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Flying with prescription & OTC medications internationally

Stamford...
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Flying with prescription & OTC medications internationally

Hi all. First time flying internationally. We will be leaving from NY and visiting Paris, Rome, and Malta. What are the rules regarding bringing medication in my carry on bag? When I travel domestically I usually use a small pill box, and don't bring the original bottles. This has never been a problem, but I assume the rules for international travel are different, especially when going through customs.

I assume it would be safest to bring the prescription medications in their original bottles? What about OTC medication like pain relievers and allergy medicines? Must those be in original bottles as well, or is it okay to just bring the small amount I will need in a pill box?

Thank you!

UK
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1. Re: Flying with prescription & OTC medications internationally

It won't be a problem in those countries. You could always keep the packets with you squashed flat if you felt it was necessary

otc stuff is certainly no issue though surely most people keep that in the packets it comes in don't they? Just how much are you bringing if you feel the need to reduce space?

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Flying with prescription & OTC medications internationally

The safest way to do it is to carry things in their original bottles -preferably unopened with seal so that if someone asks they can see the OTC bottles. If the bottles contain liquids, then the same rule wrt liquids in carry on bags apply except for Prescription meds which you can carry with a prescription.

As far as Prescriptions meds go , yes please take them in their original bottles and carry the prescription or the paper that the pharmacies give you so that if asked, the customs folks can see that info.

I don't think anyone here can or should say it is ok to take pills in a pill box with zero labels -- none of us work in the customs of the country you are visiting.

San Diego
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3. Re: Flying with prescription & OTC medications internationally

I have traveled to Europe many times! There is no customs check when you enter a European country and there is no rule that says you must have your meds in their original bottles with the scrips attached. I take all sorts of loose vitamins and over the counter meds mixed together. IF you want to be safest then take prescription meds in their own bottles but unless you are taking a really controlled substance like heavy duty pain meds(oxycontin or the lilke) I wouldn't worry about it at all. NO one will check or ask you about them. Now IF you are bringing lots and lots of meds then someone might think you are selling and not just using it for your own personal use. IF it is just a few pills a day NO worries!

California
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4. Re: Flying with prescription & OTC medications internationally

Well I know in the US if you are found with prescription medication on you, you better have the bottle to show they were perscribed to you (especially Xanax or any other anti depresant, Oxycodine etc) or you can get charged with unlawful posession. I always carry the original bottle with my name on it wehn I travel. Plus if the pills somehow get destroyed (the bottles have opened with pills scattered all over the inside of my purse) I may (might, maybe) be able to go to a pharmacy and they can see the dosage and maybe help me get something comparable OTC???. I take Tylenol in a baggie and antacids in a baggie (easier to fit in my tiny "walk around the city" purse).

London, United...
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5. Re: Flying with prescription & OTC medications internationally

My husband has to take his meds with him wherever we go and we have never had a problem with this, I keep them in my handbag, you should be absolutely fine.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Flying with prescription & OTC medications internationally

just this past weekend at Frankfurt airport, I saw their fancy security screening bag system pull aside a bag and the agent was asking and checking the bag - I am sure for something that may have alerted the screener but then he picked up some meds and asked "Was is this" -- was a routine question and that fellow American -- as far as I could tell from his accent went on the explain and was then let go. He had a lot of bottles on him .

this is just one incident and not in the countries you are going but I feel it is best to carry drugs in the proper labelled cases where ever I travel.

London, United...
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7. Re: Flying with prescription & OTC medications internationally

I fly frequently with pill boxes (lots of pills in day doses) with no original packaging and have never bad any issue - take a prescription with you if you want to be safe, but there is no requirement in Europe to carry medscin in their original packaging - and my meds are seen every time at. Security as they are hand luggage

Vancouver...
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8. Re: Flying with prescription & OTC medications internationally

If worse comes to worse, and you have Kaiser Permanente Health care, and are set up with them online, all your prescriptions are available online to show anyone who needs to know that it is legitimate. I had to use this feature once going into New Zealand. Chuck.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Flying with prescription & OTC medications internationally

Unless you have been prescribed three or four Schedule 2 drugs to be taken q 3 h around the clock and as such will need to carry a crate of tablets, taking medications to Europe will be a non issue. Take a digital photograph of each bottle of the prescription analgesics showing the label if you feel you must, but as far as OTC meds no one will notice or care.

Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Flying with prescription & OTC medications internationally

In all my travels to Austalia, USA, France and Spain I've packed OTC's in original bottles. Some can be purchased in travel size at a greater cost. A few times I've put several recognizable vitamins(to me) together in one bottle. If they had been taken away I would have replaced them. Vitamins are quite expensive in Australia (vit C when I ran out)

All my prescription meds come in original vials with labels, of course . I've never brought sedatives/hypnotics or non-prescription narcotics (Tylenol #1 from Canada), so can't speak about that class of medications.

I've always photocopied my prescription to be on the safe side. Not once in more than 8 trips to Australia have I been asked about the big plastic bag with labelled vials.

From what I have read, one has to be more cautious when bringing morphine type of narcotics, even with a copy of ones RX, to many countries

This is just a general reply to OP's query and about what has worked for me in my travels.