flying and medicine – what can you carry on?

So…I haven't flown since 2010 and I think a few more things have changed since then.  I plan to just take a small bag that I can carry on because I'd rather not deal with checking luggage.  I know the rules about liquids/less than 3 oz.  What about medicine?  Is there a rule about prescription vs over the counter?  Do things have to be in the original package?  

How do you carry your meds when you fly?  What meds do you bring in your carry on bag?


Comments 7

  • Jen

    I did find this  about meds and carry on.  Does this seem to be your experience?

  • Kathy P

    We just put all the liquid/inhaler meds in separate quart ziplock. I keep that separate from toiletries liquids. Non-liquid meds should not be an issue, but I usually try to have them in original packaging. I tend to buy OTC meds in blister packs for travel and I just toss my Rx pill bottles and DPI inhalers into a small bag so they stay together.

    If you are lucky enough to get TSA precheck, you don't need to take your liquids out – but I still keep them accessible JIC. I've had times when the precheck line was not open or a particular terminal didn't have one (although I will opt to walk to another terminal).

  • K8sMom2002

    Jen, just a reminder that in some states (Georgia's one), it is illegal to transport prescription meds without the original prescription label. You can get your pharmacy to print out a label and tape it to a ziptop bag or blister pack of meds. 

  • Jen

    Thanks for the help.  I have a few meds that are creams and eye drops.  The tubes of cream don't have the original rx label on them (and I'm honestly not sure where the box is – too late to get a label from the pharmacy), so hopefully that won't be an issue.  They are less than 3 oz and I will put those in a separate bag with my other meds (looks like it's best for them to be in the original container, so that's probably what I'll do.)  Dh said he has never been questioned about any meds.  I'm just trying to do things by the books.

  • K8sMom2002

    Jen, how did the flight turn out? Did you have any issues with any of your meds? Were they as particular as the guidelines made out?

  • Jen

    No issues at all.  They just ran it all through the xray and that was it.  I was concerned, in particular, about security on the way back (that was when all of the airport madness was happening over the weekend, so I didn't know if things would bee more scrutinized), but from the time I got the cab at the hotel til I made it through security, it was only about 30 mins.

    But…I do think it was good that I read up on everything.  I would hate to have not done things the right way and then been questioned, maybe had things confiscated etc.

  • K8sMom2002

    The scariest time I've ever had in security at an airport was when I was in Hong Kong, on our trip to adopt our DD in China. My DH and I had gone carry-on-only and our items were divided evenly between two carry-on soft-sided duffel bags. 

    We got to the security checkpoint, and our group sailed through … except for me. The agent kept asking me about something in my bag, and I couldn't understand what he was asking. Finally he mimed "shaving cream" and I realized he was wondering why a woman was carrying a man's shaving cream can. I pulled it out, offered it to him, he sprayed out a bit, smiled and handed it back.

    But then came the scary part — our group had gone on ahead, and we had NO idea how to find our flight. We looked around and everything was in Mandarin! 

    Lucky for us, a person who knew the airport and spoke a bit of English saw our confusion. He looked at our tickets and pointed us in the general direction. Pretty soon we saw our group ahead. 

    After that, I made sure that DH had the shaving cream in HIS bag!