Travelling with Prescription Medicine
Carry enough of your medication in your hand luggage in case of delayed or lost checked luggage. Ensure you also have ample supply of prescription medication to allow for any possible travel delays.
Ensure you carry your prescriptions in your hand luggage and the prescription labels match the passengers boarding pass. Do not carry prescription medicine that’s not in your name unless it is for an accompanying traveller such as a child.
All medicine should be transported in their original packaging to reduce the risk of problems with overseas customs officials.
Check the expiry dates on your medication.
Travellers with chronic medical problems should carry a doctor’s letter listing prescribed medication along with details of the health conditions.
If your medication requires refrigeration be aware that generally airlines will not accept the responsibility of storing it in aircraft refrigerators.
Ensure you also take medication for any conditions that may currently not be a problem as a countries environment may cause the condition to recur. A common one is asthma.
Some medications containing amphetamines or narcotic analgesics may be restricted or can actually be illegal in some countries. If you are unsure contact the embassies of the countries you are visiting or the Australian embassy in that country. A common example is that codeine or medicines containing codeine are illegal in the United Arab Emirates.
When travelling by plane some countries have a 100ml limit when carrying liquids in hand luggage. Whilst liquid prescription medicine is generally exempt in most countries, you may need a letter from your medical practitioner or approval from the airline or departure airport. Countries such as the UK and the US have these restrictions so be aware of the requirements and exemptions of not only your departing country but also any stopover or destination countries.
There are limits on any drugs subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Generally you can only take enough for your trip, allowing for possible travel delays. For more information visit Travelling Overseas with PBS Medicine (Department of Human Services).
If travelling alone a Medic-Alert bracelet is a sensible consideration.
Travellers with diabetes should always carry a supply of rapidly acting carbohydrate such as jelly beans.
If you have to buy medicine overseas get advice from a reputable pharmacist as brand and generic names may vary greatly overseas.
Counterfeit drugs are not uncommon in some countries. Do not buy any drugs from street vendors or local markets.