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Must I pack prescription bottles for air travel?

Must I pack prescription bottles for air travel?

Old Jun 12th, 2003, 11:48 AM
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Must I pack prescription bottles for air travel?

Leaving on a 2-wk trip Saturday and suffering from usual packing jitters. Does airport security care whether I pack the bottles my prescriptions came in or can I just put the pills in the weekly box and leave the bottles home? This is not addressed on America West's website and I am looking to pack light. Thank you.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 12:02 PM
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Have traveled twice this year, once overseas and once in the States. I carried all my meds in one unmarked prescription container. No one asked me about them, so my guess is that you will be fine.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 12:22 PM
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I carry all my pills (the ones I am afraid I will need, but never take) with me in the original bottles, but have never ever been asked about them nor has anyone seemed to notice them.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 12:30 PM
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I think you'd be crazy not to bring your medication in your carry-on. Checked bags do get lost and delayed.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 01:59 PM
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Ryan,
wasn't this for a carry-on?
Sluggo,
I carry all my drugs (makes me sound like an addict in my carry-on. Security still doesn't care~
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 02:21 PM
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In the last year, I have flown to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and all around Australia and the U.S.. I schlep my 10 bottles from the pharmacy. I have a heart and blood condition. (I am all right...feel great.) Not once have I been asked about them and frankly they take up space in my carry-on. I place them in clear Revlon cosmetic bags that I picked up at Wal-Mart.

I also travel with a blood glucometer and a spring lancet pen for my type 2 diabetes. I always carry the note from my endocrinologist. Once again, not one inquire going thru all that security.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 02:35 PM
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From a purely legal standpoint, you should always leave Rx meds in their original containers. In some states, it is a crime not to. I can't imagine anyone would ever bother you about it unless the meds could be considered drugs of abuse (opiates, phetamines, etc) or could be confused for such drugs but why take the chance.

I also echo the advice to carry all the meds you will need during and after your trip in your carry on. It could be hard to get replacements quickly if they were lost, especially away from your doctor.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 02:37 PM
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They gave my uncle a hard time once. I'm not sure if they really could have taken them away or anything. If you had it I would carry some type of RX label with your name on it.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 02:42 PM
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One year, the day before we left to come home, in a hotel on Paradise Island, my husband did something to his back. He woke all twisted and in great pain. He called for a hotel doctor, we got a hotel nurse. She gave him some huge white pills, told him to take one that day and one the next.
He took the one pill and slept the rest of the day
He carried the second pill in my bag, in a little white envelope, in case he needed it on the plane.
They searched my bag, found the white envelope, questioned us quite thoroughly then called the hotel to get confirmation of the story.
It is worth the slight inconvenience to carry a bunch of prescription bottles rather than stand and be questioned , in public, for the amusement of other travelers.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 02:43 PM
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I think 99% of the time you can take the pills out of their original bottles and it won't be an issue. The problem arises if you happen to get stopped and searched. If you "fit the profile" or are a young backpacker, then having loose unidentified pills in your bags is a very bad idea. This is particularly true if you are traveling overseas.

When I was in my 20's I got stopped by customs almost every single time in every single country I entered. I don't think I look unsavory (!), but that's what happened. As I have gotten older it happens less frequently, but I still keep my vitamins in their original containers. They're bulky and a bit of a hassle to carry, but less hassle than trying to explain to some agent that my baggie of little pills is not a stash of illicit drugs.



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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 02:57 PM
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I get searched before about 1/2 the flights I take since the new security measures have been implimented. I don't know if I fit some sort of profile or if I am just lucky. I have a couple medications that I take and everytime the TSA agents check the label on the bottles. I always have them in their original pharmacy bottles so it's never been a problem, but it probably would be if they were in some other container.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 03:57 PM
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I always take mine out of the original containers and put them all in one (none of the pills look alike).

Then I take the receipts that I get from the pharmacy (the one that has the prescription - not the one that shows that you paid) and stick those in the pocket of my purse. That way if anyone ever asks (which they haven't) then I've got the proof right there.

I can't imagine that it is illegal to carry the drugs in a container other than the original prescription vial. What if you break it, lose the cap, etc.? That would really be a stupid rule.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 04:13 PM
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But if they stop you and ask you about the assorted pills in the bottle, how do you show them which pill belongs to which prescription slip?
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 04:19 PM
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It hasn't happened, but I imagine that they should have someone on hand to recognize pills. If not, I'd just go through and narrate myself.

I put all the pills into a single prescription bottle anyway, so it looks official. Security would have to open it up and look inside to see that there were different kinds in there.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 04:43 PM
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Nothing is worse than the time they pulled out my small back vibrator which I didn't realize looked like it could be used in other places!! LOL! I threw that thing away.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 04:50 PM
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Thanks to everyone for quick replies. I'll put my hypertension meds in the weekly case and leave the bottles home, but take the paperwork that came with them. Had not thought of that. Fodorites rule! And, yes, of course all pills go in my carry-on.
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Old Jun 12th, 2003, 05:45 PM
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As I said earlier, they could not tell a white pill as being a narcotic or an aspirin, I wouldn't count on someone with a pharmecutical degree to be checking your bag
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Old Jun 13th, 2003, 04:53 AM
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It's definitely required. After all, someone transporting pills that are not prescribed to them would never, ever, make a fake label printed on their home computer now would they?
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Old Jun 13th, 2003, 09:49 AM
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Before leaving for a recent overseas trip, I called the drugstore and requested very small bottles labeled for all the drugs that I and my husband take. Our coverage requires that we order our meds, so they are in large bottles that hold a 3 month supply. These prescriptions are also listed with a local drug chain that is part of their program. I did not want to take chances on an overseas flight.
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Old Jun 13th, 2003, 11:16 AM
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Hi

Yes, Airport security does care and you are SUPPOSED to have your medicines in an prescription bottle from the pharmacy with doctor's name on it. We had called before heading to Australia and we were glad that we did cause we were questioned on medicines in the states and abroad.

It is in their rulebook and yes, we still did pack light but we took smaller prescription bottles w/us. Oh, we also packed all meds in our carry-on. In addition, Aussies didn't care for hubby referring to medicines as "drugs".

Follow their rules and you'll have a great time with fewer delays.
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