Advice for Those Flying with Medications



Here are some tips to make your flight less stressful when traveling with prescription medications:

1. Make sure you take enough medication for the duration of your stay — and then some! Bring copies of your prescriptions with you, just in case.

2. Pack your medications in their original bottles. The bottles should have your name, your doctor’s name and pharmacy on the labels.  Liquid prescription medication is permitted on all flights. Make sure that it is in its original package.

3. Make sure that the caps are tightly closed, and place the bottles in re-sealable plastic bags so the screeners can see them easily. (It also helps if the bottle opens and the pills fall out!)  Do not put any other items in the bag. Any liquids or creams should be in different bags in case of spillage and possible contamination.

4. Place medications that require refrigeration in an insulated cooling bag. You might be able to get ice on board to keep it cool if it is a long trip. Label the outside with your name.

5. Put your medication bag in your carry-on luggage. If possible, put it in the bag that fits under your seat, as opposed to the overhead bin. In some cases, the airline may ask the on-board staff to store your medicines and syringes during flight. Keep your medicines, syringes, and supplies together in a small travel case to make passing them to and from the flight staff easier with less chance of losing medications or supplies.

6. If you are traveling to another time zone, you want to take your medication at your normal time. If your medication needs to be taken at a specific time during your flight, inform the flight attendant in advance that you will need some water when that time comes.

7. Once you’ve adjusted to the new time zone, you can take your pills on the local time.



Kathy Kelly is a Registered Nurse and the mother of a child with Autism. Connect with Kathy:

Twitter: @KathyKellyRN

Facebook: Kathleen Kelly



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3 thoughts on “Advice for Those Flying with Medications

  • June 25, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Those are great suggestions! A great reminder to make sure we don’t get caught up in the magic that we neglect our health on vacation.

  • June 27, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    Great outline Kathy; there are so many potential pitfalls when traveling, but keeping those meds as a constant avoids disaster!


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