Are you like me – someone who hates to check luggage, yet desires to be prepared for any possible situation? It’s quite a tough balancing act, but I try to make it happen. I am way too impatient to wait for checked baggage once I arrive at the airport; I prefer to stuff as much as I can in a carry-on, and forget the rest. So, I always pack things that are useful and multipurpose, such as a reversible jacket.
I always carry some sort of makeshift first aid kit in my luggage, with a few items like bandages and aspirin. But recently I came across the mother of all things to carry in a travel med kit – Ciprofloxacin. Ciprofloxacin (also known by its brand name of Cipro/Proquin and pronounced “sip-roe-FLOX-a-sin”) is basically a miracle antibiotic that is used to treat myriad ailments that a traveler may come across.
Ciprofloxacin belongs to a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones (broad-spectrum antibacterial drugs). It works simply by killing numerous kinds of bacteria that cause infections. In times of biological warfare, it even is prescribed to “treat or prevent dangerous illnesses that are deliberately spread such as plague, tularemia, and anthrax of the skin or mouth.” (U.S. N.L.M.)
For the normal traveler, Cipro can treat and prevent many things, from upset stomachs to UTI’s (urinary tract infections) to bladder infections. It is also useful in preventing and fighting pneumonia, infectious diarrhea, typhoid fever, and bone, joint, and skin infections. Often times, travelers eating suspicious street food may consume bacteria such as E. coli, and Cipro helps beat it or not allow it to take hold in the first place. I especially love this and any drug that will keep me from needing to run to find a toilet because of an explosive rear-end. Next time you travel, see if you can get your doctor to prescribe Cipro to you; it may just make the difference between a disastrous and enjoyable trip!