Health Care      



The Pharmacy is generally open early morning until around 12noon, then around 3-6p.m.(ish). The Pharmacist in Santa Maria speaks some English.

1. If you run out of your medication, don’t throw your empty medicine bottle away, or the box with the name of the tablets or better still the leaflet with the medication instructions on it. If your medicine bottle is empty you can take it to the Pharmacy, it should say the milligrams and dosage on it in English, they will provide you with a similar medicine but it will be in Portuguese, if it’s ‘like for like’ (check). Then, when you need the medicine just read the English version on the old bottle.

2. Same goes for the leaflets, which will also explain in English about any after effects of the drug you, are taking.

3. Also the box of tablets which may say how many tablets to take a day and when i.e. before/after meals.

4. Someone come to live on Sal had a list of medications that they needed. The list was given to the Pharmacist who confirmed that they could be obtained on the island. Please make your own enquiries directly as medicines and dosages differ for each person. Not all medications are available at the Pharmacy.

5. Unless you have a tummy that is immune to everything, it is possible that you may get sickness or diarrhoea or both especially if here for more than a few weeks (not necessarily if you are just staying in your hotel). One person wrote: I had taken some tablets for diarrhhoea that had been bought in UK, they didn't work. I went to the Pharmacy and asked for something like them (showed her the box) I only needed three tablets before feeling better, she also gave me re-hydration sachets because I was so dehydrated. It is more common in the hotter months. I didn't finish the course of tablets, this isn't advisable because I was told that only taking a few, may have contributed to building up a resistance to the effectiveness of the tablets the next time I came to take them.

6.It is important you wash your hands before a meal and don’t pick your teeth after a meal. Generally because in between you may have unwittingly known that you have touched coins, the underneath tables, moved your chair or shook someone’s hand, you may have visited the bathroom and touched the toilet handle, and one hundred and one other things before thinking it was the meal that was to blame. There are occasions where flies land on food at hotels, restaurants or shops and spread germs, this is unavoidable unfortunately.

7. You cannot always get the medication that the Doctor recommends you take. Another person wrote:  I managed to purchase the anti-biotic, but not the other tablets to counter act the side affects of the anti biotic. I managed to find an alternative in my own first aid box of supplies that I had brought with me from UK.

8. Bring plenty of medication with you, and plenty of Mozzie Spray, you may not need it, but you will be sorry if you don't bring it and you get bitten!