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Published on May 01, 2015

Bon Voyage!

May 1, 2015

travelSleeping in late, eating fancy meals, and enjoying the sights make getaways great. But as you take a break from the daily grind, don't forget to take your daily medications.

Have a trip coming up? Follow these tips to stay on track—and feel your best—during your well-deserved time off.

  • Get organized. “Use a pill box so you can see the dosages for each day of the week and know when you’ve taken them,” says clinical pharmacist Elizabeth Jochum, PharmD, at KishHealth System. “Setting a daily alarm can be a good reminder to take your medications on time.”
  • Check with your doctor. “If you’re traveling out of the country, visit your primary care provider four to six weeks before you leave to be sure you have the appropriate vaccinations and enough medication for your trip,” Jochum says.
  • Stock up. “Ask your pharmacy if you’re able to refill your medication before you leave,” Jochum says. “Many insurance companies allow you to refill your prescription once 75 percent of the previous fill has been taken. If it is too soon for a refill, your pharmacy can ask your insurance company for a vacation override.”

Before heading out on your next trip, discuss any medication or health concerns with your physician.

Smooth Sailing

Traveling with medication on your next flight? A little planning and smart packing can help you avoid problems.

  • Know what you can take through the checkpoint. Transportation Security Administration staff will screen your bags for medications. Solid forms of medications, such as pills, are usually fine to place in carry-on or checked bags. If you’re packing liquid, gel, or aerosol forms of medications, let the screeners know up front.
  • Keep a list of medications and medical information with you. In an emergency, it may be harder for you to recall basic details, including medication dosage or allergies. “Carry a list of your medications or consider scanning or emailing medical documents to yourself so you can access them as needed,” says clinical pharmacist Elizabeth Jochum, PharmD, at KishHealth System. “Always write down the generic name of your prescription, because some medications go by different brand names in other countries.”
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