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Travel health: Frequently asked questions

Jetting off abroad? Or just staying at home this summer? Whatever your travel plans, let Boots Pharmaceuticals help you with products for bite and sting relief, flight socks and travel sickness.

Published 05/10/2010

Want to know more about Boots Pharmaceuticals' range of travel products? Read these answers to popular questions.

Bite and Sting relief

So you've been stung by a nettle or bitten by a midge? If you want to soothe the itching, Boots Pharmaceuticals has a number of options that can be used to help relieve small stings - for example nettle stings - and bites from, for example, mosquitoes or horseflies.

Q. I get bitten a lot and am looking for a product to see me through more than a one-week holiday. What can I use?

A.Bite and Sting Relief Click It: This is a pen-like device that releases a safe electrical pulse designed to soothe itching and relieve the urge to scratch bites and stings. It is suitable for adults and children over four years. It's called "Click It" because you hold the tip lightly against the bitten area and click the black activating button. It's designed to treat at least 2,000 bites.

  • Seek medical advice if you're travelling to an area where you may be at risk from infectious diseases.
  • Read the product information before use.
  • Take steps to avoid being bitten, such as using insect repellent and covering as much of your skin as possible.

Q. What product can I use on children?

A. Bite and Sting Relief Cooling Spray - a spray to help soothe itching caused by insect bites - is suitable for both adults and children aged six years and over. To use, do not spray directly onto the face. Spray into the palm of your hand and apply to the face avoiding eyes, nose and lips. This product can also be used on the body, although avoid intimate areas.

Q. What can I use if I am pregnant?

A. After the first three months of pregnancy, the Bite and Sting Relief Click It can be used, although not on the abdomen. Speak to a pharmacist for further information.

Q. What other products are there for bites and stings?

A. Bite and Sting Relief Antihistamine Cream: This is a soothing cream for the relief of pain, itching and swelling from insect stings, bites and nettle stings. This cream soothes itching and relieves pain associated with insect bites and stings. It is suitable for adults and children aged two years and over.

  • Contains the active ingredient Mepyramine Maleate.
  • Seek medical advice if you're travelling to an area where you may be at risk from infectious diseases.
  • Always read the label before use.

Q. What should I do if my bite becomes infected?

A. If your bite has become infected or if you have noticed side effects like a rash, redness, irritation, pain or swelling, please tell your pharmacist or doctor.

Flight socks:

Q. Why wear flight socks?

A. Circulatory problems such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can occur when you spend any long period of time inactive, for example on long distance flights or journeys where conditions can be very cramped such as long car journeys. Boots Pharmaceuticals Flight Socks offer a clinically proven level of compression to help increase the blood flow, therefore reducing the risk of circulatory problems, including flight-related DVT.

Q. Who is at risk of DVT?

A. Anyone who will be inactive for a long period of time (e.g. flights of more than four hours) may be at risk of DVT. T his risk can be even greater if:

  • You have already suffered from blood clots, or have a family history of blood clots.
  • You suffer from certain blood disorders.
  • You are suffering from or have had treatment for cancer.
  • You've had treatment for heart failure or circulation problems.
  • You've recently had surgery, especially on the hips or knees.
  • You have an inherited clotting tendency.
  • You are obese.

The following groups can also be at risk:
  • If you're over 60.
  • If you're pregnant.
  • If you're taking hormone replacement therapy.
  • If you're taking the contraceptive pill.

Q. How do I choose the correct size for me?

A. It is important that the correct size is worn. Each pack of flight socks comes with a size table. You can measure yourself using this guide to find a pair that fits.

  • To use the product effectively, follow the instructions on the label.

Q. What else can I do to reduce the risk of DVT?

A. There are several things you can do to help prevent DVT occurring, such as stopping smoking, losing weight if you are overweight. If you are on a plane, make sure you move around regularly. Seek advice from your GP if you have concerns.

Travel sickness

Q. What products can be used to help relieve travel sickness?

A. We offer tablets for both travel sickness and motion sickness.

Boots Travel Calm Tablets offer fast prevention and relief of travel sickness. You should chew or swallow the first tablet 20 minutes before the journey begins. Not suitable for children under three or if you are pregnant. Contains hyoscine hydrobromide. Always read the label.

Boots Motion Sickness Tablets offer effective control of motion sickness. They can also be used for other balance disorders that have been diagnosed by a doctor. These tablets can be sucked, chewed or swallowed with water and should not be taken by children under five or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Contains cinnarizine. Always read the label.

Q. What can be used in pregnancy for travel sickness?

A. A product to consider would be our Adult Travel Bands. Using the ancient Chinese principles of acupressure, many people find wearing these bands on both wrists can help to control nausea including all forms of motion sickness and morning sickness. These may help to prevent travel and morning sickness without unpleasant side effects and start working almost immediately.

Water Purification

Q. I'm concerned about where I can find pure drinking water on my holidays. What can you suggest?

A. You may wish to consider our Micropur Water Purification Tablets if you are travelling to an area where you are concerned about the cleanliness of drinking water - either abroad or if you are drinking standing water from a tank in a caravan or motor-home.

There are two kinds of Micropur:

  • Micropur Water Purification Tablets: These chlorine-free tablets destroy bacteria safely and prevent the growth of bacteria in drinking water containers.
  • However, if you are travelling to a less developed part of the world, water should be disinfected using Micropur Extra Strength.

These products cannot be used to treat cloudy, murky water or water from ponds or streams.

Q. How long can I use these tablets for?

A. Micropur is not suitable for long-term, continuous use. It is also not suitable for pregnant women or children under one year of age.


Q. I'm travelling to a part of the world where I'm concerned about malaria. What can you suggest?

A. You must always ask your doctor or pharmacist what anti-malaria medicines are recommended for the part of the world you are visiting. There are various factors that must be taken into account, such as accommodation type, length of stay, type of holiday and activities.

Boots Pharmaceuticals have a combination pack of Anti-Malarial Tablets that can be used when travelling to some parts of the world to help prevent you getting malaria.

You can also access an effective malaria prevention treatment through our Prescriptions Direct service, or you can speak to a Boots pharmacist in store.

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