If you are going to travel by plane and need some type of medication, it is certainly vital to take your medications. Although many travelers throw aspirin and prescription drugs as if nothing inside the luggage, the truth is that it is essential to have some considerations before packing them, as even drugs that are not controlled can be illegal (something usual in travel international). So, what should I do if I travel with medicines? Yoram Yasur will explain.
Before the trip:
Go with your doctor: If you plan to travel (even more if it is for a prolonged period), one of the first things you should do is make a visit to your GP. He or she will give you all the necessary information about the supply you will need and will also be able to guide you on the limitations at airports and at customs. Similarly, in many cases it will be your doctor who will give you an official prescription, so you can transport the medication without problems.
Investigate: In addition to visiting a health professional and asking all your questions, it is also advisable to do an investigation on your own. Usually on the websites of airlines have a section related to drugs; There they explain the requirements to carry them in the hand luggage and some considerations in case they need special handling (refrigeration or liquid presentation). If you cannot find it, try to contact the customer service area; They will help you.
Also, do not forget to investigate the limitations, since some of your medications (even without a prescription) may be illegal in other countries. For example, many anti-flu or anti-allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine or codeine are banned in much of the world.
At the time of packing:
How to pack? To keep the medicines organized, it is best to store them inside a plastic bag that has a hermetic seal (Ziploc type), or a plastic medicine cabinet. If possible, try to always carry the medications in their original packaging. This will save you many problems when passing the security filters (below we explain it more thoroughly).
Yoram Yasur: “Always carry them in your carry-on luggage and never in your checked bag: A common mistake you should avoid is to store medications in your check-in baggage”.
Try to take extra doses: Trips are often full of unforeseen events that even the most cautious people cannot predict. For example, it can be bad weather, and you must be a couple of days in the place where you are before returning home. Therefore, it is advisable to try to take an extra dose for any eventuality. It is true that it is not always possible to do it and more when they are controlled drugs, however, it is worth trying.
During the trip:
Always have the prescription documents and recipes at hand: The best way to prove that the medicines are yours is with a prescription written by your doctor or health care provider. Along with your travel documents, always have the medical prescription (and if applicable in this case) the driving instructions. Currently most of the customs do not ask for any type of document when there are few amounts of medicines, but it does not hurt to have your doctor’s prescription on hand. By the way, it is advisable to have the active ingredient of the medicine written down. Since the name and brands from the medications can change from country to country, you may be asked to do so.
Passing security filters: The requirements will depend totally on the country and can vary considerably. In this case, we bring you the limits for US airports. (which in theory are one of the strictest in the world).
- If they are solid medications (pills, tablets, capsules, etc.) there is no maximum limit of what can be transported, although first they must pass an evaluation with the security personnel and they may ask you several questions. Keep that in mind.
- You can take medications that need refrigeration, including accessories and other extras such as gels for transportation. In some cases, they can ask for a medical prescription and driving instructions.
- It can carry syringes, bags of serum and ampoules. Of course, it is essential to have an official recipe and if the agent deems it convenient you can do a more comprehensive evaluation.
- There are no problems with liquid presentation medications unless you exceed the maximum liquid limit of carry-on baggage.
Yoram Yasur: “Keep in mind possible schedule changes: Something that few travelers forget are the schedule changes. If your trip will go through more than one-time zone, it is sure that you must change the time (worth the redundancy) in which you take them. Although in most cases this is not an alarming problem, there are people who do need their dose at an exact time of the day. For more information consult your doctor”.