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Travel Health and Traveling with Your Medications. By Our April Student Pharmacist, Kristy Jackson.

Blog 3 - picture 3The summer is coming soon and many of us may be traveling to other states or even other countries for vacation. There are a lot of things to think about when preparing for a trip. I want to make sure you don’t forget about your health and medications in the process.

Here are some tips on travelers’ health and how to prepare and pack medications for trips.

Packing Your Medications

  • Pack all the prescription medications you take on a regular basis.
  • Don’t forget things like creams, inhalers, and injectable medications, if you are also taking these regularly, as well.
  • If you have any severe allergies and have been prescribed epinephrine by your doctor, pack your EpiPen.
  • When packing your medications, make sure you have enough supply to get you through the trip and a few extra days just in case. If you don’t have enough supply, visit your pharmacy before leaving to get your prescriptions refilled.

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Flying with medications

Sometimes it can be confusing what we can and cannot bring on a flight with us. The TSA has some easy to follow tips for bringing medications on a flight. These include:

  • Medications in pill or solid forms can be brought in unlimited amounts as long as they are screened.
  • Medications in liquid form ARE allowed in carry-on bags in excess of 3.4 ounces in reasonable quantities for the flight. You DO NOT need to place them in a zip-top bag. Make sure to tell the officer that you have medically necessary liquids at the start of the screening process. You may be asked to open the container as part of the screening.
  • It is highly recommended to pack your medications in your carry-on for easy access in the event they are needed. You can also pack them in checked baggage if they will not be necessary while on the flight.
  • TSA does not require your medications to be in the prescription bottles, but each state has their own laws when it comes to labeling of prescriptions and passengers need to comply with these laws. To be safe, I would suggest taking your medications in the prescription bottles given to you at the pharmacy. Doing this will ensure the medication is labeled properly for any travel.

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Other Tips

  • When traveling with controlled substances or injectable medications, it is a good idea to have a note on letterhead stationary from your physician.
  • Pack a written list of all your prescriptions.
  • If you are traveling to other countries, check with the American embassy or consulate in that country to make sure that your medication will be allowed into the country. There are some countries that do not let visitors bring certain medicines into their country.
  • Depending on where you are going, you may also want to pack over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as pain relievers, antidiarrheal medications, antihistamines, or antacids just in case.

Sources:

  1. Pack Smart | Travelers’ Health | CDC. Wwwnccdcgov. 2016. Available at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/pack-smart.
  2. Burns B. The TSA Blog: TSA Travel Tips Tuesday – Traveling With Medication. Blogtsagov. 2013. Available at: http://blog.tsa.gov/2013/09/tsa-travel-tips-tuesday-traveling-with.html.

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