Make sure your medication is travel ready. Keep reading for traveling with medication: what you need to know.
If you’re on medication and getting ready to travel, you probably have some misgivings.
After all, most prescription drugs are Federally regulated and things can seem a bit sketchy when you’re looking at crossing state or international boundaries. Then the questions seep in.
Can you fill your medication’s script in another state? What about another country? What restrictions are there? You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers. Read on and we’ll show you how to travel with your meds without it being an inconvenience.
Traveling Within the US with Medicine
While you’re traveling within the United States, you should be in good hands. While many controlled prescriptions are regulated at the Federal level, crossing state borders won’t get you in trouble provided that you have proof that it’s your prescription.
For that reason, it’s important to make sure that you bring your original bottle from the pharmacy with you. By corroborating with your ID you can prove that the medicine is yours and legal.
If you’re traveling by air, you also don’t need to declare medications during travel within the US itself.
The problem for most people arises when they run out of medication while on their trip due to delays or just not thinking it through in the first place. It happens, but what you’ll be able to do about it depends on the state you’re in.
It’s always a good idea to keep abreast of potential problems when you’re on the road. You can click here to learn more online and it’s a good idea to know how the jurisdiction you’re heading to will handle things.
Some states will make it easier on you, for instance, Texas allows for an emergency 72-hour script to be filled even if your doctor is out-of-state. Others are much harder to deal with, so know what you’re facing before you set foot on the plane.
Traveling with Medication Internationally
International travel complicates matters much more than traveling within the United States.
Each country has its own individual restrictions and in some cases, you can’t bring prescribed medication with you. For instance, no matter what your doctor says, no one is going to let you come into Japan with amphetamine salts.
In some places, you may even be able to get your prescribed medication over the counter instead of having to go through a doctor depending on the drug. There’s also the risk of counterfeits in some countries, so be aware that it’s still best to bring your own supply if you can.
In the event that you run out of medication while in a foreign country, your best bet is to contact the US embassy local to the area. They’ll be able to supply you with the information you need to find the right doctors and pharmacies to serve your needs.
Every case is a bit different when it comes to international travel, so make sure that you’re up to speed on what you need to know before you head out.
Make Preparations Before You Leave
When you’re traveling you can make things much easier on yourself by ensuring that you take the proper precautions before you leave.
Documentation of your prescription in the form of the original pill bottle from the pharmacy is essential, no matter where you’re headed. Even if you normally use organizers to keep your pills they should be in the original bottle to avoid any problems if they’re discovered in your luggage.
Most doctors recommend making sure that you also have enough medication to last through your trip plus a few extra days worth of pills to make sure that you’re not left without meds.
The extras are essential: you never know when delays might come up and you may end up spending longer at your destination than you were originally planning on.
In any case, it’s wise to read up on the regulations surrounding prescription medication in the area you’re traveling to. While there are few restrictions on any individual medications within the states, you’ll need to do a bit more checking for other countries.
The CDC recommends calling the US embassy ahead of time to ensure that none of your medications is restricted in the nation you’re headed to. They’ll have the most up-to-date information, after all.
This is true for both prescribed medications and supplements. Unless you’re looking to get your brain enhancing nootropics yanked at Customs, it’s a good idea to keep anything in pill form in the original bottle.
Lastly, you need to ensure that your medications don’t get stolen.
For most people that means keeping them on their person or in a carry-on bag until you’ve reached your destination. While a normal theft is bad enough, getting your medication stolen when you’re headed somewhere you won’t be able to get more of it can be downright disastrous.
Finally, always have a plan. Depending on your personal condition and health even a day without meds can have a serious effect on your life. You should know exactly what steps to take and where to go if something comes up in your end destination.
Don’t Let Your Meds Hold You Back
The laws surrounding medication are a bit complicated, especially once you’re traveling outside of the US. The biggest thing to take away is this: if you get things in order before you leave then you’re much less likely to run into any serious issues.
And, fortunately, you’ll be able to get help easily enough by reaching out to the US embassy in the country you’re headed to.
If you’re ready to learn more about medicine, why not find it in an easier format? Our infographic section is just around the corner.