Taking Prescription meds on plane

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#1
Wayne, NJ USA
1,158 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
I know prescription medication has to be in the original bottle when taken on a plane, but I seem to remember that a prescription for that medication is also needed. I checked the tsa website and nothing was mentioned. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks,
Susan
#2
Aliso Viejo, CA
41,462 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
If you bring the original bottle, that should be fine. If you're not comfortable with that, every pharmacy that I know of gives you a printout of your prescription information. I bring that with me as well.
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#3
The Land of Ahhs!
44,132 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by cruisesusie
I know prescription medication has to be in the original bottle when taken on a plane, but I seem to remember that a prescription for that medication is also needed. I checked the tsa website and nothing was mentioned. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks,
Susan
I never leave the meds in their original bottles, instead I fill a couple of weekly dispensers. I do have a print out of all the meds and strengths though, just in case of emergency.
Now if the medication is a narcotic, that could be a different story.
#4
Aliso Viejo, CA
41,462 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by Toto2Kansas
I never leave the meds in their original bottles, instead I fill a couple of weekly dispensers. I do have a print out of all the meds and strengths though, just in case of emergency.
Now if the medication is a narcotic, that could be a different story.
You could still have them taken away. Last year, my BIL was stopped at Dulles because he had taken the meds out of the bottles, put them in pill packets and they wouldn't accept the print-outs. They took the meds and were going to keep them until he had a meltdown and told them that he could die if he didn't have them (which was the truth.) When I checked with my local pharmacy, they said that you absolutely, positively have to have them in the original bottle.
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#5
Greenville, SC, USA
51,207 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
The only time we have been questioned on my wife's med was on a domestic flight in India in 2008. They hassled us about her chemotherapy of all things.
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Paul
#7
Where My Suitcase Is
3,632 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by Toto2Kansas
I never leave the meds in their original bottles, instead I fill a couple of weekly dispensers. I do have a print out of all the meds and strengths though, just in case of emergency.
Now if the medication is a narcotic, that could be a different story.

This is one of my most passionate subjects to educate those on the CruiseCritic boards.

As a chronic pain patient I have to take a lot of pain meds

I've been pulled aside into a seperate room in 2x in Frankfurt, Paris, Split and Riga...searched spread eagle by men and documentation
was demanded why I was carrying my meds


NEVER EVER EVER should anyone traveling internationally with meds not have them in the prescription bottle...even domestically you can run into a power hungry TSA agent..as Pam mentioned above

Love ya TOTO...but I really insist on being a PITA on this one!!!!

It's also important to always verify you can legally bring your meds into a country...Dubai..no narcotic on or in your system...
Singapore used to be the same..HOWEVER they have now have a system in place that you need to do paperwork PRIOR to your arrival.
#8
The Land of Ahhs!
44,132 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
WOW! I am amazed, we have traveled all over the world, and not once had a problem with the meds in the little daily dispensers. We have been searched, had everything taken out of our carrys ons before, and still, no problems whatsoever.
Interesting that so many of you have had problems. Of course what we have isn't anywhere near a narcotic, just DH's blood pressure meds, and things like that.
Maybe I had better start packing them in the orginal bottles for the next trips, just to be on the safe side, I guess.
#9
Montara, California
4,861 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
We've never had a problem with our meds. We pack our daily vitamins and meds in little plastic packs and have even had security thank us for making it easy for them to see the pills. Here's the info directly from the TSA site.

Non-liquid or gel medications of all kinds such as solid pills, or inhalers are allowed through the security checkpoint once they have been screened. We recommend, but do not require, that your medications be labeled to assist with the screening process.

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...rial_1059.shtm

We also carry a prescription list in case we need to fill them for some reason.
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#10
The Land of Ahhs!
44,132 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
The thing that bugs me, you can put any pills you want into medication bottles from the pharmacy, and who is to say that is what the actual perscription is? I could put advil in a RX bottle, or a narcotic in an advil bottle. This just doesn't make any sense at all to me. We just haven't ever had problems in the past, even when we have been searched, wanded, pat down, and all our carrys ons completely emptied out and everything looked at. Never one question about the meds in the dispensers. Has this changed in the last few months or something?
#11
Where My Suitcase Is
3,632 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by Toto2Kansas
The thing that bugs me, you can put any pills you want into medication bottles from the pharmacy, and who is to say that is what the actual perscription is? I could put advil in a RX bottle, or a narcotic in an advil bottle. This just doesn't make any sense at all to me. We just haven't ever had problems in the past, even when we have been searched, wanded, pat down, and all our carrys ons completely emptied out and everything looked at. Never one question about the meds in the dispensers. Has this changed in the last few months or something?
If the search goes deep enough they can verify the pills are the same as the bottle..based on how the manufacture publishes the description of each pill.

