DAN Medics and Researchers answer your questions about dive medicine
My wife and I love to travel to exotic destinations, and my previous doctor used to give me antibiotics in case I got sick in a remote location. I have a new primary care physician who is hesitant to do this. What does DAN recommend?
For some time now, prescribing guidelines regarding antibiotic use for various conditions have favoured a much more conservative approach due to increasing antibiotic resistance. Many illnesses are viral in nature, and antibiotics are of no benefit in these cases. If you fall ill while travelling, a local physician is your best resource; he or she will be aware of the common pathogens that cause problems in the area you are visiting.
When travelling, your best defenses against illness are handwashing, careful sourcing of water and food, getting relevant travel immunisations, and taking appropriate precautions in areas where mosquitoes and other living organisms can transmit infectious diseases to humans. Talk to your doctor or visit a travel medicine clinic if you will be going to a region in which medical care is lacking. The doctor can advise you on any medications you should take with you and when to use them.
Lately, I feel like I’m getting sunburned much more easily than I used to. I am taking a new medication; is there any chance that could be the cause?
Sunshine is a welcome addition to just about any day spent outdoors. For many people, a hat, a T-shirt and some sunscreen are sufficient to limit the negative effects of sun exposure. However, certain medications can make people more sensitive to the sun’s ultraviolet