TSA-Prescription Meds

I know that usually TSA wants prescription medications to be in their original labeled containers. But,I have so many, and in big bottles, that I had my pharmacy print out exact copies and I put a label on a snack sized zip lock baggie with the amount needed for the trip. Has anyone ever had a problem doing it this way? I also did my vitamins this way.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6826 posts

The TSA doesn't care about your prescriptions; it's a Customs issue.
Heading into Europe customs is most always a walk-through, it's rare for an American tourist to have their bags searched. Coming back to the US, US Customs is a bit more strict. If you get selected for a hand search and you don't have the original container/labels you'll have some explaining to do and you may get delayed....it's happened to me. But if you're just bringing enough meds to cover you for your trip you shouldn't have any issues.

Posted by Marie
San Diego, CA, United States
857 posts

Vitamins you can do without if you find yourself delayed - meds not so much. Take an extra 10 days worth as insurance (says one who was in Paris on 9/11). With the prescription labels I can't imagine you'll have any problems upon return unless you've got that whole crazed drug addict look going on (lol).

Posted by Mary
Morgantown, WV, USA
2 posts

Here's what I do, and I've never had a problem with customs or the TSA: I carefully peel off the label from the original bottle and put it on one of those plastic ziplock pill baggies (available at the pharmacy). I've never had a problem with the label tearing or not coming off cleanly when I remove it from the bottle. Then, I put the pills in the baggie. I use one baggie per medication. Since the original prescription label is on the baggie, I've never had a problem. I do the same thing with non-prescription medications. By the way, if you have any meds that come in a box (like some tubes of cream or asthma inhalers), make sure that the pharmacy puts the prescription label on the item itself and not the on box. If it's on the box, then you'll have to travel with the box, or otherwise TSA/customs might take it away. This happened to a friend of mine.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1333 posts

hi, this is just my 0.02 but if i remember correctly (IIRC), you may want to verify/check that your meds are legal to possess where you are going. i remember someone being arrested for some prescription meds that were legal over here, but not there. again, just my 02. happy trails.

Posted by Donald
Wichita, KS, United States
52 posts

Something else that helps is to have your Family Physician type a letter on their letterhead listing all your meds and the dosages. If customs ever questions your medication the letter will solve any issues. This is especially helpful for diabetics that carry syringes and bottles of insulin.

Posted by Tommi
Houston, Tx, USA
5 posts

I get my pharmacy to print up a history of all my prescriptions for the last year..Put my meds in the weekly pill containers and am prepared to show them the copies of prescriptions if needed. Also handy to have if you lose your meds and are trying to replace medications in a foreign country. I keep a copy in my luggage and in my purse.

Posted by Susan
San Angelo, TX, United States
1 posts

You can ask your pharmacy to print 2 labels and get an extra container for this purpose. They will do this in cases where meds need to be at school and at home, etc.