SPS has a variety of resources on travel medicine which we recommend you check first. These include advice on Using medicines for preventing acute mountain sickness, which provides advice on the off-label use of acetazolamide for this indication.
For information on travel vaccines, in addition to the resources listed, please see Vaccines and immunisation: useful resources to support answering questions (coming soon)
If the information is not available on the SPS website or the information resources listed, or if your clinical scenario is complex, we would suggest you seek further advice from our Medicines Advice Service.
Other primary resources
In addition to our own resources, we particularly recommend the following resources that are free to access:
Local formulary or guidelines
Your local Area Prescribing Committee, Medicines Management Group or similar body may have relevant guidelines or documents. For example, guidance on supplying medication for patients travelling or living abroad.
Travel Health Pro
Travel Health Pro is provided by NaTHNaC (National Travel Health Network and Centre) for travellers and healthcare professionals in the UK. It includes:
- Country-specific information including malaria and other risks, antimalarial and vaccine recommendations
- Topics in brief such as altitude illness, Ebola virus disease and Zika virus
- Factsheets and resources grouped by category: infectious diseases, preparing for healthy travel (including information on travelling with medicines), special risk travellers (e.g. travellers with medical conditions) and clinic resources
- News articles which can be filtered by country, topic or date
Fit for travel
Fit for travel is produced by Public Health Scotland and NHS Scotland for the UK public. It provides up-to-date advice on avoiding illness and staying healthy when travelling abroad.
Destination-specific information is provided, including malaria and other risks, antimalarial and vaccine recommendations (note: Scottish malaria advice can differ from UK advice)
Travel health advice is divided into:
- General travel health advice, covering a variety of topics from air travel and animal bites to travelling with medicines, and advice for immunocompromised travellers, those on pilgrimages, those on expeditions and volunteers
- Disease prevention advice such as for dengue fever and Lyme disease
News updates are published on outbreaks of disease relevant to UK travellers
Note that Travax is a sister-site available for healthcare professionals in Scotland; a subscription is required to access Travax outside Scotland.
The NHS website has lots of useful information including answers to common health questions on travel health such as:
- Can I travel on a plane if I have a plaster cast?
- How can I delay my period?
- Is it safe to fly with a perforated ear drum?
- Can I take my medicines abroad?
To find the information you want, go to the Health A-Z or use the search box
Clinical Knowledge Summaries
There are several Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS) topics relating to travel. Particularly useful are:
- Diarrhoea-prevention and advice for travellers – covering risk, preventative advice and when to consider ‘stand-by’ antibiotics
- DVT prevention for travellers – covering risk assessment, preventative advice and information regarding compression stocking use and anticoagulant prescribing
We also recommend the following resources which are free to access:
UKHSA malaria guidelines
The UK Health Security Agency (UKSHA) Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention (ACMP) publishes malaria prevention guidelines for travellers from the UK
The guidelines are presented as a long pdf document. Content is largely reflected in Travel Health Pro, but the guidelines contain more detailed information around malaria prevention and include advice for additional:
- situations (e.g. stopovers, travel to oil rigs, long-term travel)
- patient groups (e.g. travellers taking anticoagulants, with epilepsy or with acute porphyria).
Use these guidelines if you need more detail than provided by Travel Health Pro or Fit for travel, or they have not covered the situation or patient group you need.
NaTHNaC advice line
This advice line for health professionals is provided by NaTHNac to help answer travel-related questions involving complex itineraries or travellers with special health needs. Before calling, users must have first checked resources, including Travel Health Pro, and have all relevant background information available.
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