Prescribed or recommended Antinal whilst on Holiday?
Simpson Millar’s holiday claims specialists are regularly contacted by holidaymakers that have experienced symptoms illness whilst on holiday. The symptoms commonly complained of include stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhoea.
Often holidaymakers tell us that they have been recommended drugs or have been given drugs to take by their holiday representative, hotel staff or by the hotel doctor or local pharmacy.
One drug that is commonly recommended to and taken by holidaymakers, particularly in Egypt is Antinal – a drug that is not licenced or use in the UK.
Unfortunately drugs that require a prescription in the UK are often freely available to buy over the counter in other countries and as such many people do not realise what kind of drug they are taking, whether it is effective at combating their symptoms, what the side effects of the drug may be, whether they are allergic to the ingredients of the drug or whether the drug is potentially unsafe or harmful.
What is Antinal?
Antinal is a brand name of the drug Nifuroxazide. This is an antibiotic drug which means that it intended to combat bacterial infections such as those caused by food poisoning.
As previously stated the drug is not licenced in the UK. Holidaymakers are therefore advised to strongly consider their options before taking such medication.
Will Taking Antinal Help?
There appears to be some debate about the effectiveness of Antinal.
In our experience, hotel staff, tour operators, holiday representatives and some hotel doctors will often blame holiday illnesses the on following things, without carrying out any specific tests:
- A viral infection
- A change in diet
- The use of different cooking oils
- The change in climate
- A failure to consume adequate amounts of water
If an illness is caused by one of the above things then taking antibiotic medication is unlikely to help.
Yet Simpson Millar’s holiday illness experts regularly receive reports from holidaymakers advising that they have been given or have been recommended Antinal whilst at the same time being told that their symptoms are purely due to a change in environment or a viral infection.
We suspect that the majority of holidaymakers that are prescribed or given Antinal are most likely to have suffered from a bacterial infection caused by, for example, the consumption of unhygienically prepared food.
In order to identify the true source of illness, a stool sample should be taken and tested in a laboratory for signs of specific bugs such a cryptosporidium, salmonella, e.coli and campylobacter.
We would recommend that anyone returning to the UK with symptoms of illness consult their GP as soon as possible with a view to identifying the cause of illness. This will allow appropriate treatment to be given.