First off we have to say that what we got prescribed may not be the right meds for other people, this blog entry is strictly our own experience and we are not suggesting our prescriptions to you.
We did quite a bit of research on what types of meds other travellers had taken, especially antibiotics and antidiarrheals. However, even after so much research we still knew the only real option was to visit a travel clinic and get a consultation. We visited a local travel medicine & vaccination centre and even got a price break for going as a group. The nurses were lovely and gave us lollipops after our shots....or before in Morgan's case so she wouldn't start crying. Also Caitlin sacrificed her left hand to Morgan's death grip and will be in rehab before our trip this summer to regain dexterity.
We brought all our vaccination records and based on what we had received (all your regular school vaccines) we were prescribed Typhoid and Hepatitis A. The doctor also considered our budget in what she prescribed. For example, she mentioned Japanese Encephalitis as a vaccination option but this was way out of our price range and would not likely be a high risk for where we intended to travel. We were also prescribed 72 Malaria pills each. Doxycycline was our pill of choice based on cost and reduced side effects, being the cheapest and night terror-free option. Finally, we requested Dukoral, which we had learned about through well travelled friends, and the doctor confirmed that while it will not entirely protect against travellers diarrhea, it would reduce the risk by around %70....which was more than enough incentive for us...
Besides being given prescription our doctor was a highly experienced traveller for the area we are planning to visit and was able to educate us on many thing that had not come up until that point. For example, we learned about several types of mosquitoes and that Deet is a must have (30% at least) and should be applied 30min after sunscreen and only on areas of skin which are exposed. This process must be repeated every 4 hrs to remain effective.
We HIGHLY recommend anyone who is planning on travelling to visit a travel clinic as there is plenty of health information that is available from knowledgeable staff that may not be easily found online. There is also the question of validity and reliability of what you will find online or hear from other travellers. There were several "facts" that were told to us by other travellers that didn't apply to us at all. However, we would have never known if we hadn't double checked with the doctor.
In conclusion, always visit a travel clinic and get a consultation based on your travel plans. It's just the right thing to do.