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Traveling with medications

Planning a three week trip to Scotland and Ireland. Will be bringing enough meds along with. If for some reason I lose some/all of my meds, can I replace them if I have a photocopy of the prescription bottle, with the name of the prescription clearly shown, will that do me well enough to get them replaced at a pharmacy? If not, what's the approved method?

Posted by
6810 posts

To get replacement for most meds will mean going to a Doctor, so they can assess the situation, and depending on their prognosis, may write you a prescription.

I would however start at a pharmacy. It is possible that some meds requiring a prescription here, a pharmacist can dispense. If a prescription is needed, they can usually direct you to an appropriate doctor.

I would certainly have a printout of the meds you are prescribed, usually your pharmacy can print a report. Do keep in mind that meds like pain meds/opiates/opioids may be very difficult to refill, some meds (like Adderall) may simply not be available.

Posted by
571 posts

Carry a prescription from your doctor with you. If that doesn’t work, you will need to visit a local Doctor to get a local prescription. Overseas Your meds may have different names or be manufactured by a different company.

Make sure all your meds are in your carry-on bag. Put them in a ziplock bag so you can find them easily and they stay together.

Given what is happening with traveling just now, make sure you take an extra supply of meds with you and keep separately, but not in checked baggage, I usually take an extra week’s supply.

I fill my weekly pill box before I leave home so am not having to pull all the bottles out of my bag every day; when I refill the box at the end of the first week I make sure all the bottles go in their ziplog bag and immediately into my carry-on.

Posted by
13844 posts

I sort of had to do this in the UK. I went to an NHS clinic and saw a nurse who wrote me the prescription. I then took it to the pharmacy to have if filled. Since I was over 60, it was free.

But talk to the pharmacist first. As stated earlier, some drugs that need prescriptions in the USA are over the counter in the UK and Ireland. And some are not available at all.

Your US prescription is not valid in the UK or Ireland but proves you do take the drug.

Posted by
10101 posts

Bring a print out of your meds. We learned during an emergency in the south of France, that telling the MD what meds my spouse was taking was not enough. No brand names rather the scientific names were needed. I always carry a print out from our accounts at our MD’s office of all of our prescriptions written out that more universal way. Start at a pharmacy. In some countries you don’t need an RX for many drugs and Chile is one of those.

Posted by
68 posts

You might check with your insurance to see if they cover pre- authorized vacation refills prior to your trip. Certain controlled meds may be excluded such as pain meds, anti anxiety and sleeping pills, but your insurance carrier can tell you how the process works and which drugs qualify.

Posted by
16048 posts

Don't assume what you take will be available in another country. 2 of my 5 meds are not available in the EU. One is recreational so no big deal, the other literally keeps me alive. I bring an extra month of that in 4 bottles in 4 locations including my wallet and key fob.