March 12, 2018

Transportation of Allergy Medications: Flying with Your Meds

According to the regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, people with allergies travelling by plane are able to bring their medicines, such as injectable epinephrine (adrenaline) or an asthma inhaler, through airport security. However, there are certain rules concerning the transportation of allergy medications and other medical supplies that you should follow whenever you fly.


Have All Your Prescription Medications Labeled


Passengers carrying prescription medications should have them all labeled by the manufacturer or the pharmacy that filled your prescription. For instance, there is almost no way you could get syringes onto the flight without having a documented medical need.

Sometimes, pharmacists may label the box containing your medication (e.g. an epinephrine shot), instead of the medication itself. In this case, you are required to take the box with you as well, so that you’ll be able to prove the medication’s identity.

Another option would be to request a letter from your healthcare provider documenting your medical needs. This letter should include your name, birthdate, as well as a brief statement of your medical necessity. In addition, such a letter could help in case the name on the label of your medicine doesn’t match the name on your boarding pass. Although it’s not required by the U.S. Transport Security Administration, it’s always better to insure yourself.

What About Liquid Medications?


Normally, airline security personnel allow you to take liquid medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, on board. However, make sure that liquids you have in your hand luggage are in containers no larger than 3 ounces (or 100 ml), and that you fit them all into one quart-sized bag.

Liquid medications that are transported in larger containers or cannot be placed in the quart-sized bag can also be allowed on board, according to the TSA regulation. However, they should all be declared before you get your luggage screened.

Getting You Medication Through an X-Ray Machine


In order to ensure the safety of the airline passengers and the airport itself, the security staff should screen each luggage using X-ray machines. If you don’t want to expose your medications to radiation, the TSA screeners can also perform a visual inspection.

However, if your medication cannot be authenticated with a visual inspection, you will be required to have it X-rayed anyway. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get on the plane.

Medicines as Exceptions to Carry-On Baggage Restrictions


It’s worth mentioning that pharmaceutical products fall into the category of carry-on limit exceptions, meaning that you are allowed to bring a bag of medicines you need during the flight, apart from one full-sized carry-on luggage.

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