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Mackie2u2

Medications on cruise.

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We have our many prescription medications in weekly pill organizers.  Instead of bringing along the presription containers could I take a picture of each container with a pill in front it, print that out and bring it?

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I've always just used the organizers without the bottles (or pictures) and never had an issue.

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OP, are flying and need to go through another country’s Custom & Immigration?

 

Or, are you staying in your own country to get to the cruise?

 

If it’s the former, I’d contact that Customs & Immigration as they can be strict on prescription meds.

 

And, if it’s the latter, your fine with your organizers & a pic.  ( a pic is good in case of an emergency & the need to replace).

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The cruise line doesn't care. Other countries you might fly into might take a much more serious interest, depending on the medication. For example, the major, addictive pain killers.

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Since we have no choice but to fly, I keep all our medications in their original bottles and also bring along the description of the medication and what it has been described for.

 

And we have had security check my medical bag several times over the years.

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I would not take the prescription medicines out of their bottles, regardless where you are going.  You might just be one of the unlucky ones coming up against an overzealous security person.  They should be in your carryon.  

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5 hours ago, Mackie2u2 said:

We have our many prescription medications in weekly pill organizers.  Instead of bringing along the presription containers could I take a picture of each container with a pill in front it, print that out and bring it?

 

Yes, that would be fine.  No U.S. federal law requires they be in their original containers. 

Edited by Aquahound

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Have been traveling many years and have always used the day to day pill organizers without any question/problems.  Taking pic of containers wouldn't hurt and could help if you have a medical emergency and need to have list of all meds.

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47 minutes ago, Aquahound said:

 

Yes, that would be fine.  No U.S. federal law requires they be in their original containers. 

 

The problem - if there is one - is more likely to occur when entering certain non-USA countries.  Some can be *very* strict about what can/cannot be brought in, and what kind of container/documentation is required. And the requirements can be quite different from other countries.

 

Perhaps the likelihood of being "stopped" is low, but the consequences in some countries, depending upon specific meds being carried - could be severe.

Checking in advance whether the country(ies) *you* are going to might be problematic can be checked on line in advance.  IF permissions are needed, they can be very simple and quick to obtain.  Why risk trouble?

 

GC

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Why bother with  picture or indeed the actual prescription bottle?  Neither is really any positive indication that the pill in your hand matches the prescription label.

 

We have never had a problem with this yet..anywhere.  We leave later this week for a Europe trip.  DW just started a course of 4 prescriptions for two weeks.   Hard to believe, an extra thirteen pills a day for two weeks in addition to her usual 6.  She will probably be bunging them all into one container (they are very different physically from each other).  Cannot see her dragging along eight prescription bottles and two vitamin bottles.

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All prescription bottles that I get have the full description, color, markings, shape of the pill inside.  That is to prevent people from bringing prescription bottles for one med, but with something completely different inside.   Some countries are very picky about any pain medication that are not over-the-counter.   

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I am not positive but I think in Canada they say your pills have to be in their original container.  That being said, my husband does up his "1-week plastic container" with his pills and puts the originals in a baggie and that goes in his carry-on also.  He has never been asked to pull either out going through security or customs going in or out any country including our own, Canada.

 

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Perhaps we have been fortunate.  Nine years of post retirement travel in Africa, Europe, Asia, Americas, and Oz/NZ.  Never been questioned once about the pills we take along. No prescription containers ....just the tabs together in one container.  On one trip they included a highly controlled tab that had street value.

Edited by iancal

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24 minutes ago, cormike1 said:

I am not positive but I think in Canada they say your pills have to be in their original container.  That being said, my husband does up his "1-week plastic container" with his pills and puts the originals in a baggie and that goes in his carry-on also.  He has never been asked to pull either out going through security or customs going in or out any country including our own, Canada.

 

 

It’s the same when we go to the States.  I actually called a few years ago when I was recovering from my elbow surgery.  I had 3 prescription med pills left for severe pain and   Only a certain quantity is permitted to be brought into the U.S.

