They can be your silver bullet! I always take travel medicine, particularly anti-biotics with me on surf trips. I know which I’ve had before however and that I’m not allergic to them. If you don’t, be careful. Some people can have nasty reactions to them so be careful.

Don’t buy drugs over the counter unless you know what they are and you know that you’re safe to take them.

Boring maybe, but it really is better to be safe than sorry.

Generally the antibiotic metronidazole is said to be the main antibiotic that you cannot drink alcohol with. If you’re worried enough about an infection though to be taking antibiotics, you should probably think about giving your immune system a break and not hitting the bottle.

travel medicine
Moroccan Medicine.
In some countries you can buy virtually any drugs you need over the counter. Especially if you offer generous payment.


travel medicine

This is what the World Health Organisation recommend:

Ciprofloxacin 750mg (over 18s only) & Loperamide (Imodium) 4mg

If no improvement in a day:

Azithromycin 500mg once a day for three days.


If no improvement AND blood in stools or fever continue to take Ciprofloxacin but at 500mg twice

a day for three days. If no improvement after this take Azithromycin 500mg

If after three days there is no improvement take azithromycin 500mg twice a day for three days.

If there are no signs of improvement after this you should be making plans to get to a doctor as you’re at much higher risk of the problems from having the shits for a week and you’ll probably need more fancy antibiotics and IV fluids.

Read our article on travellers diarrhoea.


Read our article on surfing injuries  ‘wound management.

Signs & Symptoms of Wound infection:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Heat
  • Fever / feeling flushed
  • Formation of absecess

If the injury is prone to or displaying signs of infection consider a course (3 to five days) of:




Co-amoxiclav (Augmentin)

Antibiotics surf trip
IV Antibiotics. Should really only be mixed and given by those who know what they’re doing. Getting to those people if infections are poorly managed could be life saving.

DOXYCYCLINE can be used as a first line oral treatment for skin infections. 100mg a day is the dose people take for Malaria prophylaxis. If you have a wound that you’re concerned is going to get infected consider taking 200mg (two tablets) for one day, then continue with one tablet (100mg) a day. If you develop a skin infection whilst on doxycycline (for malaria prophylaxis) then you should consider using one of the antibiotics above as the bugs in your wound are likely to be resistant.


Most chest infections are viruses. Bacterial chest infections can sometimes take hold after the lungs have been inflamed by a viral infection.

The symptoms of a bacterial infection are:

  • Yellow or green sputum
  • Reduced exercise tolerance
  • SOB
  • Fever and night sweats

Chest infections aren’t really something you should be self diagnosing and giving yourself antibiotics for. If you think you have one, and you’re not about to fly home you should make your way to a hospital for treatment.

Author: Dr Dave Baglow

Download this article here


There is no substitution for being examined and treated by a medical professional. The intention of the articles on this website is to inform anyone who reads it of medical issues encountered on surf trips.This website is designed to provide general practical information not specific medical advice.


Comments are closed.