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Stay Healthy: 7 Tips for Traveling
With Prescription Drugs

prescription drugs

In 2019, Americans took about 1.9 billion trips nationally and internationally.

Traveling and investing in experiences is one of the most rewarding things people can spend their money on. Although many people want to travel when they feel at their best, sometimes it's necessary to travel while taking medication. 

If you want to go on a trip an are taking prescription medications; you shouldn't let it slow you down. 

Read on to learn about these tips for traveling with prescription drugs.

1. Check the Regulations of Your Destination

Before you think about traveling with your prescription drugs, you should check with the local embassy to make sure you're allowed to bring them with you. Even if you need the medication for your condition, you could be transporting illegal medication without knowing it. 

Many people don't realize transporting certain medications to another country could land them in jail. You would be surprised which everyday medications are illegal in other countries.

  • Sudafed and Vicks: Although Sudafed and Vicks are common cold medications in the United States, they're banned in Japan. 
  • Codeine and Tramadol: If you carry these "controlled drugs" to other countries such as Greece, Saudi Arabia, or Japan, you could end up arrested. 
  • Benadryl: Although you're allowed to bring Benadryl in small dozes to Japan, this allergy medication is banned in Zambia. 
  • Ambien and Intermezzo: If you take sleep aid such as Ambien, you might want to think twice before taking it to Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Singapore, on the other hand, you can obtain a license to bring it legally. 

It's your responsibility to find out if you can legally bring medication to your destination. If your medication is banned at your destination, you should talk to your doctor about other alternatives.

2. Make a Doctor's Appointment

Before your trip it's important you make a doctor's appointment. Not only do you want to make sure you're in great health to travel, but you want to get all of the prescriptions you need.

It's recommended you visit the doctor 4 to 6 weeks before your trip, so you can get enough refills. For example, if you plan on traveling for longer than 30 days, you will need special permission from your insurance company, so you have to make sure to do it in advance. 

You also need to talk to your doctor about how the changes in time zone will affect when you take your medication. Make sure you come prepared with a list of questions before your appointment. 

3. Buying Drugs At Your Destination

While you should bring enough medication to last your entire trip, there's still a possibility you might find yourself without medication. If you must obtain prescription medications while on vacation, you need to do it responsibly.

Once you meet with the doctor or pharmacist, you should ask if the medication has any other active ingredients. 

To avoid counterfeit medication, contact your country's embassy, so they can refer you to a reliable doctor or pharmacy. If you must obtain a new prescription at your destination, make sure you keep all of your receipts and keep the medicine in its original packaging. 

If you plan on staying in one location for an extended period of time, you can also order prescriptions online and have them delivered. Of course, you will need to make sure the online pharmacy of your choice delivers to your destination.

4. Pack Your Medications Appropriately

Before you get on a plane, you need to be smart about how you pack your prescription medications. First of all, you will have to bring your medications in your carry-on luggage. 

The last thing you want is to check your bag and have it get lost. Not to mention, you will probably want to have access to your medication on the flight. 

If you want to avoid security going through your bags, you should keep all of your prescriptions in the original container. The container will have important information about your prescription, such as name, dosage, and name of the physician.

Aside from having the original containers, you should also have a copy of the prescription. It's a good idea for you to leave a copy of your prescription at home in case you lose the other copy.

Have your doctor give you a list of the generic names of your prescription in case you need to get it in another country.

If you plan on traveling to a more strict country, it's a good idea to have your doctor write a letter explaining your condition and why you need a prescription.

5. Travel Cautiously With Herbal Medications

Even if your medications are all herbal, you will find yourself with a sticky situation when you travel to specific destinations. 

You should treat herbal medications and supplements like any other prescription drug.

Never bring herbal medications and vitamins in an unlabeled bottle. Whenever possible, you should ask your doctor to include in the letter why you need to take herbal medications. 

Chances are TSA will not ask you for a doctor's note, but it might be helpful to have when you reach a destination. 

6. Traveling With Narcotics

After reading all of the tips, you have a great idea of how to travel with prescription medications. However, you need to be more cautious when it comes to narcotics. 

Narcotics are a type of drug used as a pain reliever such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet, Codeine, and more. Some countries have more strict rules when it comes to narcotics. 

Because narcotics have a reputation for being widely abused, security will want to make sure the prescription belongs to you. When traveling with narcotics, you should be more cautious about having everything in order.

7. Is the Medication Necessary?

Before you start packing your medications, ask whether or not you need to bring it with you. Bring only the essential medications and avoid bringing things you could get at your destination, such as Advil.

Follow This Tip for Traveling with Prescription Drugs

Now that you know the tips and tricks for traveling with prescription drugs, you're ready to plan your trip. Don't let your medication slow you down. Start by talking to your doctor, keeping the medications in original bottles, have a copy of the prescription, pack it in your carry-on, and more.

If you enjoyed these tips and would like to learn more, check out the rest of our blog.

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