Please sign in to post.

OTC pill count limit?

Hello,

Apologies if this is a repeat question, but is there a limit on the number of pills allowed in one's carry-on? I've seen a lot of blog posts that say to limit OTC pills to 100-count bottles, but I can't find any official confirmation of this. I am prone to muscle pain and tension headaches, so I always have Ibuprofen with me. I know it's available in Europe, but, as I will be traveling in Europe for seven weeks this summer (Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, France, Finland, Estonia, Russia, UK) it just seems easier and more economical to, if there's room in my backpack, just bring a 500 count bottle from Costco. I would keep them in their original, clearly-labeled, bottle.

Thanks!
~C

Posted by
16883 posts

I've not heard of a limit. But 100 tablets would be 2 per day for your whole 50-day trip, so maybe a smaller bottle will be adequate, and less heavy in your luggage. If you like a larger dose tablet (instead of taking two small ones) that could also make it simpler.

Posted by
13221 posts

I doubt you can buy anything stronger than 200 mg OTC.

But as Laura points out, 100 pills would be two per day for your whole trip. If you need more, maybe take two 100-count bottles? A Costco size bottle of 500 pills is huge, bulky, and way more than you need. Might even arouse suspicion that you are importing them for resale---ibuprofen is very expensive in Europe (we made the mistake of not bringing enough last trip and paid something like €14 in Venice for a small bottle of 200mg pills.)

Posted by
82 posts

The maximum recommended Motrin (ibuprofen) dosage is 6 pills per day (1 every four hours) - that's 300 for 50 days. This would be too difficult for me to manage on a vacation or any other time, so I switched to Alleve (naproxen sodium) which is 2 per day. A 100 or 200 count bottle is much smaller.

Posted by
279 posts

Thanks, everyone, for the quick replies! My doctor and I had a conversation several years ago that resulted in my never taking Alleve, but since I don't remember the details, perhaps it's time to ask again. Certainly sounds like it would be simpler.

~C

Posted by
4784 posts

C,
You can always ask your doctor to write a prescription for Ibuprofen (400mg, or 600mg) & this will cut down on the bulk.

Posted by
786 posts

The maximum dose of ibuprofen is 2400 mg per 24 hrs. or 12 pills a day. 12 pills x 42 days is just about 500 pills. But if you took that much ibuprofen every day for 7 weeks you would definitely do some damage to your stomach (or your kidneys) so I wouldn't recommend it!!

Why don't you figure out how much you take in an average week and then throw in a few more?

By the way, Aleve and ibuprofen are in the same drug category (NSAIDS). So if you aren't supposed to be taking Aleve, I would double check with your doctor on the ibuprofen.

Posted by
6950 posts

Nobody seems to pay much attention to the pills carried in luggage--and that includes prescription meds.

And if you run out of over the counter pain pills, they sell the same drugs over there that we have in the U.S.

In fact, most of the large drug companies are based in Europe.

Posted by
28131 posts

Lola, you wuz robbed!!!

Generic ibuprofen is easily available at many places - we get ours at Lidl or Aldi or our local supermarket where we buy 200mg ibuprofen for 26 pence. I think that's for 32.

Small quantities because controls are in place to prevent overdoses - although I have no idea how it would stop a determined person but that's what Europe wants - but seriously cheap. Somewhere in the vicinity of 1 or 2 pence per tablet.

Posted by
11613 posts

If you do end up having to buy OTCs in Europe, pay attention to what the pharmacist says about dosages - they are typically stronger than what you get in North America (which also makes them more expensive per bottle).

Posted by
2 posts

Get Prescription Ibuprofen 800 mg tablets--much cheaper than buying there,
and you can carry a lot that way--I use them for my hip arthritis, but they are good to have for any other emergency too.

Posted by
68 posts

Not sure what you use for dosing on your ibuprofen but if you are a regular user of a higher dose I would talk to your doctor about taking something rx to save space and weight. Try it at home to make sure it works but it might be a better option. If you are not brand specific you can probably pick up something similar in a pharmacy. I got some Voltaren in Istanbul that saved my trip. I think the ones in Venice were expensive because everything is expensive in Venice. I ended up with a 8 euro box of tampons in Venice so plan ahead if you are on your last 20 so you aren't hunting for a shop at the last minute with a headache in a tourist area.
I take everything in a pill planner (monday is aleve, tuesday is prilosec) and have never had a problem. I would keep my prescription medications in their containers.
Or you can skip the hassles and take your 500 pill bottle, I don't think they are going to care about you carrying it. Or you can try to shove 200 pills into a 100 container.

Posted by
13221 posts

Nigel--- we tried two different pharmacies in Venice, well away from the tourist areas, and that seemed to be the going rate. I was not in a position to quibble as I wrenched my back mountain biking in the Dolomites, and by the time we arrived in Venice it was painful to walk. I can't not walk in Venice, so I used up our trip supply of "Vitamin I" in the first four days. Of course as soon as we bought more my back recovered and we didn't need the extra pills.

Posted by
28131 posts

I'm glad to see that the trip to the pharmacy had the required placebo effect... LOL