Traveling with Medication

Are you thinking of traveling while taking a prescription medication? Here are some tips and guidelines to help you prepare for your departure.

Take more than you need

If possible, fill your prescription close to your departure date and bring more than you need – just in case. Upon arrival it’s not a terrible idea to split some up between a camera case, purse or luggage that way if you misplace one, you’ll probably still have enough medicine to make it through the rest of your trip.  

Let the TSA know about your liquid medicines

Carrying your prescription in it's original container can help avoid issues at security.

Remember medically necessary prescriptions are exempt from the TSA 3-1-1 Rule regarding liquids, aerosols and creams. With that said, it’s important to carry your medication in its original container with an easy to read label.

Tell the TSA officer ahead of your security screening about your medication so they don’t think you’re trying to sneak prohibited items onto the plane. It’s also advisable to carry a letter from your doctor that explains your condition, the medication and dosage you take to treat it and the prescription in case a TSA officer has any questions.  

Keep your medication in your carry on

Keep your medication on top of your carry so you can get to it easy if you need it on your flight. It also protects your medicine from the extreme temperatures in the plane’s storage hold and ensures that you have your medicine on arrival in case your luggage is delayed or lost.

Plan for the time zone change

Traveling overseas means time zone changes, which can impact the schedule of when you’d normally take your medicine. Check with your doctor on how to best modify your schedule. Once you have a plan, it’s a good idea to set an alarm on a wrist watch or cell phone so you don’t miss a dose due the excitement of traveling.

Travel health kits

Besides your prescriptions, it’s not a bad idea to pack some over the counter medication. Some things that make sense to pack include an antidiarrheal medicine, antihistamine, a laxative and pain medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen.  

For a full list of ideas you can visit the CDC’s website. You can also purchase pre-assembled kits online.

Store your medicine at the right temperature

Some types of medicines like insulin or hormone injections require refrigeration. Double check with your doctor or a pharmacist to find out if your medicine needs to be refrigerated or if it can be stored at room temperature. If it needs to be kept cool consider a medical travel cooler and ice packs.   

Plan ahead if you need take your medicine with food

Granola bars are perfect if you have to take your medicine with food as they’re easy to carry and eat on the go.   

 For more information and complete TSA Guidelines, click here.

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