Tips for travelling with medications

Travelling this holiday season?
Read these handy hints for stress free travel with your medications.

How much medication should you pack?

Whilst it may be easy to top up on over-the-counter meds at a local pharmacy, it’s important to pack enough of any prescription medications to last your holiday. As a change of plans or unexpected travel delays can occur, ensure you pack a few days of spare medication. Also, take any current prescriptions with you, just in case you need a refill at a local pharmacy. Most prescriptions can be filled by any pharmacy Australia wide. However state-based restrictions do apply to some medications and keep in mind less common medications may not always be stocked by all pharmacies. If you’re unsure, ask your regular pharmacy for advice.

What’s the best way to pack and travel with medication?

There are a few ways you can prepare your medication for travel. If you take a few medications you may wish to speak to your pharmacy about a Dose Administration Aid (DAA) pack. This is a pack your pharmacy can prepare for you with your daily meds. Typically prepared as either a roll of ‘dose sachets’ or a ‘dose blister card’ it helps you stay on track with your doses even during a different holiday routine. Plus it keeps all your medications properly stored in an airtight environment – and avoids the need to pack lots of medication boxes!

If you only take a couple of tablets, ensure you pack it in a way which still allows for easy identification of each medication. If in doubt, keep the medication in its original packaging with the original pharmacy label. This not only avoids confusion, but can be a good reference if you need to discuss your medication with a GP or pharmacist whilst travelling.

Avoid re-packing medication yourself as some medication may be affected once popped out of its original foil blister and exposed to air or light.

Storage temperature is also very important when travelling with medication as the efficacy of some medications can be reduced if exposed to heat for long periods. For non-refrigerated medication, aim to store them at room temperature (ideally below 25 degrees) and avoid leaving meds out in the sun or in hot cars for a long time. Taking an esky, cooler bag or portable fridge may be required if travelling with medication that need refrigeration – speak to your pharmacist if unsure what is best for your particular meds.

If you need to check in luggage for your travels, be sure to pack your medication and prescription paperwork in your hand luggage to ensure you don’t miss out if you are separated from your luggage (bags can miss flights!) or your luggage is lost.

Need a prescription renewal during the holiday period and can’t get in to see your doctor?

Run out of your medication during your travels? With SiSU Health’s new online prescription renewal service Scripts Now you can order online to have your medication delivered to your nominated address or alternatively place your order in-store through participating Priceline Pharmacy Health Stations to collect in-store.