How to Fly With Your Medications

Always take prescription medications in their original containers.
Always take prescription medications in their original containers. (Image: pills image by Maria Brzostowska from

Relying on medications to keep you healthy does not need to keep you from traveling. It just requires a little extra preparation to ensure you have everything you need and that everything is properly documented and not in danger of becoming lost or misplaced. Taking these precautions will allow you to relax about the location and safety of your medications.

Things You'll Need

  • Copy of your prescriptions
  • Doctor's phone number
  • Sealable plastic bag
  • Carry on, briefcase or purse
  • Original medications with labels
  • Identification

Bring a copy of your prescriptions along with your doctor’s phone number. This will this speed things up in airline security and give you peace of mind in case you lose your medication or become delayed on your return home and need to get additional medicine.

Pack your medication in a sealable plastic bag in case the container comes open. Never put your medication in your suitcases that are to be stowed. It is best to keep it in your carry-on bag, briefcase or purse. It must be in the original containers, clearly labeled with your name. The name on the prescription needs to match the name on your identification. For example, if your prescription from the pharmacy says “Cindy” and your identification says “Cynthia," ask the pharmacy to make you new labels.

Pack emergency medication, such as adrenaline injectors for allergies or inhalers for asthma, in a purse or briefcase. Do not store them in your carry-on that must be placed under the seats or in the storage compartment. Keep them readily available.

Keep liquid medications such as gel drinks for low blood sugar or liquid insulin (and needles) separate it from your other medications if you have more than 3 oz. You will need to take them out to show to the officer when you pass through security.

Take any non-prescription medications in their original packaging. New, sealed containers are the least likely to hold you up in airport security.

Contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate in the country you are traveling to when traveling internationally. Do this before your trip as each country has its own individual restrictions on what can be brought into the country.

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