Holiday and travel

Histamine-mediated angioedema is a well-known disease entity worldwide. Emergency medication (antihistamines and cortisone) is available nearly everywhere.
The situation is different for patients with bradykinin-mediated angioedema. For this reason, patients with this disorder are often uneasy when traveling. They may worry that changes in location may possibly trigger an attack and that they may not find a physician at their holiday destination who is familiar with treating this disorder. These fears are usually unfounded provided patients adequately prepare for their trip and observe a few rules:

  • Select a suitable holiday destination with a tolerable climate. You should avoid destinations known for extreme weather variability.
  • Take along an adequate supply of medications.
  • Keep your emergency medications in your carry-on baggage.
  • Ask your doctor or clinic to provide a letter in the local language (or at least in English) explaining your diagnosis and treatment.
  • Obtain a customs certificate signed by your doctor or clinic. The certificate should be issued close to the time of your departure and is often required for persons travelling with syringes and needles for injection, since these items may otherwise be mistaken for “drug paraphernalia” and subject the patient to customs or law enforcement scrutiny.
  • Keep a list of important telephone numbers, including your physician’s or clinic’s.
  • Always carry a multilingual emergency identification card with your diagnosis and emergency treatment. Also, do not forget your swelling chart.
  • Inquire about the nearest hospital and method for summoning emergency medical assistance immediately after arriving at your holiday destination.
  • Take care to store your medication in a safe and cool location (not over 25ºC/77ºF).
  • Protect yourself as best as possible from infections and injuries, as both of these factors may under certain circumstances trigger the development of a swelling attack.