Please sign in to post.

Sick in Paris—where can I go?

I know what my diagnosis is (I’ve had this type of infection many times before and ended up in the hospital once when it was really bad) and at home I’d be given a course of antibiotics. We arrived in France on Sunday and by Monday I was feeling early symptoms. We stopped at a pharmacy (in Amboise) and I started a recommended over the counter treatment that the pharmacist said was strong. At first I felt better but now (Wednesday night) I’m feeling much worse and I think antibiotics are probably necessary at this point. We are in Paris staying in Ile-St-Louis.

Posted by
7123 posts

I got very sick in Paris 4 mos ago, i called SOS Médecins Grand Paris, and Dr Urfan Ashraf came to me (twice).
On the official paperwork it says:
Téléphone: SOS médecins: 3624

I also have this number that i called to reach them:
O11 33 61198 2720

You may have to check how to dial that # within Paris.

Doctors make house calls in France, and i liked this doctor very much. I just needed antibiotics as well, but was way too sick to get myself somewhere (acute pneumonia, acute sinus infection, and acute bronchitis).

There is also a hospital right in front of Notre Dame, Hotel Dieu, which i’ve also gone to. You just walk in and go to the emergency room.

Posted by
1390 posts

Find the office of tourism or the syndicate d'initiatif or the pharmacy to get you to a doctor ASAP!.

Pharmacie Centrale Ile St Louis - 14 rue Deux Ponts - street that splits the isle in the middle NS,, . Go there immediately.
Probably it will not be open, but the all night pharmacies will be listed on the door.

Go to the all-night pharmacie nearby - they will direct you to a clinic or whatnot as you need a prescription.

Maybe your hotel clerk can get you a jumpstart.

Try to resolve this right away.

Posted by
771 posts

O11 33 61198 2720

a guess: 6 is usually a mobile prefix. If you're in Paris using a local phone. 06.11.98.27.20

S.O.S. is a good choice say friends. I've never used that service but it is highly recommended.

Posted by
7123 posts

Thank you 75020 for how to dial that # within Paris!

Posted by
21 posts

Thank you. I had the front desk clerk call S.O.S. Medicin and the service operator said a doctor will come within the hour.

Posted by
21 posts

The doctor just left. For 100 euros I got a house call visit within an hour of calling and he brought a portable ultrasound machine, which he used after my physical exam concerned him. I now have to wait for the house call lab service to come take samples to send to the lab before I can fill the antibiotics prescription. This is so they can culture and tell me if I need to switch medications.

I’d recommend S.O.S. for anyone else who gets sick while in Paris. (Although I hope that you don’t need it!)

Posted by
7628 posts

Thanks for letting us know the outcome! Hope you are on the mend quickly!

On a RS tour several years ago one of the members needed a house call. She was asked to pay cash so I wondered if that was the same for you? If so, that confirms the need to have some cash on hand. I usually do but I know many try to get by without it.

Don’t bother to answer until you feel better!

Posted by
1843 posts

Filing this away for future reference-just in case. It's always wonderful to have reliable help at hand. Thanks to everyone responding and Veritaserum, I hope you feel much, much better soon!

Posted by
764 posts

Excellent. We were on the RS Paris and heart of France last May and hubs got walking pneumonia. The hotel call a dr for us. It was 100 euros also. I had to go to pharmacy to get the meds. Our doc was Freddy Atlani. Glad we called!

Hope you have a speedy recovery!

Posted by
21 posts

I’m still waiting for the lab tech so I’m distracting myself by whatever means available.

I was able to pay with my card, but I’m glad I got more euros this morning in case they hadn’t accepted a card.

Posted by
7628 posts

Thanks for that extra info! Good to know they took a card.

We can distract you as much as you need!

Posted by
6740 posts

Glad SOS worked well. I heartily recommend them. We used them a lot for our kids when we lived in France, and even for my husband a few years ago when a kidney stone struck just before leaving the CDG hotel. The MD took two hours to get to us due to the morning CDG traffic, but all was fine when we flew a day later. There are several services, but they are the oldest and best known.

Posted by
21 posts

I’m waiting for meds to kick in so I can finally try to sleep. The lab technician took over three hours and cost another 90 euros. He didn’t have a card reader, so I’m glad I had cash.

The night front desk clerk here at Hotel Lutéce has been very kind all evening. When I came downstairs to go to the pharmacy, he had a list of 24 hour options ready. I think he was ready to call me a cab, but I showed him that I used to G7 app to call one on my way downstairs.

The G7 taxi driver waited for me while I stood on a Paris street to get served by a pharmacist through a tiny window. More than one man walked past me while I stood there out of sight of the pharmacist (who was in the back getting my medicine), so I was grateful for the taxi driver’s presence. He made sure I got back into the hotel before he drove away.

