two after I arrive. The last time it turned into bronchial pneumonia and I was without doctors or medicine. After some frantic calls to my doctor in the States, with no response, we finally found out that you can get antibiotics with a prescription in Italy. Zyrtec straightened me out fast. Can you also do this in France and/or Germany...if not, I need to get some from doctor before I go.
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Sep 13th, 2004, 06:38 AM
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Type in last message...that should be antiobtiocis WITHOUT a prescription in Italy, not WITH.
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Sep 13th, 2004, 06:38 AM
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Egads! Typo in typo!
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Sep 13th, 2004, 06:44 AM
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lindaanderik,

Twice when I was sick with asthma and a respiratory infection in France, I was able to get antibiotics without a prescription. But why take a chance?

I would definitely recommend calling your doctor BEFORE you leave, and bringing everything that you may need. Also, keep in mind that while some pharmacies may give you meds over the counter, they may not be the same exact meds you get in the States. Why risk a bad reaction?

Good luck with your trip!
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Sep 13th, 2004, 07:06 AM
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Yikes!
Antibiotics do NOTHING for the viral infections you are describing. They are only useful against bacterial infections. Their overuse, and misuse, is leading to loss of effectiveness against REAL bacterial infections.
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Sep 13th, 2004, 07:12 AM
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Hi L&E,

Elberko is right. You are using the wrong meds.

Check with your doctor, but I think that you are suffering from allergies.

Where do you live in the US.
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Sep 13th, 2004, 07:22 AM
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Zyrtec is an antihistamine/and decongestant if -D is tacked on. It is not an antibiotic. If that helps you with this problem, get a prescription filled before you leave.
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Sep 13th, 2004, 07:31 AM
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Well, if you didn;t go to a doctor I'm not sure how you coulod have a Dx of bronchial pneumonia - to tell you the truth I'm not even sure what that is. It sounds like you had either allergies or a cold. Zyrtec would work for the first because it is an antihistamine 0 for allergies - not an antibiotic. Also a cold is viral - for which - as people above said - antibiotics do nothing. It will go away in 4/5 days if you take anything or not. The reason people often get it 2 days after they land is that the typical incubation period for viral infections is about 48 hours - and they are picking up bugs on the plane.

Suggestions:

On the plane don;t use their pillows or blankets - certainly not near you face - these are rarely changed

Wash your hand before eating anything (use one of those little antispetic wipes if you have to)

Drink a lot of water and keep your mouth/throat well hydrated (to prevent mcrobes from attached to dry mucosa)

Take the meds you need with you just in case

And, as I said - Zyrtec is not an antibiotic - its for allergies - thats why its available OTC in a lot of places
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Sep 13th, 2004, 07:37 AM
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If I were you I would ignore all the curbside "diagnoses" offered above, including your OWN. Anti-histamines do not clear up true "pneumonias" whether or not they are viral or bacterial.

You need the help of a licensed professional who can take, and sort out, a competent medical history. THAT is the person who can actually tell you what you HAD and what you need.
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Sep 13th, 2004, 05:03 PM
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I mistyped--I take Zyrtec on a daily basis, the antibiotic I took in Italy was Zithromax, and it was quite effective. In any case, I did not have a viral infection and I know how to tell the difference, having had much experience with treatment (I have been a doctors assistant).
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Sep 13th, 2004, 05:17 PM
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When I traveled in Europe with children, I always carried a whole battery of medications from the pediatrician in case of emergency. Included in the kit was powdered amoxicillian. If it had been needed, I would have simply mixed it up with sterile water.

Of course, the one time someone did get sick, it was an external ear infection and I did not have medication for that (figures). I did go into the pharmacy and explained the problem to the pharmacist. He gave me the ear drops and I cleared up the problem and we did not lose much time on the trip.

Many medications in the US that require prescriptions do not in Europe and you can get them from a pharmacist.

Anyone traveling should have some basic medications that he keeps together to take with him (and I am not speaking of prescription meds which you are going to pack anyway). The ones I take are immodium, suppositories, tylenol, second skin for blisters, etc. Taking the meds insures almost always insures that I will need none of them.

The only time I ever had a problem in Europe was recently on a tour to Russia where all of the immodium got used at various times by different people on the tour. I actually used the last pill but one ON THE PLANE coming home!

It is better to be prepared and not have to look for medication when you cannot speak the language well and need to take time from your touring to do so.
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Sep 13th, 2004, 05:27 PM
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Bring the basic stuff that works for you with you. I had a horrible cold in Europe, from the plane, and had a lot of trouble finding the meds I know work for me.

In lots of Europe, you can't even get Tylenol OTC; there are fewer "mixed" meds (like Theraflu); and there are lots of naturopathic remedies I'd never heard of. Maybe these are better than what we have in the US, but it's not a lot of fun to start trying to figure out what works for you when you are sick on vacation. On my next trip, I'll have my own little pharmacopia in my suitcase.
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Sep 13th, 2004, 05:37 PM
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I would like not to get sick in the first place. I'll try the business about not using airline blankets and pillows. I have even thought of wearing a face mask on the plane...anything not to have another trip ruined. My doctor suggested carrying around anti-bacterial soap and washing my hands constantly.

Re viruses: most common respiratory infections start out as viral infections but not always...bacteria are much bigger than viruses and have fairly strong indicators..extremely copious or strongly colored discharge is usually an indication of bacterial infection...IN any case, I was diagnosed with bronchial pneumonia when I returned and the antibiotics were continued. If I had gotten no medication in Italy I think the situation could have been very serious.

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