When it’s time for an overnight or extended trip, there are lots of things to pack — your clothes, toiletries, and maybe important documents. But sometimes medicine isn’t at the top of the list. “I hear about people forgetting medications at home, not bringing enough for the whole trip, or packing them in a suitcase that gets lost,” says Dr. Suzanne Salamon, associate chief of gerontology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Whether you’re staying across town or traveling around the world, consider the following strategies to help you maintain your medication regimen.
Determine how much you’ll need
“Bring enough medication to last the length of your trip, plus a little extra in case you drop a pill or have delays,” suggests Dr. Lin H. Chen, director of the Travel Medicine Center at Harvard-affiliated Mount Auburn Hospital.
How much extra is appropriate? “It depends where you’re going and for how long. For a one-week trip, several days’ worth would be fine. If you’re going to a rural area where health care is questionable, you might need more,” Dr. Chen says.
Talk to your doctor about the amount, and keep these points in mind:
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises carrying no more than a 90-day supply (bringing more raises questions about whether you’re selling medication).
- It may take time to obtain extra medication, so work that into your preparations.
|Research your destinationWhen traveling abroad, remember that medication laws vary.Some common U.S. medications such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and opioids are illegal in other countries or require government authorization prior to your arrival.And some countries limit the amount of medication you can bring with you to a 30-day supply or less.There isn’t a central website that lists medication rules in each country. The CDC advises calling the embassy of the country you’re going to visit to ask if your medication is permitted there.|
Inquire early about oxygen
Bringing oxygen on a trip is tricky. The rules vary by the type of oxygen products you use (such as a tank or a portable oxygen concentrator) and by your means of transportation (airplane, train, bus, or ship). For example, not all airlines allow the use of portable oxygen concentrators; trains usually allow concentrators and sometimes allow oxygen tanks on board with limitations. Check the rules well in advance to find out what’s allowed and whether you (or your doctor) need to fill out any forms.
Pack medication securely
Be careful if you choose to bring some of your medications along in a multi-compartment pillbox. “If it accidentally opens, the pills are all over the place and you may not know which pill is which,” she says. Just in case, secure the box with a rubber band.
It’s safer — and in many states and countries, required — to leave each prescription medication in its original labeled container. The label should show who prescribed the drug and when, as well as the drug name, dose, and your name.
Pack your medication in a clear plastic bag, and keep it in a carry-on so it’s always with you.
Use extra caution when packing injectable medications and other drugs that must be kept cold. “They are safest when they’re packed in a manufacturer-provided case or cooler,” Dr. Chen says.
Liquid or gel medications are allowed on airplanes in excess of the standard 3.4-ounce liquid limits. But you must inform security that you have medical liquids, and you may be asked to open the containers.
For travel in some countries, prescription labels aren’t enough to authenticate your medications. Check the government websites of countries to which you are traveling. It may be necessary to bring a copy of your prescriptions as well as a letter from your physician (on letterhead) explaining what the medications are and why you need them. This is especially important for controlled substances, such as prescription pain medications. If you’re traveling to another country, consider having the letter translated into the language of your destination.
One last tip: bring a master list. “Keep a separate list of your medications and doses in case you lose anything. Include the name, address, fax number, and phone number of a pharmacy where the medication can be called in,” Dr. Salamon suggests.
Below are spiritual recipe for health and wellness: Matthew E. McLaren
Psalm 50:14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High;
1 Timothy 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,
Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.
Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Hebrews 13:15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
2 Corinthians 1:11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.
Psalm 35:18 I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Nehemiah 12:31 Then I had the leaders of Judah come up on top of the wall, and I appointed two great choirs, the first proceeding to the right on top of the wall toward the Refuse Gate.
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