Buying Antibiotics in India
I have been in Bangalore for the last three days and I have only seen the inside of my hostel. Thats a bit of an exaggeration. I have also seen a bit of the street my hostel is on when I went to buy water. I’ve been laid up in bed, sick with what I thought was Heat Exhaustion. It turns out the real issue is more of a stomach bug. Antibiotics to the rescue!!
I mis-diagnosed myself for a few reasons. I thought my symptoms were closer to Heat Exhaustion. I was not sweating, I was exhausted, there were no liquids leaving my body, top or bottom. I wish I had just ignored my brain and went with antibiotics right from the start.
I do have a Z pack (antibiotics) that I brought along on this trip but I would like to save them for a time that may be more serious. Perhaps this was actually serious and I should have used it. Instead I went to one of the local medical shop that is literally on the corner of my block to buy some local antibiotics. It looks more like a very tiny roadside fast food shack. There are a bunch of guys running around, opening and closing drawers. The drawers are all located in non matching cabinets.
I asked the guy behind the counter for stomach medicine. He rummaged through a drawer, came back with some pills in foil. He was trying to explain to me how to take the pills but I didn’t understand. I just understood “before food”. When I asked how often I should take them he could not answer.
He went to get a guy who could speak better english. This guy appeared to be the owner of the shop and spoke very good english. He was able to answer all my questions. I asked him to confirm this was for diarrhea? He said “no, stomach pain…”. I said I have traveller’s stomach and diarrhea. He asked if I am also very tired?” I said yes!. He shook his head, walked away and grabbed some more pills. He explained that one is before a meal the other two are for after. Then he cut the foil of one of the sets of pills and took one away. explaining that I only needed two and not three. He also let the first guy know he should only have given me 2 pills.
The whole thing seemed really sketchy. Just like everything else in India. I have my fingers crossed. I have now taken one of the pills and am about to have a meal. I have been fairly miserable for the last three days and completely unable to enjoy Bangalore. I also have not been able to plan beyond for Rajasthan. I suppose I should have taken this action two days ago. Then again, along with the massive stomach pain, exhaustion, and dizziness, I was also not thinking very logically.
The total cost of all the meds was only 46 rupees. That converts into $0.68 USD. Not bad and no prescription needed.
Let me know if you have a story to share about being sick in a foreign country.