Many of us are planning family vacations or weekend getaways during this time of the year. For those that take daily medications, traveling without those prescriptions is impossible. Knowing what you can take and how it needs to be packed is key ensuring you enjoy your trip.
NARMC’s Clinical Pharmacist, Brandy Hubbard, offers the following tips.
If you are traveling by plane this summer, you need to know the TSA rules for medications.
It is recommended that you place medications in your carry-on bag, just in case luggage is misplaced or you need the medication while in flight.
All medications are allowed in carry-on bags, including liquids in excess of 3.4 ounces. It is not necessary to place liquid medications in plastic bag with other liquids. You must tell TSA when you enter the security checkpoint that you are traveling with liquid medication in your carry-on.
Nitroglycerin tablets and sprays used to treat angina are permitted.
Be sure to carry medication in its original bottle (even vitamins and over-the-counter products) with the original label.
For other forms of transportation, Brandy recommends these guidelines
Be sure to secure all bottles so you don’t lose medications.
Medications should be kept at room temperature. If traveling during extreme heat, be cautious of leaving them in a hot vehicle for long periods of time.
Insulin and other refrigerated products should be carried in a cooler, but not placed directly on ice as they should not be frozen. There are special packs you can purchase to keep insulin from getting too hot or too cold such as FRIO case and ClimaPak. Extreme changes in temperature can cause these medications to lose its strength.
Be sure your storage method meets the requirements of the packaging. For example, most insulin can be kept room temperature for 28-30 days while some other drugs must stay refrigerated.