Summer months go hand-in-hand with vacations. That got me thinking … if roughly 48% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug at any given time, it’s safe to say a good number of those will be traveling this summer with pharmaceuticals. I’m sure most of those people know which medications require plan-ahead travel arrangements. Do you? From aspirin to insulin and EpiPens to inhalers, traveling with medication often requires special care.
You’re permitted to bring whatever medications you need on board an airplane, be they in the form of pills, liquid, gels or topical ointment. But, as with anything brought on airplanes these days, it must comply with the regulations of the Transportation Security Administration. What does that mean? Medications that are in liquid form and brought on as carry-on must meet the TSAs 3-1-1 rules, which states passengers are limited to using containers no larger than 3.4 ounces; those containers must be placed in a one-quart transparent, plastic, sealable bag; and each passenger may have only one bag. If your medication doesn’t fall within the 3-1-1 TSA guidelines, arrange to have it screened separately so you may still bring it in your carry-on.
If your medications do not comply with the 3-1-1 rule, take them out of your bag before you go through security screening and inform the agent they need to be examined by hand. Be sure to bring along a copy of your prescription to substantiate the medication. Medical equipment such as oxygen tanks, insulin syringes, EpiPens or anything else that could pose a security or safety concern to others should always be mentioned to a TSA agent, as they are often personally screened.
While U.S. security measures allow you to carry any necessary medications onto American flights, traveling abroad can be a little more complicated. You won’t have a problem leaving the country; however, you may have a problem clearing customs at your destination country. The State Department recommends checking with the embassy of the country you’ll be visiting to ask if the medication you’re taking is permitted in their country. Also, think about visiting your doctor’s office before you travel to request a letter stating what medical conditions you have, what medications you’re currently taking, and a possible pharmaceutical alternative. Should you have any problems entering the country, you can present your letter to the foreign security agents at the airport.
Unfortunately, traveling is not as glamorous as it used to be. Planning ahead is the best way to ensure a smooth journey and a stress-free experience. If you are leaving town this summer, let us know. We can make sure your medications are packaged correctly and that you have enough on hand to cover your time away plus a little extra in case of an emergency or even a spur-of-the-moment extended stay
ABOUT VH PHARMACY: VH Pharmacy is a family-owned and operated neighborhood pharmacy. In business for more than 40 years, VH Pharmacy has been under the leadership of Pharmacist Eddy Blanco for the past 11 years. With his extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical compounding, Eddy Blanco has transformed VH Pharmacy into a technologically cutting-edge facility. To learn more about our services, please visit our website at www.vhpharmacyrx.com or call us today at 305.324.8777.