Traveling with Medications

Published on Aug 21, 2014

Summer is a good time for vacations and carefree travel. Even so, you shouldn’t take a vacation from your medications. And while you may be traveling this summer for fun, it is important that you avoid interruptions in your treatment. To do so, make sure all your prescriptions are filled and plentiful before you travel, so that you don’t run out while you’re away.

Taking a few extra precautions ahead of time can help you enjoy your travel without worry. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Get an extra supply of all your medications in case of unforeseen circumstances such as flight delays or lost luggage.
  • Keep your medications in carry-on luggage, so you have easy access to them at all times.
  • Carry your prescriptions in their original containers to avoid problems at travel checkpoints and airport screenings.
  • Keep a list of your medications with you. Include generic and brand names, dosages, directions, and what to do if you miss a dose, along with any special instructions.
  • Prepare to declare your medications, along with any medical equipment you may need, at airport screenings and security checks. Consult with the Transportation Security Authority (TSA) ahead of time so you know the current medication travel requirements.
  • Some travelers need to have prohibited medical materials to administer their medication. These materials may include syringes or liquids in larger amounts than a few ounces. If you need to carry such supplies with you, get a doctor’s note stating that such items are essential for your treatment plan. Present this note at security checkpoints.
  • Once you get to your destination, remember to figure medication side effects into your vacation schedule. If a therapy makes your skin more sensitive, take care to avoid the sun. If you feel sleepy after taking certain medications, work your driving schedule around them.

These easy steps should help to make traveling with your medications hassle-free for a healthier summer vacation.

Krupa Paranjpe, PharmD is an Associate Director in the Pfizer Medical Information Department.

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