Antartica Trip: The Drugs

Ok.  This Antarctic adventure is getting real!  Let the departure prep work begin. Where to start?  Let’s talk about drugs.

One of the many mistakes I have made in prepping for this trip is continuing to search in YouTube for “Drake Passage”.  I have watched hours of ships bobbing up and down white capped waves. The dreaded “Drake Shake” is 3 days each way in some of the most tempestuous seas on the planet.  I have never been on a cruise. How bad can it be?


Needless to say, I am not a doctor, please seek proper medical advice.  I am only sharing my own experience. Every trip to exotic locales begins with a trip to our local travel clinic.  I love the look of shock and awe when a new doctor looks at my vaccination chart. It reads like a fine wine menu of exotic disease prevention.  “Looks like you have a nice turn of the century Yellow Fever series.”  

The S-Word

This visit was a little different.  I am current on all of my injections.  I was there to talk about the S. Word: SEA-SICKNESS.  From what I have read, it may be worse than the worse case of a Man Cold.  Deadly. I had prepped a number of questions. “What about the whole magic bracelet thing? I hear that it will clear my chi and free radicals that cause the dreaded seasickness.” Dr’s exact words, “Doesn’t work.”  After I ran through all of the other homeopathic concoctions I had read about on the inter-webs, we got down to business on things that actually work.

There are two primary drugs that are a must have for any crossing of the Drake Passage:  The Patch and the Pre-puke pill.   And for today only, we have a bonus drug!

The Patch

The Patch aka Scopolamine (skoe POL a meen) 1mg.  Reading the directions: apply at least 4 hours before embarkation.  Place on dry skin behind the ear. Remove patch 72 hours after first application.  Replace as needed. So what is Scoopledaramingere? https://www.drugs.com/mtm/scopolamine.html   The patch delivers its magic over time through the skin.  It is proven to be effective in preventing common motion sickness.  The side effects section of the novel the pharmacy gave me claims that they are mild.  Do be aware that mixing drugs and alcohol can be dangerous, ask any 80’s hair band member. 

Pre-Puke

What if the patch doesn’t work?  What if I still feel nauseous? Plan B:  The Pre Puke Pill aka Ondansetron (on DAN se tron).  Take 1 tablet each 6 hours at as needed for nausea. The nice thing about these beauties?  They are dissolved under the tongue. Side effect read similar to the Patch. Dry mouth?  Is that really a thing? Do be aware, this drug will not prevent or even treat the sea sickness symptoms (dizziness, headache, etc.). It just settles your stomach.

And the other thing

Our route to getting to our boat takes us through the beautiful countries of Argentina and Chile.  As an added precaution, my doc recommended Azithromycin (az ith roe MYE sin). This is some heavy duty bug killer.  It is used to treat diarrhea. Take two tablets at the onset. This one has more moderate side affects. Please pay  attention to the do’s and don’t of this drug.

All three of the drugs listed above are available in the states via prescription.  Every body is different, visit with your doctor on how best to treat and at what dosage.  We do highly recommend taking every precaution to protect your health and happiness as you travel.

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