Managing Medication While Travelling

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Can I take medicine on the plane? How do I find out how to get prescription medication abroad? These tips will help.

Managing your medication dosage can be challenging even when you’re at home in your regular routine. While adding travel and different time-zones into the mix can cause disruption to your schedule, that doesn’t mean your medication requirements should prevent you from travelling altogether.

The key to safely managing medications while travelling is preparation, so follow these tips below.

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Consult Your Doctor Before You Travel

When you start to plan your trip, it’s important to consult your doctor and ensure you’re fit to travel. Your doctor will be able to assist with:

  • Prescriptions: ensure your medication is permitted in the destination country and if medical certificates are required to carry it.
  • Any specific health requirements you may have for your destination.
  • Tavel vaccines.
  • Advice on how to manage your medications through time-zones (it can be helpful To bring along your travel itinerary).
  • Get documentation so you can take medicine on the plane and prevent customs/security hassles.

Plan Your Dosage Schedule

The best way to manage your medications through any journey is not to leave it up to chance. With the help of your doctor you should be able to determine a dosage schedule that will ensure you take your medication when you need it, while also making sure you don’t take too little or too much throughout your flight.

Helpful Tips Include:

  • Choose what time-zone you are going to align your dosage schedule too and stick to it.
  • Write down the times to help you plan out your meals and when you should eat depending on how your medications are prescribed to be taken, with food or an empty stomach.
  • It can be complicated to get prescription medication abroad, so bring enough medication to last throughout your travels.

Pack Your Medication In Your Hand Luggage?

It may seem pretty self-explanatory, but your prescription medication can often be an afterthought when it comes to packing your hand luggage.

Helpful Tips Include:

  • If you’ll need to take medication throughout your journey, place it in an easy to access location (not at the bottom of your bag!)
  • Carry all medication in the original, labelled packaging.
  • Carry a copy of your prescription and a letter from your doctor explaining your condition, to ensure you can take medicine on the plane in case you need to answer any questions at security. This can be particularly important for those travelling with syringes or other sharp objects.
  • Keeping your medication near you at all times will also prevent the potential emergency of being without it if your checked-on luggage is lost or delayed in transit.
asian woman at airport with covid mask

Set Reminders

Once you step on that plane, it can be as if the rules of time no longer apply. Even with a nicely marked out schedule and plan, it can be easy to slip up and find yourself either falling asleep or getting too engrossed in that inflight movie.

To Avoid Any Hiccups, Set Yourself Reminders:

  • Digital watches and smart phones can be programmed to set multiple alarms across different time zones.
  • Download a medicine scheduling app on your phone.
  • Ask your travel companion (if you have one) to help remind you.

How To Get Prescription Medication Abroad

Accessing prescription medication abroad can be complicated and expensive, so if you take regular medication its best to travel with what you need. If you do need to seek prescription medication, be sure to:

  • Contact your travel insurance provider who offer online medical assistance or direct you to health services in your destination.
  • Buy medicines only from licensed pharmacies and get a receipt.
  • Make sure the medicine is in its original packaging.
  • Consult the pharmacist about the active ingredients in the prescription: it may be different to what you’re familiar with.

For more tips and advice on healthy travel, visit the Travel Assist hub.

Discover How World Travel Protection Can Help You

World Travel Protection offers teleconsultation services that provide e-scripts in more than 60 countries to support our travellers needing prescription medication abroad.

Alongside this service, our 24/7 travel and medical assistance helps support our customers when medical, travel and security emergencies arise. Our Travel Risk Management Solutions help provide travellers with all the support they need pre- and during travel via our portal, app, and in-house experts. Fill out the form below to find out more.