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Green Light Pharmacy Head Office

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Green Light Pharmacy has been running specialised travel clinics since 2001.

When you choose Green Light Travel Clinic, you will have a one-to-one consultation with one of our highly-qualified travel pharmacists or nurses. Our staff members have travelled widely and have good cultural and practical knowledge of most regions of the world.

We have a Green Light Travel Clinic at each of our 9 branches across London, running clinics across the week as well as providing walk-in consultations.

We offer all travel vaccinations and anti-malarial medication as well as other bespoke travel services such as altitude sickness prevention, period delay and stand-by treatment for traveller’s diarrhoea.

Some of our travel clinics are NATHNAC accredited Yellow Fever Centres and we provide risk assessment, vaccination, advice and a yellow fever certificate if you receive the vaccine.

What is it?

Altitude illness describes a number of problems that may occur when an individual ascends rapidly to high altitude, usually above 2,500m. As you gain altitude, air pressure decreases and so your body takes in less oxygen molecules per breath, leading to less oxygen being delivered around the body.

Risk areas

High altitude regions of the world such as the Himalayas (Asia), the Andes (South America), Rocky Mountains (North America), the Alps (Europe).

Popular high altitude destinations include Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal (5,380m), Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (5,895m), the Inca Trail in Peru (up to 4,200m), Aconcagua in Argentina (6,960m), Mount Kinabalu in Malayisan Borneo (4,095m) & Mount Fuji in Japan (3,776m).

Cities located at high altitude include: Lhasa, Tibet (3,658m); La Paz, Bolivia (3,630m); Cuzco, Peru (3,399m); Quito, Ecuador (2,819m); Bogotá, Colombia (2,644m); Addis Ababa (2,408m) and Johannesburg, South Africa (1,750m).

Prevention (holistic)

The best way to prevent altitude illness is by acclimitasing slowly and allowing for rest. It is also important to be aware of symptoms of altitude illness and always attempt to descent if these symptoms worsen at a given altitude or if they are severe.

Table 1: Wilderness Medicine Society Risk categories for Acute Mountain Sickness

Risk CategoryDescription
Low
  • Individuals with no prior history of altitude illness and ascending to ≤2,800m
  • Individuals taking ≥2 days to arrive at 2,500-3,000 m with subsequent increases in sleeping elevation
Moderate
  • Individuals with a history of AMS ascending to 2,500-2,800m in one day
  • Individuals with no history of AMS ascending to >2,800m in one day
  • All individuals ascending >500 m/day (in sleeping elevation) at altitudes above 3,000m but with an extra day for acclimatisation every 1,000m
High
  • Individuals with a history of AMS ascending to ≥2,800m in 1 day
  • All individuals with a history of HACE
  • All individuals ascending to >3,500m in 1 day
  • All individuals ascending >500 m/day (in sleeping elevation) above 3,000m without extra days for acclimatisation
  • Very rapid ascents (e.g. many treks on Kilimanjaro

Prevention (medication)

Medication is not necessary for low risk, with gradual ascent sufficient for individuals. For moderate or high risk ascents, preventative medicine may be considered in conjunction with gradual ascent. Acetazolamide (Diamox) is the preferred medicine but is unlicensed for this indication.

Please discuss your requirements with our Travel Pharmacist or Nurse.

Further information

For more information, please visit the following link:
https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/disease/12/altitude-illness




What is it?

Cholera is bacterial infection that is characterised by watery diarrhoea. It is commonly caused by contaminated food and water.

Risk areas

Common in many low-income countries and is associated with poor sanitation and poor access to clean water. The overall risk for travellers is very low but the risk is far greater for those living in unsanitary conditions, for example relief workers in disaster or refugee areas.

The disease is endemic in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and is prevalent in areas where there is poor sanitation.

Prevention

Following good personal hygiene and safe food and water practices can help reduce the risk of acquiring cholera.

