Travelling with medication can be a hassle if you are not aware of the regulations in your destination country. Take no chances, follow these ten tips for a stress-free trip.
1. Keep the originals: When travelling abroad with prescription medication keep them in the original packaging. If the medicine comes with an instruction leaflet, carry it with the prescription.
2. Keep a copy of the prescription: Make a photocopy of your original prescription. Carry the copy with your medications and keep a copy of the prescription on your smart phone.
3. Carry your medication with you: Don’t pack your medication in the luggage you will check into cargo. Instead, keep your medication in your carry-on bag.
4. Know the change in time zones: When you travel continue taking your medication at the same time each day. Ask your doctor to help you convert the time zones so you stay on the same schedule with your medications.
5. Carry a letter from your doctor: If you are taking narcotics or psychotropics carry a letter describing your condition and treatment plan. Have a translated copy in the language of the countries you will be visiting.
6. Vaccinations and your medications: Check with your doctor before travelling for interactions between your medications and required vaccinations. Also, check antimalarial or antidiarrheal medications will not interact with your prescriptions.
7. Do not stop taking your medication: Continue taking your medications as prescribed while travelling. If you have an emergency, consult with a physician and give him a copy of your doctor’s orders and treatment plans.
8. Verify your medications are legal: Check the country you will visit to verify your medications are legal in the country. Visit the International Narcotics Control Board website at INCB Guidelines for more information.
9. Carry the least number of pills needed: Do not travel with a large supply of medication. Most countries allow travellers a 30-day supply for personal use. Check with your destination country for their rules.
10. Have your documents in order: Many countries require an import permit for medications. Again, check with your destination country before travelling and follow their procedures.