Traveling with Medicines -- What YOU WANT to Know- By Jen Campbell
Many of us carry simple Over-the-Counter medicines for minor aches and pains (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin), and perhaps even heartburn or sinus medications. Then there are those of us who absolutely must have prescription medications on hand. If you’re like me you have the cute weekly dispenser for meds. However, traveling with your medication requires you to plan ahead. Keep in mind many medicines look similar. You don’t want to learn the hard way about a foreign countries laws about their drugs.
The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) division of the Department of Homeland Security has clearly spelled out guidelines for medications while traveling.
Here's a quick, helpful list of Top 5 Tips for traveling with medications overseas:
1. Take only the amount necessary for the duration of the travel period.
2. Declare any addictive drugs to the CBP official when re-entering the United States from your foreign travels. These include any medicines containing a narcotic (cough syrups and pills with codeine, for instance; tranquilizers, sleeping pills, etc).
3. Carry prescriptions in their original containers bearing the pharmacy label, physician’s name, etc.
4. Carry only the quantity that a person in the condition for which the medication is prescribed would need for the travel period.
5. Carry a prescription or written statement from the doctor who issued the prescription stating the medicine is needed for one’s condition.
Also, never, ever pack medications in your checked baggage. All medications should be packed in one’s carry-on luggage always. And about those little plastic dispensers? Once arriving at your overseas destination, use them, but be sure to have the original container and the doctor’s prescription on hand (if necessary) to prove the need for them.
More detailed information about allowed articles and substances crossing borders can be found at the Customs and Border Protection website.
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