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Bringing Medications or Filling Prescriptions Abroad A traveler going abroad with a preexisting medical problem should carry a letter from the attending physician, describing the medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic names of prescribed drugs. Any medications being carried overseas should be left in their original containers and be clearly labeled. Travelers should check with the foreign embassy of the country they are visiting to make sure any required medications are not considered to be illegal narcotics. (A listing of foreign embassies and consulates in the U.S. is available on the Department of State’s website at http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/dpl/32122.htm. Foreign embassy and consulate contact information can also be found on the Country Specific Information for each country.)
The other day while talking to the RCCL agent, she mentioned that I need to be sure to carry any/all prescription medications in the original bottle. Now, I know that technically and legally all these sorts of meds. do need to be in the bottle, however.... I travel by air 100,000 miles a year, I put my meds in a pill box, in my carryon, and have never been questioned by TSA domestic,nor international. SO -is it really necessary to pack the bottles (takes up space) or was she doing a CYA thing, or what? Mind you, she also told me that since I was flying in day before the cruise, I would probably be out of luck to get a transfer from the airport to pier as a 'walk-up'. (Which I know isn't true, and indeed RCCL customer service told me later that I would not have a problem doing a 'walk-up' transfer. Sheesh!We travel quite often and like you have never had any authorities show interest in the medications we carry.
This has nothing to do with legality of your having the meds, its for your protection in case they must get more of it for you or had to treat you on board or in a port. They wouldn't be able to fill a prescription for you if you lost or ran out of it unless you brought the prescription with you.This was much more of a concern a generation ago. Now, it's very easy to obtain prescription information or confirmation with only a phone call or check online. Furthermore, how often are you going to lose the medication, but not the prescription bottle?
My prescription meds are not life threatening, in fact, I've been known to skip a pill here and there (I know, bad person!). And yes, I do realize that legally and technically the original bottle should be carried. But, to get a duplicate label and a small bottle from our mail in pharmacy would be like asking them to fly to the moon! So, since I have never had any issues with flying domestically or internationally and I am only talking a total of 10 pills - I think I will just put them in my little ziplock in my carryon.My DH also flies over 100k a year for business and has been stopped multiple times at TSA checkpoints. He takes many pills and does mail order also but he still carries all the original bottles. Maybe he is just flagged for extra security because he often books last second and is forever changing his plans, but he has been questioned about his little daily vitamins packs too. For him, it isn't worth missing an important meeting because he was detained by a TSA agent who was having a bad day.
As someone mentionned - never put meds in checked luggage - totally agree. Nothing except clothing goes in that!