Both my husband and I have to take several different prescribed medications. Can we carry them in the day-by-day containers or must they be carried in their original containers from the druggist. I have a paper showing we got them from the druggist if that would do. Thank you - this is making me crazy as I don't want them confiscated.
Marlene, upon coming and going on 8 different flights this summer I was never asked by airport, airline or customs to show me any proof on medication. I beleive that a note from the doctor including the generic should suffice, although the state department web site says to take the bottle. I believe the only possible hastle will be on your return and then you're home, right? I will do it that way next time.
Thank you, Linda. I've never been asked before either,but with all the goings on in the world I didn't want to start the trip off on the wrong foot.
I've never been asked, but I think you are best to carry the medications in the original containers because if your bag is searched, they want to see the original containers. That way there's no doubt as to what they are, and the information is readily available if you need to refill the prescription in an emergency and/or there's an emergency and you are incapacitated.
Remember that pills may come in different sizes and shapes in different countries, so if you are in accident and they need to figure out what the pills are, it doesn't help just to have the sheets of paper.
As Kate said, just for the sake of clarity I'd take them in the original containers. If you need to put them in a day-by-day container once you get there in order to keep track of whether you've taken it that day or not, you can do that, too. I take several supplements (non-prescription), and usually just count out what I need for the trip and throw them all in a ziploc bag together, but I am not a good role model. :) I've never been asked about it, but if it was an issue it wouldn't hurt that much for me to lose it, either. I think you're safer with the original containers.
As an Incharge Flight Attendant and Medical First Responder...I've gotta say this...
PLEASE, for your own safety...ALWAYS keep your medications in their own originally labeled containers! ALWAYS carry then with you on board the Aircraft!
You suddenly go unconscious and I'm handed a bag of unlabled pills I WILL HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE!! Handwritten labels aren't sufficient, either so don't think this is a good substitute.
We are trained to look for the information printed on the container label, called the "5 Rights".
The 5 Rights are as follows:
-The right Person
-The right Medication
-The right Time
-The right Dose
-The right method
Removing the label removes this information.
Don't count on your travel companion or Family to know what meds you are currently taking.
If you don't like the large pill bottle, ask the Pharmacist to label two smaller bottles. Always carry at least an extra 7 day supply plus a prescription with generic names incase of loss or extended travel
If you must use those day-to-day containers...Fill them upon arrival at your destination and keep your original containers with them.
If you have a known preexisting Medical condition, consider wearing a Medic Alert type pendant, anklet or bracelet. We do look for these. Some ppl think they are ugly or don't want ppl to "know" they have a medical condition. Wearing one could very well save your life. Keep in mind that a note in your wallet probably won't help you in an emergency. We will not go into ppl's wallets looking for these. (You suddenly become conscious and find us rifling through your wallet...it looks to others as if we are robbing you or demanding payment before we assist)
This was a good question. Too bad it wasn't posted under "General Europe" as I think it would have reached a lot more ppl if it was posted there.
I appreciate Flight Attendant's pov, but I guess it depends on the meds. Mine aren't going to cause me any seizure, heart failure, etc. I tried the bottle trick and was refused at 4 different places. I ended up using big ones which took tons of room and frustration. If your meds are for life threatening situations, Flight Attendant's point is well taken. For me, I'm sticking with separate baggies with the prescriptions in them for the next trip. FYI, my dr.'s prescriptions are typed, not hand written, so they are legible.
Baggies are probably fine, but be warned if you do encounter a customs check, it might be an issue.
If you go with baggies, make sure they are properly padded so the pills don't get crushed. Some medications can cause big problems if taken when they are crushed because they are absorbed much quicker or irritate the stomach.
Take my advise. I'm also a Medical First Responder (EMT). I know what I'm talking about. Even medications that aren't necessarily for life threatening conditions can interreact with other medications and have an adverse effect.
A Doctor's prescription, even though typed and legable, will not readily display the 5 Rights that Medical First Responders look for. I have outlined them above. A label is clearly outlined/easy to access/understand and there for many reasons.
Not all medications are prescribed for or administered in the same fashion for every patient. This information is important. Any Health Care Provider will agree.
Play it safe, keep your medications in their originally labeled containers. Let's not meet by mistake. (Little EMT joke...)
I have been thinking a lot about this topic since we are going to be making a trip for two weeks and don't really need our medications every day. We buy ours on-line from MEDCO in a 90 day supply. I don't really want to haul 3 months worth of stuff for a two week trip, and the original bottles are enormous and take up lots of space. We also take vitamins, again purchased in bulk (which means big bottles). Do we really need to take the original bottles. I won't have room for anything else!@$&!
Jan, the answer is YES! Whenever possible, ask if you can get two or three (if 90 day supply) smaller labelled containers. If this isn't possible this time, try to remember to ask for next time. My Pharmacist was good enough to flag my file so whoever fills my Rx will see my special instructions.
Hauling around large bottles is a real pain but it sounds like you might not have a choice. Or you can get the Pharmacy to send you duplicate copies of their printed label?
You could probably get smaller bottles from any Pharmacy and stick the labels to them.
OR, if you have smaller, labelled bottles of the SAME medication from the recent past, you could always refill those. The date won't be the most recent but if the "5 Rights" (outlined above) remain the same you'll be safe to reuse the bottle. (EMT's aren't supposed to suggest such a thing but it will get you by...)
Don't worry about hauling the large vitamin bottles, just the prescription meds. Vitamins have never been questioned when I have carried them, even when they are in completely unmarked containers.
If you take the vitamins out of the bottle, no one really knows for sure what they are. Some herbs and medications can interact. So if you're not taking the bottle, at least write down what vitamins/suppliments/herbs you take just incase anyone medical asks/needs to know.
Inspectors (Screeners, Customs etc.) are primarily concerned that Prescription medications are in their original labelled containers. Medical First Responders are primarily concerned about your safety. If in doubt, speak to a Health Care Provider such as a Pharmacist. They are the medication experts.
Some Pharmacies will "blister pack" your meds for you. They bind your meds in a foil or plastic daily blister pack. They often provide this service to Seniors or anyone requesting it, really. They are sticker labelled by the Pharmacist so the label will contain "the 5 Rights of Medication" posted above. Some people like this service since it cuts down on lugging bottles.