Do I need a prescription for DUKORAL®?
You do not need a prescription from a doctor if you are taking DUKORAL® for travellers’ diarrhea, unless you live in Quebec. DUKORAL® is available at your local pharmacy. Be sure to speak with your healthcare professional about DUKORAL® before you travel to an at-risk area.
If you are taking DUKORAL® for cholera it does require a prescription.
Who should take DUKORAL®?
DUKORAL® is indicated for the prevention of travellers’ diarrhea and/or cholera for adults and children 2 years of age and older who will be visiting areas where there is a risk of contracting travellers’ diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) or cholera caused by V. cholerae.
DUKORAL® may be used by mothers who are breastfeeding and older adults. It may also be given to people who have a compromised immune system – including those who are HIV-infected – however, the vaccine may provide them with a lower level of protection than it does in people with a healthy immune system.
Who should not take DUKORAL®?
DUKORAL® is not recommended for use in pregnancy; if you are pregnant, your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of having DUKORAL® during pregnancy.
It is also not recommended for travellers who have a fever or an acute gastrointestinal illness. If you have diarrhea or a fever, you should postpone taking DUKORAL® until the illness has passed. However, you may take the vaccine if you have a mild illness, such as a cold.
People who have an allergy to any ingredient of DUKORAL® its container, or to formaldehyde should not take the DUKORAL® vaccine.
How do I take DUKORAL® to make sure I'm protected?
It is very important to follow the DUKORAL® dosing instructions carefully. This includes both how to prepare DUKORAL® and when to take DUKORAL®.
How long does protection last with DUKORAL®?
Protection against travellers’ diarrhea caused by ETEC and cholera begins about 1 week after the last dose taken.
Protection against travellers’ diarrhea caused by ETEC lasts for about 3 months.
Protection against cholera lasts for about 2 years in adults and children 6 years and older, and for about 6 months in children who are 2 to 6 years old.
For Traveller's Diarrhea caused by ETEC: If you have taken DUKORAL® in the last 3 months to 5 years, a single dose will renew your protection. A single-dose DUKORAL® format is available from your pharmacist, and should be taken at least one week before you travel.
- Children 2 to 6 Years: If your child received their last dose of DUKORAL® between 6 months and 5 years before, one booster dose will be sufficient to renew their protection.
- Adults and Children 6 Years and Older: If you or your child received your/their last dose of DUKORAL® between 2 and 5 years before, one booster dose will be sufficient to renew your/their protection.
A single-dose DUKORAL® format is available from your pharmacist, and should be taken at least one week before you travel.
To help you remember when you can begin taking your booster dose, you can download a free app for your smartphone here. This app will program the dates for each dose into your smartphone, so you can check one more item off of your to-do list.
Can DUKORAL® cause any side effects?
The side effects of DUKORAL® are usually mild. The most common side effects of DUKORAL® are abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Some people who receive DUKORAL® may feel feverish.
Potentially serious side effects include dehydration and shortness of breath; however, these side effects occur very rarely.
How else can I protect myself against travellers’ diarrhea and cholera?
Besides taking DUKORAL®, it’s important to use care in your choices of food and water, and to follow good hygienic practices:
- When possible, boil, peel or cook your own food.
- Avoid uncooked foods in restaurants, especially shellfish or salads.
- Drink bottled or boiled water.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before eating and after using toilet facilities.