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Going to Europe and my meds come in large bottles

Going to Europe and my meds come in large bottles

Old May 31st, 2013, 10:28 AM
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Going to Europe and my meds come in large bottles

Going to Europe (first time out of the country in 30 plus years) but my meds come in large bottles. Can I peel of the script labels and stick them on a sheet of paper to accompany the smaller amount of med that I can take in one of those M-F pill carriers? Or does the med need to be in their original containers? Important little detail as I could not do without my meds should they decide that the labels are not enough. Need experienced travelers advice please.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Look at the TSA website. Nothing says you need the original containers and it only <i>suggests</i> taking original labels. Same goes for most European countries.

You can put them in plastic baggies, weekly pill planners, or anything - w/ or w/o the labels.

One exception is if any are controlled substances/opiates/etc - for those you'll definitely want the original labels. And make sure you can take them into the country(s) you are visiting. But that is only for narcotic-type meds. For regular medications you really don't need to do anything special.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 10:54 AM
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We have always dumped them into smaller baggies or containers for travel , international and domestic. No problems.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 11:07 AM
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Controlled substances such as Percoct I have in the past put into a weekly pill planner with everything else.

BTW, just when are these things going to be inspected anyway?

1. At the airport as they go through the scanner and the TSA sees a bunch of pills either in baggies or a pill planner or whatever. How likely is it that they will pull you aside and ask for some sort of Rx documentation?

2. When you arrive IN Europe and you go through that "Nothing to declare" line.

Frankly, I wouldn't worry about it but to get rid of that bulk I would not take a bunch of huge space-gobbling pill bottles.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 11:13 AM
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JanisJ, Happy Trvlr, and Dukey1, thanks for the quick response! Sounds good to me and I really appreciate your advice.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 11:15 AM
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We just ask our pharmacy to dispense the appropriate number in small bottles. I usually move them to a weekly dispenser when I get settled in. I think it is highly unlikely that they will get inspected but having the original bottles available IF a customs inspector asks might be a prudent thing.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 11:24 AM
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It's true that pill bottles are bulky and take up too much space. My pills come with an extra copy of the prescription so I just put everything in a baggie and put it in my carry on. Yes, they go through the scanner and once my carry on was opened and searched and I was asked what each pill was for and what dosage I took everyday. I've been traveling for years and only once did this happen. So I feel you should be fine doing something similar.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 11:30 AM
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We have been to Europe twice in the last 7 months. To say that there was ZERO interest in our pills is not an exaggeration. Of course it is prudent to have labels, but my recent experience suggests that it is not necessary. We do not have any narcotics, but technically one of the pills is a controlled substance, an anti-anxiety pill that is generic and light green.....I have to admit that it did not even occur to me to take original bottles or labels.....but of course, that is the best thing to do.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 11:31 AM
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We were posting at the same time, Laidback.....when and where did this happen to you, and can you identify any reason why you think you may have been questioned?
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Old May 31st, 2013, 11:35 AM
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Bermuda and the Emirates are reputed to have extremely strict requirements and rigorous enforcement.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 11:44 AM
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Laidback, yours is ther first instance I have ever heard of TSA questioning re pills. I never travel with original bottles, always transfer drugs to daily dose containers, but do keep a printout of all the meds in case I need to replace something that went down the drain, or an emergency where docs would need to know what I'm taking. Hope the list will suffice for TSA too, if the need arises, because I am not going to take the large bottles anywhere.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 11:52 AM
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Pack what you need for a few days or so and pick up your meds in Spain. You'll save a bundle. You should also make sure you have a good medical insurance policy that will cover you while you're traveling outside of the country.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 11:55 AM
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I don't have controlled substances but have a couple prescriptions, and just put the pills inside a small pillbox in my purse, it is only a couple inches across (a small decorative one women use). I have one with a divider in it, and my pills are small so I can fit at least 14 pills of each into it. Nobody has ever examined it when going through security. there isn't any way in the world I'm traveling with original bottles, etc., I dont have the space.

That's really kind of silly, anyway, as anyone could stick any pill in a bottle from a totally different prescription, that wouldn't prove anything. Not that I'm saying some authorities couldn't be persuaded by silly rules, but I suspect if they thought you were smuggling drugs or something, they wouldn't care what bottle you had it in.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 01:27 PM
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Customs is the department concerned with smuggling, looking for contraband coming into the country; TSA's job is to protect the safety of travelers. Are there really TSA officers who think pills are a threat to flight safety (other than those ingested by pilots, of course)?
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