Traveling can be difficult if you have complex health conditions requiring a long list of medications. Here are a few tips for traveling hassle-free with prescription medication.
Tips For Packing Your Medication
Avoid packing last minute to ensure you have enough time to organize your medications and medical supplies. Take the time to find out which medications are banned or restricted from your destination area. You can visit the U.S. embassy website to find more information.
Keep a copy of your prescriptions and doctor’s notes in your purse or wallet when traveling. Pack extra medicine and supplies in case your trip lasts longer than you expect or if you experience travel delays.
You could also ask your pharmacy to group medication into packets according to the day and time you need to take them. This will make it easier to pack medication and take it on schedule.
Pack all of your prescription drugs in one bag to reduce the risk of having difficulty finding your medication and missing a dose. Pack medication separately, so you have a two- to three-day supply on you.
Certain antibiotics and statins can increase your sensitivity to the sun and lead to sunburns. Some medication provided through a patch may be released too soon if exposed to excessive heat. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any of your medications are “photosensitive.”
If you’re traveling by car, never leave medicine in the glove compartment, trunk, or luggage. Medications that require refrigeration, like some liquid drugs or medications that are injected, should be placed in an insulated lunch bag with a freezer pack.
If you’re worried about having enough while away, or want to plan for emergency situations, ask your doctor for a new prescription and keep that in a secure place in your bag.
If You’re Traveling Abroad
Take the time to learn about the laws, restrictions, and requirements of the countries you are traveling to. A few countries limit entry to individuals with certain conditions, although in many cases they are not actively enforced. Contact the U.S. State Department to check the latest travel restrictions and medication requirements.
If you aren’t able to bring certain medications with you, make sure they are available for purchase at your destination. Or find alternatives that you can take short-term while you are away from home. You could also look into obtaining special permits or authorization for prescription medication.
If You’re Traveling Across Time Zones
Set an alarm on your smart phone to remind you to take medication at the right time. Though it’s typically safe to take medication one to two hours early or late, don’t take double doses. Speak to your pharmacist to find out how to adjust medication according to a new time zone.
If You’re Flying
If you’re taking a domestic flight, you may have liquid medications seized from your carry-on if they are over 100 milliliters (ml) and you don’t have a prescription. If you’re taking injectable medications (like Egrifta, insulin, or testosterone) you must have the medications in your carry-on to be allowed to carry empty syringes. Airport security doesn’t allow travelers to carry syringes without proof of their use.
Keep syringes and medication in original packaging with the printed labels and manufacturer’s information. Doing so is the best way to help airport security identify your medication. Unsealing packages or taking pills out of their bottles may lead to delays in airport security.
If you have any questions about traveling by plane with medication, you can contact the Transportation Security Administration and the Division of Drug Information.