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All travel requirements seem to be to have your medication in their original containers. Is it okay to get your pharmacist to put your medication in a small sealable plastic bag with the label on it instead of bottle? It would certainly take up much less room.

Posted by
2644 posts

That’s totally fine! I do that for each trip:) No one has ever looked at my medicine - ever.

Posted by
1080 posts

My wife does this for her medications, the pharmacy prints her a label with a sticky back and she puts them in small plastic bags and puts the sticker on them. I would not do this with any pain medications (opiates or Xanax, Ativan,etc) because these are controlled substances and must be in there original container with a label.

Posted by
422 posts

I have used a similar method but used the paper prescription receipt that has all the same information as on the prescription bottle and put that inside a small plastic bag with the meds. But I also have to admit that no one ever has looked at or for my meds.

Posted by
2456 posts

We do this when we travel to Europe. We always include the original label in the baggie. As someone said no one has ever looked at our medication in Europe. When flying in and out of Asia and Africa the meds are in their original labeled containers. The only time someone scrutinized our medication was when we were flying out of Jordan. Again we had the meds in their original containers so no issue.

Posted by
2146 posts

I do not take any original comntainers. I put each days medication in a mini ziplock bag, that is about 2" x 3" and label them for each day. I do not take any printout etc of what they are. I do take just a couple Xanax, again in a mini ziplock and label it myself to say "flying". That is for my restless leg, which acts up on any flight, so I only need a few pills for the flights. I have never been asked about any of this. If I were to get questioned, I would give them my doctors information and we would just go from there I guess. It isn't something I worry about, but then again I am not hiding anything so if they want to look, they can;)

Posted by
7395 posts

I take two small pills a day, so I fill up one each of the smallest day-of-the-week containers with them (plus an extra week’s) so 4 or 5 in a slot. I also have the prescription paper with my name that I also place inside my toiletry kit in case there are questions.

I have a photo of each prescription saved in my iCloud, just in case.

Posted by
1679 posts

I put my meds in my larger days-of-the-week container. I'm usually gone for three weeks, so each section has 3 days worth in it. I take photos of the labels, in case I am questioned about them, but I never have been.

Posted by
2857 posts

I use Donald’s baggie method. My local pharmacist is very cooperative with labels and being sure my 90 day fill cycle doesn’t run out during my trip. I also carry a list of medications I am allergic to.

Posted by
697 posts

You are not required to carry medication in original containers. Per Customs & Border Patrol:

Prescription medications should be in their original containers with the doctor's prescription printed on the container. It is advised that you travel with no more than personal use quantities, a rule of thumb is no more than a 90 day supply. If your medications or devices are not in their original containers, you must have a copy of your prescription with you or a letter from your doctor.

Per TSA:

Medications in pill or other solid form must undergo security screening. It is recommended that medication be clearly labeled to facilitate the screening process. Check with state laws regarding prescription medication labels.

We have traveled with an extensive array of medications to and from Europe many times, and it is always re-packed into small pill baggies. The pharmacy prints me a copy of all labels before we go, and I stick those on a piece of paper and include them in the medication pouch. In addition I carry a letter from the prescribing physician to cover any controlled substances, just to be safe. Absolutely no issues anywhere, ever.

Posted by
10334 posts

I’m in Europe now for a 6 week trip. I took my prescriptions out of their original containers and put them in small ziplock bags. I didn’t have any problems doing that.

Posted by
7653 posts

First, it is doubtful anyone in Europe will examine your luggage, so you are free to smuggle any number of things in....

Let me restart, the concern a border agent might have is what do you have and do you have some ill intent, like selling the drugs. They certainly do look for large quantities as a flag, and they are looking for controlled drugs. If you take a pill or two a day (or a few more) then mixing into daily bags or day of week" container is not going to get you into trouble. Nor will switching meds from the "original" bottle to a sturdy bag, with a label, after all, who is to say what is an "original" container, the intent is that it is labeled. As someone pointed out any controlled meds, pain killers and opioids, take more care, especially if your condition requires what might be considered a "large" amount, which for a several week trip, at 3 a day, could reach that level. As most say, to your perception, nobody ever really pulls you aside to go through your luggage, so you will not have to explain things

However, do consider that the greatest risk is you losing, dropping down the sink or across the floor, someone taking off with your bag, having an unexpected delay (that covid test coming back?) and needing to get replacements in Europe. In addition to labeling, I would take a printout of the meds, prescribing doctor, dose and frequency with you (or scan and have stored digitally), so that when you go to a Doctor, they will know exactly what you were taking.

If I were to get questioned, I would give them my doctors information and we would just go from there I guess.

Sorry, if there were questions, and that is your approach, the response would be "take a seat over there, we might get to you at some point". Basically creating a delay, and they can not call your Doctor and get info (HIPA requirements), so you will be stuck some time. Have the info with you or accessible immediately.

Posted by
453 posts

I've been on numerous international trips and never bring my medication in the original bottles (however, I don't bring any controlled substances or prescription pain meds). All of the pills go in a 7 day pill container in which I put each of one type of medication in Sunday's spot, a different medication in Monday's spot, etc. I take photos of all of my medication bottle prescription labels and store it on my phone in the "Keep" app, in case there is any problem. The idea to take a printout of the medications is a good one and I think I'll add that to my packing list.

Posted by
2146 posts

Paul--I am well aware. That works for me though and I am not worrying about this.