Need Poison ivy medicine in rome

My son got a serious poison ivy rash from contact with leaves in NJ before we arrived in Rome, Italy. What cortisol medicines or else should I ask for at a pharmacy in Rome? Or do we need a hospital?

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

I would start by asking at a pharmacy. If your son is able to go with you and show the pharmacist the rash, the pharmacist should be able to determine which treatment is needed, or refer you to a doctor or hospital if the severity of his condition warrants it. I hope he recovers quickly. Poison ivy is so unpleasant. I'm not personally susceptible to it, but years ago my friend got a severe case after we went hiking together. She made the dreaded mistake of taking a hot bath before she realized what she actually had. It spread over her entire body and she became seriously ill and had to take Prednisone to get it under control. If your son can't go with you to the pharmacy, if you have an iPad or whatever find a photo of the leaves on the Internet and show it to the pharmacist.

Posted by Angela
Sammamish, WA
403 posts

The advice to go to a pharmacy is good. They can often do much more than pharmacies in the US. Try writing down the generic name of what you want because medication names are often very similar, pronunciation is just different. I did a quick online translation of hydrocortisone and calamine lotion and got "idrocortisone" and "calamine lozione." Benadryl might help as well. (Diphenhydramine)

Posted by Hans
Morristown
3 posts

We were able to get hydrocortisone cream (0.5%) at the pharmacy. That and Aloe Vera gel relieve a little bit. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is NOT available in Italy according to the pharmacist. Since the oil from the poison ivy is spread over a larger area of his body and he is worried that it might get infected, we have to probably find a 24/7 clinic to get prescription strength drugs. Thanks for the advice.

Posted by Hans
Morristown
3 posts

Update: There is a 24/7 medical facility specifically to help tourists in Rome. It is called "Guardia Medica Turistica". They are located in Trastevere at Via Emilio Morosoni 30 (go to the back of the building). The staff (a physician and nurses are on call) is very helpful and friendly. English skills may vary depending on the physician on duty (good to have a dictionary or better a smart phone with a dictionary app handy). On the weekend they don't charge for the service. Our son got a cortisone shot and prescription for an anti-allergic "Zyrtec" and a prescription strength cortisone cream for topical use ("clobesol 0.05%"). We were able to get the drugs at a pharmacy that was open on Sundays. All pharmacies (farmazia) if closed, show in the window a list of open pharmacies in the vicinity. The drugs made a signifcant difference to the better for our son and in hindsight, with symptoms of severe poison ivy dermatitis, we should have gone to see a doctor earlier instead of waiting it out with only over-the-counter home remedies. Thanks for all the advice.

Posted by Julie
Dallas, TX, USA
2 posts

So glad you got help. WE had same problem at the same time - amazing. Ours was not too bad, though had managed to spread to a few other parts of body We could not believe we could not find simple calamine lotion. We searched what is in it and ended up with a zinc oxide cream to dry out. The Calmogel gel given by pharmacist, really was not strong enough, but by sheer chance I was traveling with anti itch cream in case of bug bites that helped. Also gave Orapred (predinisone) which we had due to having an asthmatic child with us, we also always travel with benadryl but have used it up now. I am hoping we are past the worst, since you have found out we cannot get Benadryl :( It was reassuring to read your post and know we are on the right lines with treatment! I was interested to read about the clinic which I would not have thought to ask about but will in other towns we visit if the problem persists now I have your lead.
Hope the vacation gets better!

Posted by Julie
Dallas, TX, USA
2 posts

WOuld you mind posting the name and details of cortisone cream in case we need to ask for it please?
Thanks