Traveling with prescription drugs is a simple process, provided you pack them properly and store them safely. Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Prescription Drugs
You will need enough doses of each of your prescription medications for the entire trip and several additional doses if you are delayed on the trip. Talk to your doctor if your insurance does not give you extra doses. Your doctor should be able to work with your insurance company to provide you with the extra medication that you need. If you are taking over-the-counter medications, make sure you have enough of them on hand.
- Prescription Drug Restrictions
Certain types of prescription drugs are illegal in some countries. For example, you can not bring amphetamines or methamphetamines in Japan, even on prescription. Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and Adderall are also illegal there. Call the embassy of your destination country or visit the embassy website for information on restrictions on prescription drugs.
- Drug Storage
Carry all of your prescription medicines in their original containers, even if you normally use a weekly or monthly pill box. If you need to prove that you are the patient eligible for each prescription, the original container will serve as evidence. Bring your empty pill dispenser and set it up when you reach your destination.
If traveling by plane, train or bus, keep all prescription medicines in your carry-on luggage. Thieves are always looking for prescription drugs. If your prescription drugs are stolen, you will lose valuable travel time replacing your drugs. Our SafeTote Rx XL Locking Tote Bag provides a great solution for you to store up to 12 medication bottles in one location, with a lock to protect them from prying hands.
- Dosage Schedule
If you go through one or more time zones with your travel plans, you may need to change the time you take your medication every day during your trip. Talk to your doctor and prepare a dosing schedule.
If you need to take your prescription medication precisely, regardless of time zone, buy a multi-time clock or an alarm clock to track your dosing times and wake up at night. Test it before you leave the house.
- Prescription Documentation
To prove that your prescription drugs are yours, you should not only bring the prescriptions in their original containers but also a written prescription from your doctor. A copy of your personal health record signed by your doctor will document the possession of your prescription medication.
If traveling far from home, ask your doctor for a new prescription for all medications you take, just in case the prescriptions are lost or stolen. Ask your doctor to write each prescription on a separate form, as some pharmacies do not just fill out a prescription when it’s listed on a multi prescription form.
- Emergency Prescription Refills
Since pharmacies use computer-aided systems that require refill limits for their regulations, it can be very difficult to perform emergency refills while on vacation. If your prescriptions are file on a national chain and you are still within the borders of your home country, you should be able to go to a local pharmacy and have your prescription temporarily transferred to that location.
You may be in a situation where you need to fill up your prescription in a pharmacy that is not part of your healthcare network, either because you are abroad or because there is no branch office of your local pharmacy nearby. You will probably have to pay the full cost of the prescription and file an insurance form when you return home. Save your receipts and all other documents to submit with your application.