Vaccine schedule

Dukoral, a licensed vaccine effective against cholera, is available in the UK. It is not recommended for most travellers but for those whose activities or medical history puts them at increased risk. This includes:

  • Aid workers
  • Those going to areas of cholera outbreak and who will have limited access to safe water
AgePrimary courseBooster Required

Adults & children older than 6 years

2doses at least one week apart. If more than six weeks have passed between doses, the primary course should be restarted.

Single dose at two years. If more than 2 years have elapsed since initial course, the whole course should be restarted.

Age 2 to 6 years

3doses at least one week apart. If more than six weeks have passed between doses, the primary

Single dose at six months. If more than 2 years have elapsed since

course should be restarted.

initial course, the whole course should be restarted.




What is it?

Hepatitis A is a highly infectious virus that can cause inflammation of the liver. The virus is most commonly transmitted through food or water that has been contaminated by human faeces or by direct contact with an infected person.

Risk areas

Hepatits A occurs worldwide, but areas with high levels of infection include low-income countries where there is poor sanitation or hygeiene practices. High risk areas include:

  • The Indian subcontinent
  • Subsaharan and North Africa
  • Parts of South East Asia
  • South & Central America
  • The Middle East

Prevention

The most common route of infection in travellers is consumption of contaminated food or water. Simple measures to reduce the risk of infection include

    • drinking water from a sealed source or boiled water,
    • avoiding ice made from unpurified water,
    • avoiding salad that may be washed with tap water and
    • ensuring food has been freshly cooked and is hot

Vaccine schedule

There are several effective Hepatitis A vaccines available for travellers who intend to visit areas where Hepatitis A is common. Some of these vaccines have been combined with Typhoid and Hepatitis B.

VaccineScheduleAge range
Hepatitis A2 doses, given 6 – 12 months apartAdults & children older than 1 year
Hepatitis A + Typhoid1 dose followed by a single hepatitis A vaccine 6-12 months laterAdults 15 years and over
Hepatitis A + B3 doses, 0, 1, and 6 months
4 doses, days 0, 7 and 21, 4th dose at 12 months
Adults & children older than 1 year
Adults 18 years and over

Length of protection

The duration of protection from a completed course of Hepatitis A vaccine is a minimum of 25 years.




What is it?

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver. It is spread by direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person.

Risk areas

Hepatitis B occurs worldwide but it’s distribution is higher in some areas of the world such as:

  • East Asia
  • Sub Saharan Africa
  • Amazon basin
  • Southern parts of Eastern & Central Europe
  • Middle East
  • Indian Subcontinent

The general risk to travellers is low, although certain behaviours or activities increase the risk, especially in areas where Hepatitis B infection is more common. Risk factors include:

  • Unprotected sex
  • Exposure to blood i.e. via healthcare
  • Exposure to contaminated needles through injecting drug use or dental work
  • Contact sports
  • Adoption of children from risk countries
  • Long stay travel

Prevention

Avoiding contact with blood and body fluids can help reduce the risk of transmission. Unprotected sexual intercourse should be avoided, as should tattoos, piercings and other contact to needles (unless sterile). If travelling to remote or poor areas, it may be prudent to carry a sterile medical equipment kit in case of accidents.

Vaccine schedule

There are several well-tolerated hepatitis B vaccines, including combined hepatitis A/B products, and vaccination is recommended for all travellers considered at risk.

VaccineScheduleAge range

Hepatitis B

3 doses: 0, 1 and 6 months

Accelerated schedule: 0, 1 and 2 months and a fourth dose at 12 months

Super accelerated schedule: 0, 7 and 21 days and a fourth dose at 12 months

Adults from 16 years

Adults from 16 years Adults, 18 years and above

Hepatitis B
(paediatric)

3 doses: 0, 1 and 6 months

Accelerated schedule: 0, 1 and 2 months(with a 4th dose at 12 months for infants at continued risk)

From birth to 15 years

From birth to 15 years

Length of protection

For individuals at continued risk, a single booster dose should be offered, once only, 5 years after primary immunization has been completed. For most travellers that have completed their primary course, a booster at 5 years is usually unnecessary. However, any risk factors that increase risk should be discussed with your Travel Clinic Pharmacist or Nurse.