All in I spent 220 euros for doctor, labs, and medicine and 20 on a taxi. The doctor’s name is Lionel Chevet and he speaks very good English. With everyone else I used a mix of English, Spanish, and my very sparse French to get my needs across. I also wrote down French phrases in the little notebook I brought.

I really hope I feel better when I wake up. We have an Eiffel Tower tour booked in the afternoon that I’d hate to miss. That might be all I do tomorrow, though.

Posted by
30929 posts

It's great to hear that you received such prompt and caring service from everyone involved. Hopefully the med's work quickly and you're back to normal soon.

Posted by
1136 posts

Thanks very much for this!

I've taken down the relevant numbers, service, and doctor--two more weeks in Paris.

Last trip in Avignon, the doctor had no problem giving me a very high dose of antibiotics for what he said was bronchitis, and a bottle of codeine-laced cough syrup.

Problem was the antibiotics didn't help, I ended up in the hospital a week after I got home, and it took about four months to feel normal again.

Posted by
1390 posts

I'm glad the OP got excellent treatment right away.
That's important wherever you are.
In this case because several of you here knew the numbers it dial in Paris, help arrived right away;
No matter where you are act quickly and get help.
You don't want to be forced to abandon your chosen itinerary.

Posted by
5394 posts

Veritaserum —how are you feeling today? Were you able to make it to the Eiffel Tower?

Posted by
16727 posts

Antibiotics have to be matched to the patient's specific infection.

Posted by
5700 posts

And virtually no doctor matches antibiotics to specific infections unless it is serious and didn't respond to whatever they prescribed first. I am impressed that they are doing the culture so they can adjust.

Posted by
7123 posts

What acraven said, and what works for one person may not work for another.

I’ve never had any problem getting antibiotics in Paris, i’ve had far more difficulty here where i live.

My doc in Paris (see above post) prescribed one antibiotic, didn’t work, he came back and prescribed another, didn’t work. I flew home, went to my doc, she prescribed 2 antibiotics to be taken together. Like Barbra, it still took me months to feel better.

Posted by
449 posts

Veritaserum27 I'm glad that things worked out for you. This made me start to think about my situation. I have a rare disease that sometimes flares at the weirdest times, and I also carry EPI pens and have a medical alert bracelet, but it hadn't occurred to me to figure out an emergency plan over there!

Keep well. Hope you're well rested by now.

Posted by
21 posts

I’m feeling tired/run down, but we made it to our Eiffel Tower tour yesterday afternoon. I decided it was worth splurging on cab fare since I wanted to conserve energy for the actual tour. After that we grabbed sandwiches at a little sandwich shop. Then we took a train back to our hotel.

Today I felt better than yesterday. We made it to our timed Catacombs entry. On our way to Luxeumbourg Gardens we stopped for lunch. At that point I realized that my medication makes everything taste weird/bad. I kept having my daughter taste things because I didn’t understand why nothing tasted good. She said it was all good. So sad to be in Paris and not be able to enjoy food. :-/ At least I’m no longer dying.

We had a few more areas of the city we wanted to explore. Since I’m not up for much walking, we decided to buy 2-day hop-on-hop-off your bus tickets with L’Open Tour. We rode the green (left bank/St. Germain/Bastille) route. Then we rode the blue (right bank/Champs-Élysées/Eiffel Tower) route. Tomorrow we will do the red route that goes up to Montmartre.

The one thing today that has tasted fine is the vin chaud I bought on our walk back to our hotel. It was a beautiful sunset here tonight—all pink and purple.

Posted by
16727 posts

I'm sorry you're dealing with drug side effects, but at least you're on the mend. I spent five days in Lyon in 2018 and couldn't even set foot in a restaurant because I had bronchitis, so I sympathize.

Posted by
21 posts

Being sick on vacation is not ideal. I’m sorry!

I’ve been cataloging our purchases for customs purposes. I’ll still have a few pills of my prescribed course of antibiotics when we fly home. Since I bought those in France, do I need to declare them? I have paperwork about the purchase and a diagnosis report from the doctor, but the pills aren’t labeled with my name the way they’d be in the states.

We are well under our $800 per person limit. I don’t want the pills to get confiscated since I need to finish my course in order to get better.

Posted by
837 posts

Thank you for sharing your story here. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve had to go to pharmacies in France, Belgium & Czech Republic but was able to get by with OTC. This is all good info. Glad to hear you’re better!

Posted by
5394 posts

I am so glad you were able to make your visit to the Eiffel Tower. I agree that a taxi was an excellent investment in this instance!!

I am sorry that nothing is tasting good but glad that you are able to see some of the things you had wanted to see on your trip.