In my research before moving, I noticed that a lot of people voice concerns about health care in Mexico. Health insurance is available for purchase in Mexico, and the price will vary depending on the plan and the policy holder–as it does most anywhere. An option worth looking into is applying to be part of the national health care system–though it should be noted that this does take time and that there can be a lot of frustrations with wait times and facilities.
The following are some tips of mine and those that others have given me regarding health and wellness:
- Take Vermox Plus every six months in order to remain parasite free. While I have not done this, many people I know do.
- Be careful with medications, even when prescribed. There are certain items which have been associated with dangerous side effects that are sold in Mexico but not in the United States (and likely other countries). It is important to consider how you might react to these medications.
- Many times doctors will not consider interactions between medicines. Take the time to check them on your own before taking.
- Try to avoid medicating with antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. I have been warned by several friends who currently live in Mexico that doctors tend to over-prescribe anti-biotics and I have witnessed this myself.
- Get a physical before coming. It is better to know if there are any problems before you go, rather than becoming surprised by an illness and then feeling unsure about treatment in your new country.
- Take it easy when first arriving and consider various factors in your new environment that might impact your health. For example, I experienced altitude sickness due to living in a city high in the mountains. Also, the extreme heat and cold throughout the day messed with my sinuses for a while.
- NEW: Bring a supply of anti-diarrhea medicine that you trust. This and something for head pain will probably be the first things you need. If moving to a higher elevation, bring some baby aspirin to take when adjusting to the elevation.
How to get medicine at the pharmacy and medical consolations
- Ask around for the most trusted pharmacy in your area; both myself and my school use Ahrorro, which is a national chain. My students have recommended Farmacias Guadalajara, also a national chain.
- If you are feeling sick and you think you understand what is wrong, a consultation at a pharmacy is fine and often free. Most pharmacies have their own doctor available during normal working hours.
- If you are unsure what is wrong, seek out a private practice doctor that has been recommended to you. It is best to start getting these recommendations as soon as you arrive.
- Second, even third opinions are good ideas. I have twice been told I have the flu or other virus/infection when I knew the only problem was my allergies.
Medicines that I have used and that are safe
- Nasalub for dry sinuses
- Tramacet for severe pain/migraines
- Vitalina for cuts and burns
- Bio-Electro for headaches or minor migraines
- Panoto-S for coughing
Questions for my Readers
Do you have any doctors or clinics you recommend in your area?
What medicines do you use that are safe?
Is there a medicine you have taken that made you feel unwell?
What medicines do you use the most here in Mexico?
Have you ever had a bad experience with a certain medicine?
Have you ever been prescribed a medicine that was banned in your home country? What was it?
Do you have doctors you trust in your area? Can you provide their contact information?