Prescription medicines

Old Feb 15th, 2007, 03:10 PM
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Prescription medicines

Hi, does anyone have any experience carrying prescription medicines?
My husband takes 15 different prescriptions and usually we package them in individual small plastic bags for each day. He has the paper prescriptions but is it necessary to take all the large bottles. He is traveling to Arizona for 5 days, Thanks
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 04:22 PM
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Are you flying, is that why you are asking? I'm sure if you went onto TSA's website they have info on presreciption medicines.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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My wife and I both travel with prescription medicnes and have not had a problem at the airport. We always put them in our carry on bags---just in case of lost luggage and have never had any issues with TSA. If anyone else has had problems, I am sure they will post something here.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 06:44 PM
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I believe the OP is asking about whether you can take prescription meds in your carry-on through security without each of them being in their original labeled bottles. I'm not sure it's the official policy, but most people I know take their meds out of their orginal bottles and put what they need to travel into unmarked containers. That's what I've done with the five scripts I use, plus another small bottle with assorted over-the-counter meds. I never have even taken paper copies of my prescriptions, although that wouldn't be a bad idea. I have never been stopped by security and fly 6-10 segments a year. There is no way I could take the orginal bottles in my carry-on... they come in the mail in ridiculously oversized containers and I'm not going to bother my local pharmicist getting smaller bottles as my mail order pharmacy suggested when I once complained!

I see little risk in taking the meds in whatever container you want. I hope the TSA has better things to do with their time and high-powered x-ray machines!
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 06:55 PM
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I think for most people, it's not a problem bringing the meds in something other than the original bottle. However, if your husband is, or looks like, Arlo Guthrie, you might consider the original bottles.

Unless you look like you might be carrying contraband, I doubt many security checkpoints would question the pills. But it is always a possibility.

I would recommend putting them in the small bags for each day and putting those in one larger bag with a note indicating what each pill is (and the prescription number, pharmacy, and prescribing doctor's name). That way if they do question it, you have all the pertinent information. And, if something goes really sour, you have the info to get the prescriptions transferred and refilled in Arizona.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 08:14 PM
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If you want to be on the safe side, your pharmacist will prepare the smallest bottles with labels for you.

My husband takes a variety of meds daily, which he packs on one of those day of the week containers. He never takes paper scripts or the bottles, travels all the time on business, and has never had a problem.

All pills are imprinted and so long as you obviously have a supply for the duration of your trip, it is highly unlikely that anyone will bother you, or even notice.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 10:38 PM
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I have never had a problem with any meds flying domestically or internationally, even shortly after the liquid and gel events of the summer when there was concern that TSA would crack down. My husband travels for business frequently and his pills in other containers have never caused a problem (though other things have). But I did get worried when we went to South America in Dec., since there are reports of more scrutiny there occasionally, and decided I should use Rx bottles for the most important ones. We get our routine prescriptions by mail order for 3 mo. supply and they use only pint-sized bottle for pills the size of a lentil, so I "made my own bottles". If you have the same problem of giant bottles, you can do what I did. Remove the label from an old bottle using a hairdryer to loosen it and transfer it to a smaller bottle. I had old bottles from various short-term pills I had saved, but if you don't, you might be able to coax some from a pharmacy or buy a few.

I seriously doubt your husband will have a problem but I believe the TSA website still has the info that you are supposed to carry pills in their original bottles. And every once in awhile I hear a story from my husband about some incredibly stupid thing that has happened to him or to a colleague. So it's possible. When I was worried before a trip to Europe in early Sept., I put some of the smallest but most essential pills in small zip-locks and put them in my pocket. Anything that doesn't make an obvious bulge and set off a metal detector will go through - unless you get picked for a pat-down. I have carried "contraband" like zip-lock bags of hand lotion and a chapstick in the early post-liquid days times, other things other times, and only had one pat-down resulting in my losing something.
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Old Feb 16th, 2007, 03:08 AM
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The official TSA site info is original containers. That said, if there were a big problem repacking in smaller containers, there would have been outrage here. I am sure it has happened, but I think most travelers repack in boxes/bottles.

I have always wondered about the original container specification. TSA screeners are not pharmacists and there is nothing that would prevent someone from putting a non-prescribed pill in an aspirin bottle.

The paper prescriptions should cover him I would think.

The only type medication I might be especially careful of is narcotics with high street value - Percocet, Oxycontin. But since it is unlikely your husband has huge bottles of narcotics, if he is taking any of these I would take that one in the original bottle. Narcotics are the one easily recognized by security people pills I would be concerned about.
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Old Feb 16th, 2007, 07:07 AM
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At the TSA site, there is no mention of "original containers".

At http://tinyurl.com/qu6gd, it says:

"Please make sure your medications are properly labeled with a professionally printed label identifying the medication and manufacturer's name or pharmaceutical label. The prescription medicine must match the name on the passenger's ticket."

Can anyone find other official info?

There is a plethora of threads on this topic on Fodors.
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Old Feb 16th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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Well, I'll be danged! From the US Customs and Borders Protection:

http://tinyurl.com/9kczu

"Declare all drugs, medicinals, and similar products to the appropriate CBP official.
Carry such substances in their original containers."

Which takes precedence- TSA or USCBP?

Personally, I throw everything together in small bottles. Never had any problem.
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Old Feb 16th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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Jed - in medical terms "professionally printed label" implies original container, although I agree it does not explicitly state what container. If one were to take your TSA information literally, one could steam a label off a bottle and put it on anything else. I do not think that is what they mean - since the specifications the set forth for the label are what would appear on the bottle from the pharmacy.
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Old Feb 16th, 2007, 10:25 AM
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Gail is right - have often wondered myself how anyone would know exactly what you have in those "original" bottles (or with original labels or whatever). Are they going to go through them one by one with a PDR? What about generics that aren't in the PDR? This is all so stupid anyway and should have nothing to do with TSA. They're supposed to be making flying safer, not performing Customs' job. (There are beagles to check out the drugs. ) But apparently on rare occasions some TSA agents get caught up in the power trip. Still, the odds are that liver227's husband wouldn't have a problem since practically nobody does.
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Old Feb 16th, 2007, 04:17 PM
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I, too, get my prescriptions by mail order, 90 tablets at a time. I put a month's supply of each in a small, vial-sized plastic bottle and then lable it with the presciption number, name and strength and the name and telephone number of the mail order pharmacy. If anyone wants to hassle me they can call the pharmacy.
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Old Feb 16th, 2007, 04:52 PM
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So what would prevent you from putting whatever you wanted in the original containers? Who`s to say what`s in them? I never have had a problem, and use whatever small bottle I want. Never had anyone pay any attention at all to them.. as long as it isn`t a liquid.
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Old Feb 16th, 2007, 08:18 PM
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My husband gets his prescriptions by mail order and they come in large bottles(90 day supply). He would have to have a small suitcase to carry all 15 of them in original containers.
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