Taking medication on holiday

I wonder if you can give me some advice. I suffer with AF and take one 50mg flecainide every 8 hours. One at 6 am one at 2pm and one at 10pm. I take one 25mg atenolol in the morning at 6am. I also take one 5mg felodipine tablet in the morning around 8a.m. I also take one 15mg Rivaroxaban in the evening after dinner.

I am going on a 14 day coach Tour to Canada and their will be 8 hours behind our time and the flight will be around 9 hours. I am getting totally confused with how I take the meds. I don’t want to overdose or underdose. I have spoken to the pharmacist and my GP but they seemed a bit confused as well. They just said I should make a chart?

20 Replies

  • Hello. I made a chart for my mum in the same situation when she went to Australia. It took some time and thought and it wasn't simple. As far as I recall, the first 24 hours meds were scheduled as normal using phone alarms. (In your case, maybe 12 hours). Once you have arrived you can shuffle things around to suit the new time zone. You ll have a better idea once you're there. Good luck. Jan R

  • Good advice from Jan-ran, that's the way I would go.

    Best Wishes


  • Just an idea. Could you take a watch and keep it at UK time and take your pills by that? i know flec should be taken on an empty stomach which might throw a spanner in the works.

    Or note down your pills and the time you took then and then at least you can go back and check.

  • Very helpful thanks.

  • Most smart phones can be set to run with two or more time zone clocks so use that feature.

  • I never thought of that. Thanks.

  • I have wondered this myself. My pharmacist is so helpful. Never read that flecainide needed to be taken on an empty stomach nothing in the pamphlet to suggest that it should be. Been taking it for 18 months. Good luck have a great trip

  • When I got the flec in hospital no one told me but someone mentioned it the other day and I checked the leaflet and it said take on an empty stomach at least an hour before food or two hours after.

  • Absolutely just been looking on net haven't been doing it at all will start today. No idea what harm if any it has made thank you Richard for responding. Chris

  • I assume it makes its less effective - absorption rates. I only changed when I take mine the last couple of days. I hate the stuff and have lots of side effects I am hoping that it may reduce them now I am taking it differently. More to remember now as my Xarelto has to be taken with food!

  • If you don't mind me asking what side effects do you have. I am so so tired but not sure if it is the flecainide or bisoprolol or combo of both. Chris

  • I'm on both too. I get very tired, dizziness and feel nauseous. I am fairly sure it is the flec as I came off it and felt much better. I hope to come off it again soon. If the Bisoprolol is too much and your heart rate goes too low this can give the dizziness and tiredness too. It's all way too complicated!

  • I agree Richard just want to stay in sinus and get on with my life. .......it is doing te trick but the tiredness and apathy at times is a concern for me.

  • with me its the Bisoporol - no doubt about that no problems from Flec.

  • Taking flecainide and atenolol and also the blood pressure tablet felodipine slows my heart rate to roughly about 40 - 42 bpm. I am tired all the time and thought I had sleep apnea because I keep waking up in the night. I had a monitor fitted and I havent got it. The Consultant said it was probably the combination of meds making me tired. Surprise surprise.

  • Thanks. I have been taking flecainide for over 13 years and it is quite impossible sometimes to take it on an empty stomach etc when you have to take it 3 times a day. Especially difficult when taking other meds where some have to be taken with food!

  • I take 3 doses of flecanide similar to you and other meds morning and night. My approach is to move to the new time zone in a couple of steps by just extending the gap between tablets over the first couple of days , starting with the day you are travelling. As the time difference between UK and Canada is only 5 hours you just need to delay by 2.5 hours over 2 days to get yourself aligned. You then simply reverse it on the return.

    I have been to both Canada and NZ in the last couple of years and did the same each time, took 3 days with NZ as the time difference is greater.

    This worked well for me and I think it is best for me to be on my normal schedule asap, as even with a smart phone alarm you can still get in a muddle, e.g if you are driving and cannot take the tablet by the time you stop you can still forget.

  • Thanks for that tip. The time difference where I am going is on the Western side of Canada and is minus 7 hours in Alberta and then when I get to Vancouver it is minus 8 hours. That is why I am getting confused. A smaller time difference would have been easier.

  • Personally id miss a dose and start with the new time zone. You will have a plasma concentration of the drugs in your system so I would have thought it would buffer a missed dose.

  • Thanks that is a great idea.

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