FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Taking U.S. Prescriptions Abroad

by Mary Gallagher, RN, MSN, CCRN

Jul 1, 2016
2016

When packing for a trip outside the United States, you must consider how to handle health conditions that require medications. Talk with your provider and prescription insurance company before you travel. Many online resources also provide advice for traveling with medications. Be a good consumer of this information and check the facts so you will be prepared. It is important to carry your medications with you at all times. Do not place medications in checked baggage; pack them in your carry-on. If you are traveling with someone else, split the medication to minimize loss or theft. Bring enough medication to last your whole trip plus a few days extra in case you are delayed. If you use equipment such as syringes or needles, pack your own sterile supply along with a written prescription for them from your health care provider. Filling a prescription abroad can be complicated. Keep your medication in its original container from the pharmacy and be sure it is clearly labeled. Use pill boxes to carry small amounts needed during the course of the day. Learn how to safely store medications and check if they require refrigeration. Use insulated wallets and containers during transit. Ask your pharmacist for recommendations and make arrangements at your destination for safe storage. Extreme heat also impacts a medication’s effectiveness. If customs officials question you or if an emergency arises, it will be helpful to have a typed statement from your medical provider (on letterhead with his or her name, address and contact information) describing your medical history, condition and the medication you are taking. Let your pharmacist know you are taking medications out of the country. Bring a copy or two of original prescription information, including generic and foreign brand names. Those who require long-term medications such as insulin or have a medical condition and treatment wishes should consider wearing a medical alert bracelet, necklace or similar alert tag at all times. If an accident occurs and the traveler is too ill to communicate, a medical alert tag helps responders provide appropriate care. The tag should also contain the reason the medication is needed, as well as the name and phone number of an emergency contact. Travelers with life-threatening allergies to medications, food or insect bites should also wear a medical alert tag. It may not be the coolest piece of jewelry, but it could save your life. If you require epinephrine to treat your allergic reactions, bring your own EpiPen with a prescription for its use. You can adjust to time zone changes by gradually changing your medication schedule while in transit, or change to a new schedule after arriving in a new time zone. Your health care provider and experienced travelers with similar conditions can provide insight on these adjustments. If you are feeling better, do not stop taking or change the dosage of a regular medication without the consultation and supervision of a professional. Embassies can recommend appropriate medical professionals to provide medical support in the location where you will be staying. For information, contact U.S. embassies or the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers. Some U.S. prescriptions are illegal in other countries and may render you subject to arrest. Check with the foreign embassy of the country you are visiting or transiting in to make sure your medications are not considered illegal narcotics. Be aware of medications for potential abuse such as anabolic steroids. Two classes of medicines, narcotics and psychotropics, come under the authority of international law. This covers any medicine that has an effect on the central nervous system and has the potential to be abused. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives, which tend to be highly regulated. Psychotropics are used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety, depression and psychotic conditions. Be wary of carrying any medicine with the potential to affect the central nervous system. Some countries include a range of medications used to treat neurological conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease on their regulated list. Others might even include sedating antihistamines as a banned substance. A few countries such as the United Arab Emirates include a range of non-CNS items. To review the international agreements governing the transportation of medications across borders, check with the International Narcotics Control Board, an independent, quasi-judicial group responsible for international drug control. NCB guidelines state people intending to travel with narcotics and psychotropics should be allowed to carry quantities of such substances for personal use, usually for use of up to one month, and that travelers have a letter or prescription from their doctor if traveling with a narcotic substance. The board also advises it may be illegal to send some prescription medications through the mail. Check with the postal service and customs office before doing so. If mailing a medication is permitted, be wary, as it may be delayed, damaged, lost or opened, so have a back-up plan. The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Feature
Feb 21, 2020

New Boeing CEO David Calhoun to Prioritize 737 MAX’s Return to the Skies

Boeing’s new CEO will prioritize bringing the company’s troubled 737 MAX to service for 2020.

Adventure of a Lifetime with Volvo

Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.

News
Feb 21, 2020

United Airlines Plans Denver International Airport Expansion

United Airlines recently announced the approval of 24 additional gates at Denver International Airport. United plans to grow its Denver hub from 500 daily flights to as many as 700 by 2025. The additional gates are part of the airport’s $1.5 billion concourse expansion and are planned for Concourses A and B. United will add a new United Club on Concourse A, as well as expand existing United Clubs at the airport.

Daily
Feb 21, 2020

Miami’s Savoy Hotel Reopens Following Renovations

The Savoy Hotel, a historic, Art Deco property originally opened in 1935, recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation. Now, the Miami all-suite resort is once again accepting guests.

Earn and Redeem with oneworld

oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.

Feature
Feb 20, 2020

Virginia’s Massanutten Resort Announces Waterpark Expansion

A popular Virginia stay, Massanutten Resort, is getting a big update this summer. The resort originally opened its doors in 2006.

eFlyer News
Feb 20, 2020

Radisson Hotel Group Set to Debut in Khulna, Bangladesh

Radisson Hotel Group recently debuted in Bangladesh’s third-largest city, further entrenching its position in South Asia.

A Lighter Footprint

United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.

eFlyer News
Feb 20, 2020

All Nippon Airways Launches New Sake Collection

All Nippon Airways partnered with a world-class sake sommelier to revamp the selection onboard its flights. The new sake will be available beginning in March.