What is it?

Japanese Encephalitis is a mosquito borne illness that can cause inflammation of the brain, and is potentially fatal. It is spread through infected mosquitos mainly from sunset to sunrise.

Risk areas

Despite the name, Japanese Encephalitis is endemic in 24 countries across Asia and the Western Pacific, not just in Japan. It is most common in rural areas where there is rice growing and pig farming, although it can occur in urban areas too.

The risk to travellers is generally very low, however it can increase significantly for persons who intend to live or travel in risk areas for long periods of time or who visit rural areas during transmission seasons. It should be noted that even short trips (fieldwork, camping or night time exposure) can significantly increase the risk to travellers.

Prevention

Bite avoidance, especially between dusk and dawn, can help reduce the risk of getting Japanese Encephalitis.

Vaccine schedule

There is a licensed Japanese Encephalitis vaccine that is recommended forindividuals who plan to stay in rural areas where Japanese Encephalitis occurs during the main transmission season or those whose activities put them at greater risk.

AgeScheduleBooster required

2 months and over

2 doses: day 0 and 28

Not recommended

Adults aged 18 to 65 years

2 doses: day 0 and 28

Accelerated schedule: day 0 and 7 (this is recommended only when time before exposure is very short)

Single dose at 12 to 24 months after primary vaccination.

Second booster recommended 10 years after first booster dose.




What is it?

Malaria is a common and life-threatening disease that affects thousands of travellers every year. It is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, of which there are five different species worldwide that can spread the disease to humans.

Mosquitos that transmit malaria, normally feed from sunset to sunrise. Symptoms of malaria may vary but include fever, headache, fatigue and muscle aches.

Risk areas

Malaria is widely distributed in tropical regions around the world, including parts of Africa, Asia, Central and South America, the Carribean and the Middle East.

All travellers to countries or areas where malaria occurs are at risk of infection. Migrants to the UK that were born in malaria risk areas are at high risk when visiting friends and relatives in their country of birth. This is because of an assumption that they have immunity from having being born there. Immunity however, disappears very quickly upon moving to an area with no malaria risk.

Prevention

Prevention of malaria follows four important steps:

  • Awareness of the risk (understanding if travelling to an area of risk)
  • Bite prevention (particularly at nighttime)
  • Chemoprophylaxis (use of appropriate malaria prevention tablets)
  • Diagnosis (prompt recognition of symptoms and treatment)

Choice of malaria tablets

The choice of tablets is dependent upon the type of malaria present in the area visited and if there is any resistance to any of the available medicines.

We can provide medication to prevent malaria that is appropriate for the area of the world you are visiting. We also make sure you know what steps to take to help avoid insect bites, including the use of WHO recommended insect repellents.




What is it?

Measles, Mumps & Rubella are viral illnesses that are spread in the air by coughing or sneezing etc. They are highly infectious and can potentially cause serious and life threatening complications.

Risk areas

MMR are endemic in many countries around the world, and so pose a risk to all travellers. Countries in Asia and Africa often experience outbreaks, especially if there has been a natural disaster or conflict. The MMR vaccine is part of the UK childhood immunisation schedule, however many people may have missed their first or second dose and so are potentially at risk of disease.

Prevention

All unvaccinated individuals or those with incomplete vaccination should complete ensure the primary vaccination schedule is up to date.

Vaccine schedule

AgeScheduleBooster required

Adults & children over 6 months *

2 doses: 0 and 1 month

No booster required; life-long protection

*This schedule is pertinent to those individuals that are unvaccinated or have an incomplete vaccination record. The

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