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Travel Tips for those Carrying Medications

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Updated August 17, 2006

As air travel becomes more and more restrictive, people are having a hard time traveling with their medications. Security is becoming tighter to the point where even bottles of water are not allowed on board your carry-on. So how can those of us who take medications make sure we will be able to carry them onboard? The following are important tips on how to travel with your medications and what you should have with you to make that easier.

Travel Tips

  • Pack extra medicine and supplies when traveling in case you are away from home longer than you expect or there are travel delays.

  • Carry a copy of your prescriptions in your carry-on, purse, or wallet when you travel.

  • If you are taking injectable medications (e.g., Fuzeon, insulin, testosterone) you must have the medication along with you in order to carry empty syringes.

  • Do not remove syringes or medicines from the original packaging with printed labels and manufacturer's information. Packaging is a good way to help airport security identify your medicines. Opening packages or taking pills out of their prescription bottles will delay your time in security.

  • Show copies of your prescriptions and/or your medication bottles you have in your carry-on when you present to airport security. If you have any problems ask to see a supervisor.

  • You can ask and are entitled to a private screening to maintain your confidentiality.

  • In response to security issues at your departure site and destination site, travel restrictions can change often. Arrange 2 to 3 hours before your flight in order to pass through security in plenty of time.

  • With recent security concerns, the amount of liquids you are allowed to carry-on is limited and in some cases prohibited. At the time of this printing, even liquid medicines are allowed only in limited quantities.

  • In some cases, the airline may ask the on-board staff to store your medicines and syringes during flight. Keep your medicines, syringes, and supplies together in a carry-on case or travel case to make passing them to and from the flight staff easier with less chance of losing medications or supplies.

  • If traveling abroad, become familiar with the laws, restrictions, and requirements of the countries you are traveling to. The US requires all passengers to declare medicines and syringes when traveling abroad.

Source: Travel Card provided by Roche Pharmaceuticals, 2006.

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