TSA Cares: Traveling With Medication

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How to Travel With Prescription Medications

Three Parts:

When traveling, you want to make sure you remember any prescription medications you're taking. In most cases, you can travel with prescription medication without much hassle. However, when traveling abroad there may be some restrictions on certain types of medication. Even when traveling domestically, you want to make sure you take some precautions when packing and storing your medication. With a small amount of time and planning, however, traveling with prescription medication is a fairly easy process.


Planning Your Trip

  1. Check regulations when traveling abroad.When traveling abroad, taking prescription medication can get tricky. Certain prescription medications may be illegal in some countries. In Japan, for example, you cannot bring Adderall into the country. Other medications may only be allowed in certain amounts, or require medical documentation. Check regulations so you do not end up without your medication after going through customs.
    • You can check regulations on your medications by checking country specific information on the State Department's website. You can also call the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit.
    • It may be helpful to also browse the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. The United Nations website also has information on prescription drug regulations by country. With a little detective work, you should be able to see what restrictions, if any, are placed on your medication.
  2. Get your prescription filled in advance.It's a good idea to plan ahead when traveling if you're on any prescription medication. You should make an effort to fill the prescription well in advance so you have enough for your trip. If you wait until the day before you leave, any delays or issues at the pharmacy could result in you not getting your medication in time for your travels.
  3. Make sure you have any required documentation.In some countries, documentation is required when traveling with prescription medication. You may have to have a copy of your prescription with you to present at customs. You may also need to have a letter from your doctor stating the purpose of your drug. Make sure you have these documents together well before you travel.
    • Doctors, especially in the US, tend to be very busy. It may take your doctor a few days, or even a few weeks, to write a letter about your medication. Start gathering these documents well in advance if you're planning on traveling abroad.
  4. Talk to your doctor about adjusting to the time zone.Some medications need to be taken at roughly the same time each day. If this is the case with your medication, talk to your doctor about how to adjust to time zones. He or she can give you advice on how to gradually adjust the time you take your medication in a new time zone.

Packing Your Medications

  1. Keep your medications in a carry-on bag.You should pack all your medication in your carry-on bag. In the event your checked bag gets lost along the way, you do not want to be without necessary medication.
    • You should also make sure to keep your medication in all its original containers. If you're flagged for a security check, you do not want to look like you're carrying any suspicious pills.
  2. Pack more than you need.When traveling with medication, you should pack slightly more than you need. Travel delays happen. If you end up stuck for a few extra days due to weather or other delays, you do not want to risk missing your medication. Always make sure the supply of your medication is at least a few days greater than the length of your trip.
  3. Make sure you store your medications properly.Some medications need to be stored at cooler temperatures. If your medication is normally stored in the fridge, you should make sure to store it properly during travel. You can use an ice pack, a cool bag, a thermos flask, or an insulated pouch to keep your medication cool.
    • While it's unlikely any of the above items would be banned, it may be a good idea to double check airline regulations. In the event there are restrictions, you can usually get restrictions waived due to medical reasons.
    • Even medications that do not need to be stored in cool temperatures may be affected by heat. It's unlikely the heat of an airplane would get hot enough to affect medication. However, it's a good idea to check with your doctor before traveling if there are any warnings about heat on your medication's label. It's better safe than sorry.
  4. Take a copy of your prescription.You should have a copy of your prescription with you when you travel, which should usually contain some information about the medication and its purpose. This is not only important for security purposes. In the event you need medical care when on vacation, it can be useful for doctors to have copies of your prescription.
    • If you don't have a copy of your prescription, you should be able to get one from your doctor's office. This may take a few days, so plan ahead.

Avoiding Pitfalls

  1. Double check airline policies regarding liquid medication.Liquid medications are usually exempt from liquid restrictions on most airlines. However, you usually need to keep the medication in its original container. Some airlines may require a doctor's note or a written prescription. Check the regulations on the airline you're flying through if you're carrying liquid medications.
  2. Check your insurance policy.Medication does occasionally get lost. In a bind, you should be able to fill a prescription out of state. However, this may cost a lot if your insurance does not provide out of state coverage. Make sure you know your insurance policy's regulations regarding travel prior to a trip.
  3. Get a note from your doctor if you need syringes.If you need syringes, you will usually need a note from your doctor explaining their purpose. You will also probably need to keep syringes in their original container for travel. As always, plan ahead. It may take a few days for your doctor to write a letter, so make the request in advance if you're traveling.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    I have prescription medication and I'm traveling out of state. What do I need to do?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Keep the medication in the original bottles in a Ziplock bag. Make sure it is stored at proper temperature.
  • Question
    Do nonprescription drugs need to be in the original package?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Not necessarily. However, it's a good idea to keep nonprescription drugs in their original package. It may look suspicious to travel with unmarked pills.
  • Question
    Do I need a copy of the original prescription, or just the original bottle?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You would just need the original bottle that has the prescription written on it.
  • Question
    Does China require a prescription when entering the country with prescription drugs?
    Jonathan Upton
    Community Answer
    It depends on whether or not your medicine contains a substance on their banned list. However, it is recommended that any prescription drugs being brought into China be in their original packaging and accompanied by the prescription or a letter from your GP.
  • Question
    I'm going out of state for 60 days. How do I get my prescription medications while gone?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Any big pharmacy can refill your out-of-state meds, except narcotics.
  • Question
    My 'medicine' is not prescribed or legal. Do these methods still apply?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No. Illegal drugs are not allowed on planes.
Unanswered Questions
  • Can I carry my prescription medications in a carry on bag?
  • I get a 90-day supply of my medications. Do I have to bring the big original pill containers?
  • Can I carry on my prescription medicine with Spirit airline?
  • I am traveling to Greece do I need written scripts or just the bottles?
  • What are Canada's requirements for entering their country with prescription medication?
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Date: 03.12.2018, 13:38 / Views: 75162