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Prescription Drugs in Italy

Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 09:46 AM
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Prescription Drugs in Italy

I need some advice from you more experienced travelers. Do we need any doctors notes if we take prescription drugs into Italy? Thank you for your help.
Rick
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Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 09:57 AM
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I've only ever taken my prescription drugs in the original pharmacists' container with the name and dosage of the drug on the label, and I`ve never had a problem.

If you think you might need to buy more prescription drugs while in Italy, ask your doctor to write you a prescription with the generic name of the drug; brand names in Italy might be different from those in North America.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 10:07 AM
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Hi rg,

If you keep them in the original containers you won't have any trouble.

If you want to put the pills in little baggies, I suggest you make copies of the labels.

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Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 01:59 PM
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Thank you both for your comments. The U.S. State Dept. also recommended checking with the foreign embassy of Italy to make sure the prescription drugs are not considered illegal narcotics locally. Thanks again, Rick.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 04:07 PM
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This is why I love this site!! I was just thinking about this situation myself and was about to post. Thank you!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 02:37 AM
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My personal experience has been:

1st trip: each medication was in it's original bottle and I brought the original doctor's prescription.
I was very concerned about this one, as I COULD NOT be without for 1 day.

2nd trip (to France): a bit more relaxed, no doctor's paper prescription, just the original bottles for those presciptions that I COULD NOT live without. The remaining prescriptions I lumped into 1 bottle.

3rd trip (2nd to Italy): this was this past May, significantly less uptight.
I have 2 prescripton I am most concerned about (i.e. that which I CANNOT BE WITHOUT). What I did was to combine all prescriptions into 1 of these bottles, and all vitamins into the other. This way I at least had the orginal, currently dated bottles.

I wear a medical alert bracelet and carry the card in my wallet; this support the medicine I take.

If you combine in 1 bottle and carry the paper prescription, I personnally would feel confident in your coverage. BUT, that is by opinion.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 03:08 AM
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Hi I was Stae Police Officer In R.I. It is against the law to take a drug out of its container and or carry all the pills in a bag even if you carry your container in another bag, as far as getting scripts overseas be carful ask your doc. today the can fax pharmacys the info buy Iwould not reley on that method.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 03:46 AM
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just curious but why would anyone put pills in "little baggies" for travel? most pill bottles are quite small, light-proof, and seem to be the best place to store meds at home or away.

one should always carry enough vital meds on their person for the duration of their stay anyway so separating the meds out should not create a need for "baggies".
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Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 05:52 AM
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If you have any meds that you cannot live without for a day or two suggest that you bring double or triple supply with you just in case of loss - one in purse or pocket, one in carry-on and one in checked luggage.

It's also a good idea to bring a copy of your MD's Rx - with the generic - not the brand name - in case you need to get more. A real Rx will do you no good - since your MD is not lic to pratice in another country - but will help a local RPh or MD make sure you get the med you need - and the correct dosage.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 02:14 PM
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Once again, thank you to all and your suggestions. I am new to this site and have solicited your advice for our upcoming trip to Italy from 6/10 thru 6/28. Rick
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 02:32 PM
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walkinaround, you ask why one would be persuaded to utilize "baggies" to carry a supply of meds vs. the original bottles, citing that the original med bottles are lightweight and small enough.

Personally experience only but:
1) for those of us who take "maintenance" medication, and have the ability to utilize a mail order pharmacy, this allows for a 3 month supply to be issued (this is alot of med, typically in a large bottle);
2) some folks have medical conditions that warrant multiple meds
3) if your taking multiple meds, and the prescriptions are considered "maintenance", and they are purchased via mail order, you may have quite a number of large bottles.
4) I myself have carried some of my meds in "baggies" for this very reason.
5) At home,these meds stay in their original container.
6) Isn't it great to take be able to experience life from anothers perspective? Having a medical condition, fortunately treatable with medicine, has its moments.
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Old Sep 24th, 2011, 01:20 AM
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@walkinaround:

I have a degenerative nerve disorder that requires me to take 12 different meds regularly, EVERY day, and another 5 as needed, but that usually turns out to be every day as well, especially when I am travelling. And there are vitamins, aspirin, other OTC meds I can't get too far away from.

