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Tips for Traveling with Multiple Medications

Does the thought of traveling with your medication make you anxious? You’re not alone. It’s normal to worry about how to manage your daily medication routine while you’re away from home.

A little planning can ease your mind. Being prepared can help ensure:

  • You have access to all the medication you need to take for the length of your travels
  • Your medication is stored properly at all times, for your safety and the safety of others
  • You can continue to take your medication as prescribed by your doctor, at the appropriate time of day

How Much Medication Should I Take on My Trip?

It’s important to bring enough medication to cover you for the entire time you will be away from home. It’s also a good idea to bring a little extra in case your travel is delayed for any reason.

There are generally no limits on the amount of medication you can travel with by airplane in the United States. The TSA allows you to bring an unlimited amount of prescription medication if in the form of a pill or solid. You can bring them in your carry-on bag or checked bag.

For liquids, the TSA allows up to 3.4 ounces in your carry-on bag. However, the TSA website says you can bring “larger amounts of medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols in reasonable quantities for your trip.” It also states you will have to declare them at the TSA checkpoint for inspection.

It is recommended you keep prescription medication and anything you may need urgently in your carry-on bag. That way you will have what you need if your bags are lost or delayed.  

If you have questions or concerns about traveling with your medication, the TSA helpline is a great resource. You can call TSA Cares at 855-787-2227 or send them an email through their website here.  

For information on traveling internationally with medication, visit the CDC website.

How Should I Store My Medication During my Travels?

It’s important to always follow medication storage instructions, even while traveling. This includes keeping medication away from children and pets for their safety. It also means storing medication at the appropriate temperature so it is safe from extreme heat and cold.

If you need to keep medication cool or frozen while in a car or airplane, you can use ice packs or other cooling accessories. There are travel bags made specifically for this purpose that are allowed by the TSA.

For air travel, TSA suggests keeping your medication in containers that are clearly labeled to help the screening process go faster. You can use original prescription bottles. You can also use multi-dose packaging like the ExactPack by ExactCare. Each ExactCare pill packet has the names and doses of the enclosed medication printed on it.

No matter how your pills are packaged, you should be able to access your complete medication list at all times. It could come in handy during the screening process, but it is also vital in the event of a medical emergency. If you are traveling with a controlled substance, it’s a good idea to have a note and/or prescription from your prescribing doctor.

How do I Stay on Track With my Medication While Traveling?

Travel can disrupt your daily routine. It’s important to continue to take your medication as prescribed. This might require preparing snacks ahead of time or timing meals so you can take medicine with food.

If you change time zones, you may need to make adjustments to the time of day you take your medicine. Your pharmacist can help you figure this out. Then, you can set a medication reminder or alarm on your phone or watch to help you remember.

If you’re going to be away from home for a long period of time, tell your pharmacist. This will prepare them if they need to call in a prescription for you to a local pharmacy. They also may be able to arrange delivery of your medication to you where you are staying.

Enjoy Your Travels

Don’t let anxiety about your medication keep you from taking a vacation or visiting a friend. Keeping your medication with you as you travel, in a carry-on or other bag you can easily access, can provide peace of mind.  Remember that your pharmacist is here to help provide advice and find solutions for you.

If you are an ExactCare patient with upcoming travel plans, feel free to call us with your concerns at 1-877-355-7225.

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