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My Meds

I just did a google search on "tsa and medications" and saw that unless I have a doctor's letter, I can't carry my daily meds in my med organizer (that thing with the days and compartments) in my carry-on. That's no problem, but I can see it holding up the line, so the alternative is taking all my meds in their individual bottles (some of them pretty big , and some containing supplements) in my carry-on (my only bag, natch ;) )........ So is there an easier way? I'll be wearing my med-alert bracelet, so I was wondering if that would help?
Anyone done this?

Thanks!

Bill

Posted by
1432 posts

You can ask your pharmacist to properly label smaller bottles of each for the purposes of your trip. And, yes, you need to carry them in properly labelled containers, even the supplements. Nothing stops you from transferring them back into your med organizer once you arrive though... ;-)

Posted by
6092 posts

For travel I put each days pills in separate little baggies (they sell them just for this purpose) and put all the little bags in a bigger plastic bag in my carry-on. Of course I carry copies of the prescriptions in case anyone wants to question them. I've traveled this way for years and have never had any issues. I have friends that also do this and have never had any issues either.

Posted by
11613 posts

I've used the baggie method, I ask the pharmacist for an extra label and just stick that on the baggie.

Posted by
9110 posts

You read the wrong scoop. TSA has no such requirement.

My stuff goes in the weekly flippers. No prescription, no letter. The flippers are in a ditty bag for my convenience. TSA has shaken it once and briefly opened the drawstring one other time on the dive for whatever they were looking for. Customs in a nation nobody visits as a tourist once opened one compartment of one flipper box once. I've no way to figure out how many flights I make or how many borders I cross in a year.

Posted by
242 posts

Okay, ya got me, Ed. What are "Flippers"? :)

Thanks

Bill

Posted by
9110 posts

The long things with seven compartments, each one of which flips up to get to the day's stuff.

Posted by
419 posts

I go to Europe two or three times a year with two prescription medications in their original containers. I have never had a problem nor even a question raised by TSA or customs anywhere. They are simply not noticed.

Posted by
2081 posts

Bill,

This will depend on how lucky you are and feel.

But in my 2.5 years of traveling overseas and locally, i have NOT been stopped/searched for my meds, yet. the only time ive been stopped is for my water bottle (i forgot to empty) and a partial used tube of toothpaste. I argued about that and ended up tossing it and is the reason i no longer bring toothpaste or anything they can ask you about.

I have blood pressure meds and i keep them in my prescription bottle on my carry on. I do that so that they know im on it and if im incapacitated, it has the info on it. The druggist offered to put them in a small ziplock with the appropriate info, but i want something more robust, so i kept the small bottle.

you can also ask your fave drug dealer to put some of the meds in a smaller bottle for you with the appropriate label.

what you may want to do is to have a copy of the various prescriptions with you if they ever ask.

happy trails.

Posted by
6092 posts

@Ray and Joan - your methods work well for a couple of prescriptions. When you get up to the multiple meds per day, carrying the original containers becomes a little, shall we say, bulky; then the ziplock baggies become a more space efficient alternative.

Posted by
242 posts

Thanks, everyone. I like the idea of the prescription copies and I will take 2 of what Ed calls the "flippers". so I will have two weeks' worth of meds with me.

On 9/11, I was stuck in Rothenburg because all the planes were grounded. At that time I had not been diagnosed with dementia, but did (and do) have hypertension and was in danger of running out of my BP meds. Before I did run out, I took one of my tablets to one of the local pharmacies and explained my situation, and the guy was kind enough to sell me 30 days' worth after calling my doctor to make sure of the strength and frequencies.

So I have been very lucky thus far.

Thanks

Bill

Posted by
242 posts

But..... but..... I thought everything in USA Today is factual, Ed??!!!

Nothing like going to the ol' "Horse's Mouth" though and thank you for the correction.

I also took a look at the section with disabilities. Mine (bat-**** crazy) wasn't listed, though! :)

Thanks!

Bill

Posted by
2081 posts

@ bill,

you always bring more than what you need since you never know what will happen.

my vacs are 30 days or so, so one of those weekly pill containers wont cut it for me.

happy trails.

Posted by
9110 posts

Ray???

Would five do the trick, how about six, maybe seven?

Posted by
7711 posts

You don't need a container for each week. You can fill it for the first week and then bring extra to keep refilling. In your case, bring some for your second week. I buy small ziplock bags at REI and label each one, including a bag for pain reliever, a bag for vitamins, etc. I put all the smaller bags into one larger bag. I bring an extra weeks worth of prescription meds, in case something happens and I get stuck somewhere. Think 9/11, volcano eruption, bad weather...

Posted by
1432 posts

What you also have to remember is that it's not only the TSA rules that you must abide by, but also each country (that you enter)'s rules.

Here's Canada's info: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/medication

I haven't come across any scrutiny when entering European countries, but I have elsewhere - Israel having been the worst.

Posted by
9363 posts

I carry mine, sorted into each day's requirements, in one of the weekly sorters. I have never been asked about them. TSA doesn't care about your meds, only about the things that they consider security risks (today - tomorrow's list could well be different).

Posted by
16791 posts

I would definitely not bother to declare to TSA or anyone else that you are carrying prescription meds. I have carried prescription meds onto international flights, and through European customs "Nothing to Declare" line, and back home again dozens of times without anyone asking about them or checking them. Let's assume you don't look like a known drug smuggler.

Posted by
242 posts

Laura: Let's do! :)

Thank you!

Bill

Posted by
242 posts

All kidding aside, I thank you all for your insights and will put the worry about my pharmaceuticals on the back burner!

Thanks once again,

Die Rechnung

Posted by
1747 posts

I carry injectable medication, 12 shots in all. I have never been stopped, questioned or had them examined. My teenage daughter at the time, however, who takes a powdered medication has been stopped and searched on several occasions. I always find that interesting.

Posted by
4356 posts

My gosh, Bill ! I just realized who 'Bill/Carrollton, Georgia' is!

I used to follow your blog, but then I couldn't because I needed to 'be invited' :-( Hey, I'd kick me out, too LOL!

(I always wondered if you managed to get that bass guitar to Rothenburg, and I've found your recent post where you said that you did - twice!)

I use these Pill Pouches for everything under the sun - even sometimes for pills ;-) You can write on them, or attach a label to them. And always take an extra week or two supply of medication (if possible) in case your trip home is delayed.

Ed gave you the link to the current TSA info concerning medications. As someone else already noted, other countries may have different policies concerning medications, but generally speaking unless they are controlled substances you'll be fine.

You seem to be doing well; I hope you have a pleasant and safe trip!

Posted by
103 posts

I take one "flipper", two "fav" labeled smaller prescription bottles that my "fav" Pharmacist
orders for me. My haul includes a week's worth for the unforeseen in life a traveler may experience.
My OTC wonderments are in their original packaging (I don't bring the entire box) and put in a small zip lock bag.

Posted by
242 posts

Eileen, please forgive the "invitation only" requirement, but I began getting some posts which were not very nice from some "kids", I believe. I have since found out I can actually control those, so the blog will once again be public. Again, please accept my apologies and come back anytime.

Thanks also, for the kind advice on how to handle my um, "Pharmaceutical Arsenal". :)

Bill