I use those blue segmented containers - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; Morn, Noon, Eve, Bed - to keep track of all of this, to make sure I take what I need when I need it and so it is obvious when refill time is approaching. The sheer number and aggregate size of the pills I must take each day is too big to fit in one 'day', so I have two of these containers for each week. The PRN stuff I usually leave in its own bottles.

When I travel somewhere for a month (it's always a little less, actually, because I need to take care of filling these prescriptions every 28 days) I have a choice: I can take 17 bottles of prescription meds, 4 of which are the big tall bottles that exceed the TSA's maximum-allowed 3.4 ounce size... so THEY make me dump them into baggies at the airport, which can cause problems at other airports - not that going through foreign customs with a bag bursting with prescription meds is ever a fun thing, but still - OR, I can take 8 of these 7-day containers, 5 prescription bottles, and various OTC meds... usually when I travel I'd like to bring things like clothes and maybe a book, but at this point I have a bag full of drugs with little room for anything else.

SO, I have found a compromise solution: I pour each medication (prescription and OTC) into an individual baggie, carefully peel off the sticker from the bottle, and tape it down on the baggie (or cut it off the box, as the case may be, and stick that in the baggie). I then take all of those individual baggies and place then in a larger, one gallon baggie, with the prescription labels all facing the same way and behind them I place a note from my doctor explaining that, yes, I do have these for legitimate needs and yes, I really do have to take that much stuff just to stay alive. (That is usually as far as curious customs people get, but not always.)

I fill ONE of the weekly containers with 3.5 days worth of meds, two of the blue sub-containers with a day's worth of meds that goes into my pockets, and two days worth of the blue day containers with that goes in my wife's bag so if one of our bags gets ripped off I will at least have enough meds to survive an emergency trip home.

Doing it this way is the ONLY way I can travel. But I know a lot of other people with physical disabilities (we tend to run in the same circles) who have much more sane medication regimes who go the baggie route as well... because it makes sense, purely on the basis of taking up less room (especially now, when some airlines only allow one bag), and if an unscrupulous or cranky customs agent or baggage handler or *whatever* wants to take your meds, they are LESS likely to notice them in a cursory scan if they are in baggies versus having a bag fill of obvious orange prescription bottles... that are NOT "quite small", "light-proof", OR "the best place to store meds at home or away".


It amazes me how often people mistake their own lack of understanding for someone else being up to no good.
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Old Sep 24th, 2011, 05:50 AM
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I have taken prescription drugs with me in the original containers, in ziplocks with original labels, and in one of those compartmented containers with days of week. I was never questioned over many trips in any of those methods. However, always have copies of your necessary prescriptions, written in generic name with you. My pharmacy will print me out a set for travel when I ask nicely.

Once in Italy, I came down with an infection and had to see a doc there who prescribed an antibiotic. I found when filling the prescription at a local pharmacy it was far less expensive than the same antibiotic in the US.
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Old Sep 24th, 2011, 06:38 AM
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The irony is that in Italy you can buy things like Celebrex and antibiotics over the counter.You just ask the pharmacist and they are behind the counter.
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Old Sep 24th, 2011, 06:53 AM
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I have always taken ours in weekly containers. No one in any European country has ever even asked to look thru luggage. Just go thru the nothing to declare lane at customs. I often pick up some of my DHs meds in France, no prescription needed and way way less costly , even from Canada!
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Old Sep 24th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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Well, we have our in baggies + a 7 day pill box for AM & PM for each of us, for our trip to Paris & Barcelona on Monday.

Mine are all vitamins & calcium,my husbands are the same+ blood pressure& gout.
Should we be overly concerned? And should they be in our carry on or checked luggage?
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Old Sep 24th, 2011, 09:47 AM
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Your medications should never be in checked luggage. Other than the real possibility that your luggage is delayed or even lost, the temperatures in the luggage hold may affect the medications.
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Old Sep 24th, 2011, 10:39 AM
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iAMzim: "@walkinaround: . . . It amazes me how often people mistake their own lack of understanding for someone else being up to no good."

It sorta amazes me that one would register to respond to a 6+ year old comment
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