 

I wasn’t taking them but I was nervous about getting jostled or bumped and being in pain.  So, I called and was told since it was only 3, it was ok but they HAD to be in their original prescription bottle.  So I did it.

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14 minutes ago, iancal said:

Perhaps we have been fortunate.  Nine years of post retirement travel in Africa, Europe, Asia, Americas, and Oz/NZ.  Never been questioned once about the pills we take along. No prescription containers ....just the tabs together in one container.  On one trip they included a highly controlled tab that had street value.

In 30+ years of travel, we have never been questioned either....BUT, if you don't think law enforcement types don't have the resources to match pills to what should be used to fill the defined prescription...every legally manufactured pill has photo identification, easily obtained by law enforcement. 

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3 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

In 30+ years of travel, we have never been questioned either....BUT, if you don't think law enforcement types don't have the resources to match pills to what should be used to fill the defined prescription...every legally manufactured pill has photo identification, easily obtained by law enforcement. 

 

The only time I’ve been questioned is when I am going to the U.S.  It only happened once but it made me very aware and, in some countries our over the counter medications are prescription drugs there or even not allowed.  So, it’s good to be aware IMO 😉 

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What I do is keep a empty scrip bottles on hand. When I travel. just put the amount of meds needed for the trip + a few spares (just in case). This way if something happens I have something showing they are legit.....If they get misplaced I have not lost the entire script......

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99% of the time, you sail through immigration and customs with hardly a glance.   But there's always that one oddball time when they are doing random spot checks.   As you are leaving the customs area, the officer points at YOU, and waves you to the secondary inspection area.   That is when those extra undeclared bottles of alcohol, Cuban cigars, or pills in unmarked containers will come back and bite you in the arse.   The chances are 1000 to 1 that you will be selected for a secondary inspection, but it's always good to be prepared.

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Customs and immigration and police forces  certainly do have the ability to determine what drug is what by the physcial appearance.  Not a difficult thing to do if you know how.  And they certainly do.

 

IF they are in the least bit suspicious about what two oldies like us happen to be holding I doubt very much that they will rely on what happens to be printed on the label attached to script  container or a letter for that matter.   Anyone with a $50 printer can run up a legit looking label or letter in minutes. .  All they need is the drug name, drug ID#, and the usual MD and patient instructions, etc.

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I've never had any issue before, but this trip we are flying to Canada. I've already put my meds into the little one week containers, but I think I'll transfer them back to their original containers.

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If you are coming to Australia or New Zealand, check their customs requirements carefully.  Medications must be in original containers. Letter from Doctor listing required medications advised. There may be limits on the quantity of each medication.  Always read before you go.

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We have been through Australian customs and immigration at least five, perhaps six times over the past three years.  Air and sea. Not once were we questioned about our medications.  

 

The customs and immigration folks are pros in most countries are pros.  They have gut feel and can read people well.  The biggest threat, I believe, is the ‘new man on the job’ challenge.

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2 hours ago, iancal said:

Perhaps we have been fortunate.  Nine years of post retirement travel in Africa, Europe, Asia, Americas, and Oz/NZ.  Never been questioned once about the pills we take along. No prescription containers ....just the tabs together in one container.  On one trip they included a highly controlled tab that had street value.

The wife and I both use syringes and have not had issues in 20 years of travel. 

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15 hours ago, Aquahound said:

 

Yes, that would be fine.  No U.S. federal law requires they be in their original containers. 

 

Some states do have laws that indicate that any scheduled drug not in a pharmacy labeled container is a violation of the law.  The bottle and label provide proof that you have been prescribed the scheduled medication.  While one could later provide proof and have charges dropped do you really want to have deal with this in a place you don't live and are simply passing through to vacation?

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5 hours ago, ksmaxey said:

 

Some states do have laws that indicate that any scheduled drug not in a pharmacy labeled container is a violation of the law.  The bottle and label provide proof that you have been prescribed the scheduled medication.  While one could later provide proof and have charges dropped do you really want to have deal with this in a place you don't live and are simply passing through to vacation?

 

That's why I was sure to say "federal law" in my post, not state law.  I don't know what states, if any, require original bottles. 

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