Airline Regulations for Traveling with Medications
chronic illness,  Travel

Airline Regulations for Traveling with Medications

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In a few weeks, my husband and I are traveling to Washington, DC for a vacation. I am so excited about this trip and I am busy planning and making sure that I have the things I will need. Traveling with Hemiplegic Migraine has its challenges. I have no clue how my body will react to flying but I do know that pressure changes do trigger my episodes. There is a lot to prepare for to make sure that I have the necessary medications and supplies needed to make the trip a success.

The things I am the most concerned about traveling with is my injectable medication. Of course, I do realize that I am not the only person to travel with vials of medication and needles so I know it will be ok. I just want to make sure that I am doing things right so there is no problem.

Regulations for traveling with Injectable Medications

While trying to educate myself about travel laws, here are a few things that I have learned about flying when you have special medical needs:


According the the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), “Medications in pill or other solid form must undergo security screening. It is recommended that medication be clearly labeled to facilitate the screening process.”  There are also provisions in the regulations about supplies such as ice packs, IV bags, syringes, pumps and other medically necessary medical supplies. The TSA states to inform the officer prior to beginning the screening process of any medical supplies and that you have them separated from the luggage before reaching the checkpoint


The TSA website also states that unused syringes are allowed to be packing in carry on baggage.  “Unused syringes are allowed when accompanied by injectable medication. You must declare these items to security officers at the checkpoint for inspection. We recommend, but do not require, that your medications be labeled to facilitate the security process.”

How to Package your Medications for Airline Travel

According to a recent article in USA Today, the TSA doesn’t require that medications be in the original prescription bottles. The TSA does warn that it is wise to know and follow the state rules regarding prescriptions. They advise that it is safest to, “abide by U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s requirement to keep prescription medications in their original containers with the prescription labels on them.”

If you are traveling abroad, packing your medications will be very important when returning to the United States. Stating that, “…you’ll need that prescription and/or doctor’s note to bring your medicine back across the U.S. border with you.” It is also important to know the regulations of the country that you are visiting because each country has their own guidelines for what is allowed to come across the border. 

To make sure that there will not be a problem it is recommended that:

1. Bring medications in the original prescription bottle with the label attached.

2. Bring a doctor’s note explaining what medications you take and why. It would also be wise to  have it translated into the language of your destination country.

3. Call the Embassy of your destination country and ask about any special regulations regarding prescription medication.

How I Prepared

Since I am not traveling out of the country, I do not have to worry about regulations of other countries. I have made sure that all of my prescription bottle labels are clear and easy to read. I am putting the syringes and the medication vials in a separate container.

When packing, I am making sure that I can easily get to the medications. This will allow me to show them to airport security as soon as I get to the checkpoint.

Update: How Was my Experience

When we went on the trip, I mentioned my injectable medications as soon as I got to the security checkpoint. They asked to see my medications. The security person commented about how they liked the way I had everything easy to get to and packaged separately. I got the same type of comments on the way home as well.

Similar Post:  Planning to Travel When You have a Chronic Illness

Products Used to Travel with Medications:

Airline Regulations for Traveling with Injectable Medications
Regulations for Traveling with Medications with Packing Suggestions
Airline Rules for Traveling with Injectable Medications


  • Ava Meena

    Thanks for sharing this! I flew to Curacao with my meds last year and soon I’ll be traveling to Barbados with my meds… I didn’t have any issues – no one even asked to see them when I said they were in my luggage. They were super interested in our baby formula though, ha! One other thing I read is to be sure not to take more than you need for the trip. They might not allow you to take 3 months of meds for a two week trip. I usually just take a few extra days worth of meds in case the trip is delayed.

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