It's vacation time: How to travel with medicine

Summer is finally here! But, before you take off on that trip you've been planning for months,  Emory internist Dr. Sharon Bergquist says to make a list of the medications you take and keep your essentials with you.

"Pack your medication in your carry-on bag.  Suitcases can get lost. The most important thing is to have it on you," says Dr. Bergquist.

Travel can be unpredictable, and plans change. So, pack extra prescription medication in case you get delayed. Keep the prescription medication in its original packaging, if you can. If you take a controlled substance or use an injectable medication, bring either your prescription or a letter from your doctor, authorizing you to use the drug in question.

If you're carrying liquid medication in your bag, alert the TSA before you pass through security.
And don't forget to stock up on over-the-counter medications you might need for upset stomach, allergies, or pain, just in case.

"And then the other thing is that medications last the longest and keep their efficacy when they're stored in a dry, cool place. In the summertime, medications can be exposed to sunlight they can be exposed to humidity, " says Dr. Bergquist.

On road trips, keep your medications protected from the sun and the heat. and, if you're driving to the beach, Dr. Bergquist recommends using a pill storage box to help you stay organized.

"Because when you're out of your routine when you're traveling, it's easy to lose the associations you have of when to take the medicine. Those pillboxes are a great reminder of if you've taken the medicine that day, and they help keep you on track," Dr. Bergquist.   

Also, if you are going to be changing time zones, try to stay on schedule with your medicine to ensure you're not skipping doses. Another helpful tip is to make note of the generic versions of your medicine. If you need an emergency refill, the brand name of the drug could be different in another country.

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