How to take medictions

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1. Posted by MichaelRpdx (Budding Member 3 posts) 24w Star this if you like it!

Planning a six week trip in spring 2024...
I will need to take my meds with me. But I have a dozen or so to take along. The advice to "take them in the original packing" just won't work. OK It can work, but that is a big use of space.

Recommendations on how to pack your meds?

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 5216 posts) 24w 1 Star this if you like it!

Are any of these meds over the counter medicines? Or, mostly prescription medicines?

What countries will you be going to?

Over the counter stuff like aspirins, sunscreen and Tylenol you can probably get in the country you are visiting.

Contact the embassy for the countries you intend to visit if you are taking narcotics and other restricted stuff. Some countries throw you in prison for what they consider restricted drugs.

Good luck.

3. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1602 posts) 24w 1 Star this if you like it!

It's best to take all the prescription drugs you need on the trip since the meds might not be available, or the formulations might be different, in the places you plan to visit. I divide medications into two packs, one large (for most of the meds with original packaging) and one small (for a week's supply, or two, of the essentials in reusable plastic bottles). The smaller pack is as readily accessible as my toiletry kit. I travel for long periods, usually up to 10 weeks, and staying healthy always is top of mind. If your medicine kit is bulky, consider reducing other content in your bag(s) to make room. Many travelers bring more clothing than they actually need.

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5. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 2028 posts) 24w 1 Star this if you like it!

Al is right. Take your prescription meds in their original packaging. If you may need more, ask your doctor to write the prescription out for the generic version because they have different names in different places. Over-the-counter things like aspirin and such are easily bought at any pharmacy. I toss my meds into my purse (small eye drop bottle and a small pill a day), vitamins go in a plastic ziploc and then I pick up anything I might need when we arrive. Try to get a size you will use up so you don't have to pack them home. Prescription meds should go in your carryon, not your checked luggage because the checked bags don't always arrive with you. I've had to wait three days for my luggage.

Check the rules where you are going because you don't want to get in trouble over your meds. Some countries take them VERY seriously and you can end up in jail.

6. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 2028 posts) 24w 1 Star this if you like it!

BTW, we usually go for 4 to 6 weeks. We use no more space than if we were going for a week. We literally pack for a week on any trip. They do have laundries all over the world, either machine or human and they work. We've met some fun people in automatic laundries in all sorts of places. We've also met some lovely laundry ladies full of good ideas about where to eat and what to visit in their area.

7. Posted by MichaelRpdx (Budding Member 3 posts) 23w Star this if you like it!

OP here.
Thanks to all of you for your replies.

I'll be taking all of my prescription meds. These include

heart, cholesterol, blood thinners, and miscellaneous others. I don't think we can get as far as Australia without my needing to take something. So yes, I'm taking them along.

It really comes down to the "original" packaging. I use Kaiser and they have a one size fits all pill bottle way of doing things. For the trip - needing 40 days of meds - the bottles will take up 10 times the space needed. I'll be searching for an alternate.

8. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 2028 posts) 23w 1 Star this if you like it!

One thing you could do is consolidate. So many meds fill just the bottom of the bottle and the rest is empty. Can you dump all the pills from each prescription into one bottle, i.e. all the heart pills in one bottle, all the cholesterol pills on one bottle, all the blood thinners in one bottle, etc.?

Also, check with your doctor and see if there are any that you could live without for a month or so. My mother was on 21 medications and we went in and had a heart to heart chat with her doctor and eliminated nearly half of them.

Good luck.

9. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1602 posts) 23w 1 Star this if you like it!

If medicines are not in their original containers, suggest you carry a copy of your medication list from your doctor. If that's not possible, bring receipts of your medications that include your name, description of the drug and the RX number. Some pills are enclosed in blister packs that can take up space in your bag. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if the pills can be removed from blister packs and put into pill bottles. Some prescription drugs come in containers with a dessicant (a small barrel shaped cylinder filled with a drying agent). I reuse those to repack meds. When repacking into smaller bottles, reuse the label from the original, or snip information from the invoice/receipt that you received for the drug, then tape it to the bottle. That way you'll know what that bottle contains. In years of travel I have only once been questioned about bringing meds into a country. That was Australia. I answered "no" on the Incoming Passenger Card to this question: "Are you bringing into Australia: Goods that may be prohibited or subject to restrictions, such as medicines, steroids, illegal pornography, firearms, weapons or illicit drugs?" However, a customs agent pulled me aside and asked if I had any prescription drugs. I said, "yes," and he asked what meds I had. I told him. He then said I should have answered "yes" to the question since prescription drugs are medicines. So when entering Australia, I always answer yes to that question and disclose what meds I have. They wave me through.

10. Posted by MichaelRpdx (Budding Member 3 posts) 23w Star this if you like it!

Ah consolidating into one bottle - like a waking bottle, a breakfast bottle, a dinner bottle, and a night time bottle. Every pill is different - more or less, there are a couple that a too similar to mix. That would reduce my pill containers to four. That works. Now to have paperwork for everything.