But do you have the time..

that's the whole thing when you are dealing with TSA

do you have the time for them to determine its a vitamin or vicoden

Yes, as a US Citizen in the USA you have rights...

you have the right to ask for a woman to search you, etc etc

Mexico, Canada are foreign countries not just our neighbors.

Internationally...you have NO RIGHTS...

besides being searched for meds at airports

on a seperate issue while in Budapest we stepped off a metro and were greeted by Metro police asking to see our papers please...they had no reason to do this, but they did because they could

Here's the write up I did on our travel journal that gives more reasons to have them in the prescription bottle
You can find that HERE

I would also like to further illustrate being able to communicate worldwide with any doctor or pharmacist if you need a refill.

I had severe food poisoning on our land trip to Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. By the time I reached Bulgaria I needed a full dosage.
Everything was in Cyrillic, the pharmacist didnt speak English but looked up my prescription bottle and was able to offer me THIS

Please just me in mind when you pack for your next trip

K.
#12
Montara, California
4,861 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
No Toto it hasn't changed. Last October we took 60 days worth of Vits and Meds in plastic bags and my husband was chosen for the full search. They pulled out the plastic bags and didn't even bat an eye, just thanked him for packing them that way so they didn't have to open all the bottles. They put everything back in his back pack and off we went. Now customs may be a different story and there is always the chance that you will get that one TSA person that doesn't know the rules or just wants to give someone a hard time. The one time we were asked about them by an Australian customs agent, we told them what they were and they just passed us through.
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#13
South Florida & Shenandoah Valley, VA
4,870 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
International travel differs from domestic travel -- other countries do not know/need to know/abide by 'TSA rules'. And when you are returning to the US from abroad, you must go through US Customs (with regulations independent of TSA).

From the State Department discussing prescriptions - website:http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/...fety_1747.html:

"Bring any medicines you need in your carry-on luggage. To avoid problems when passing through customs, keep medicines in their original, labeled containers. Bring copies of your prescriptions and the generic names for the drugs. If a medication is unusual or contains narcotics, carry a letter from your doctor attesting to your need to take the drug. If you have any doubt about the legality of carrying a certain drug into a country, consult the embassy or consulate of that country before you travel."

Keeping meds in the original packaging or at least having a copy of the prescription will also help if a passenger ends up in the medical center on board and they begin asking questions about his/her medication. If the patient is in no shape to answer their traveling companion or even the crew would be able to determine what the patient was taking.

Imagine - worst case - having your medicine confiscated just because it was easier to take in pill containers! Last summer I was asked specifically about a 7 day pill container in my purse as I passed through security in Munich transiting to a flight to Prague. The security officer started to open it - luckily it contained my earrings so they just smiled and didn't pursue the matter. My prescriptions (enough for my trip plus a few days extra just in case) were in their original packaging further down in my carry-on but they didn't pursue the matter.
#15
Central Texas
5,512 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
So far we haven't had issues with having pills sorted into those 7 day dosage containers. Unfortunately our meds must come from a mail order pharmacy in 90 day quantity, so the original pill bottles would fill a ladies purse...

When last traveling overseas, we used several of the smaller of the big bottles, and affixed extra labels on the pills I had mixed inside. No issue, but would really hate to lose to some security person.

How do you all handle the big quantity bottle situation?

PS we always bring an extra weeks' meds.
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#16
sacramento ca
2,109 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I have my 7 day pill container and I also have a plastic bag with all the bottles and extra pills in them. I have felt comfortable doing it this way but now I am not so sure.

We are going to Australia and New Zealand in a few months. Does anyone know what the procedure is there? I probably should contact an Embassy.
WCC
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westcoastcruiser
#17
Minnesota
595 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by Times Prince
So far we haven't had issues with having pills sorted into those 7 day dosage containers. Unfortunately our meds must come from a mail order pharmacy in 90 day quantity, so the original pill bottles would fill a ladies purse...

How do you all handle the big quantity bottle situation?.
Most pharmacies will provide a small, labeled bottle on request, especially if you explain the reason.
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#18
170 Posts
Joined May 2005
West Coast Cruiser - just returned from Australia yesterday. I had my original bottles with labels in plastic bag very bulky (including pain pills). Walgreen gives a description of the pill on the label (e.g. round white side one LL side two 50mg). Customs never bothered to look, Forgot to pack the seven day pill box - big mistake on my part. Have a nice trip.